Additional automotive business awarded to ArcelorMittal USA facilities with solid customer service and quality
There’s no doubt product quality and customer service pay off. Two ArcelorMittal USA facilities were recently awarded additional automotive business based on their quality and delivery performance along with some “whatever it takes” attitude. ArcelorMittal Columbus and AM/NS Calvert are the USA exposed automotive locations receiving the honors from both Honda and Nissan.
“Columbus has been a wonderful supporter of Nissan for more than 10 years and are the exclusive supplier for our exposed galvannealed applications” says Dave Erman, account manager, Nashville sales office, ArcelorMittal USA. “Columbus’ quality is very good, their procedures are sound and their reaction to any quality issues that arise is immediate. In years past, when capital and maintenance allocations were tight, they had some challenges but were able to quickly rebound.”
“AM/NS Calvert has also proven to be a very capable and qualified supplier of exposed products to all of the automotive OEMs in general,” adds Erman. “Because of their service, reliability, quality product, and geographic location, Calvert is an especially good fit for Nissan's and Honda's most critical applications.”
Erman also credits Columbus for their close working relationships with their full hard suppliers – the majority of product coming from ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor and some from ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. Columbus has been able to shore up the supply chain from a quality, logistics and cost perspective, which in turn, makes Columbus a more reliable and cost effective supplier as well.
“Columbus is what I’d call a silent supplier,” notes Erman. “They accept challenging dimensions (gauge, width and grades) of today’s automotive mix and they have arguably the most formable product mix within our U.S. footprint. Their flexibility has been a huge help to USA production control as they balance line loads according to fluctuating market and operating conditions.”
As a result, Columbus was awarded parts from Honda and Nissan with a mix of exposed and unexposed automotive parts. Specifically for Honda, this includes the new, 2017 Honda CRV body side outer.
Mark Samuolis, quality manager, ArcelorMittal Columbus, says Columbus consistently beats production goals while maintaining quality to take on this new business. To achieve these goals, Samuolis adds Columbus set a mean time between failure record of 80.6 in January 2016. They also increased their tons-per-hour and productions record, also set in January, of 41,211 tons produced.
Columbus is a 100 percent automotive facility and is the only non-joint venture plant in ArcelorMittal USA with an exposed automotive portfolio. Samuolis adds, “Since we are a stand-alone coating line, keeping full is essential to achieving all of our business targets. ArcelorMittal is already such a large part of their supply base that awarding us additional business is tough. Receiving this business shows how confident our customers are in both ArcelorMittal and Columbus.”
From the extra tons allotted, it appears these two automakers concur Columbus has earned their business. Columbus not only has exhibited a can-do attitude with its customers but within the ArcelorMittal family as well.
“The attitude from the Columbus workforce is ‘bring it on,’” adds Samuolis. “When Burns Harbor or I/N Kote need help, we don’t hesitate and step in. If there’s a need to make a tight delivery, we make it happen.”
Samuolis notes that Columbus is unique in their ability to run wide and light-gauge exposed product, which allows it to take on parts that others cannot. The CR-V body side outer is an example of this, along with some of the other more challenging parts that have been awarded to Columbus in the past.
It’s this can-do attitude, together with a solid quality and delivery performance that has major automotive customers like Honda and Nissan ready and willing to reward facilities like Columbus and Calvert with the added business. They’ve acquired it the in the most respectable way – they earned it!
“Our team is not bashful when it comes to the customer,” says Pat Wallace, operations manager, ArcelorMittal Columbus. “We will do everything we can do, offering alternatives and suggestions - we will never say no to a customer. We really depend on them, more than they depend on us.”
Erman adds, “Through thick and thin over the years, Columbus has always realized the value of the customer and the obligation of meeting or exceeding their requirements. When automotive customers have had issues with other steel suppliers, Columbus unselfishly came to the rescue. Regardless of the issue or its origin, the core group has always done all that is possible to help. They have played a huge role in defining the value of customer service and no doubt will continue for many years to come.”
Caption: ArcelorMittal USA provides steel for most Honda and Nissan models, including the Altima, CR-V, Rogue and Accord.
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