SAI offers metal companies tools for effeciency

Oct 31, 2012 | 07:00 PM | Bill Beck

Tags  Systems Alternative International, information technology systems, John Underwood, Bill Beck

John Underwood sees “huge opportunities for efficiency” in the management of raw material inventories for recycling companies and the steel and foundry industries.

Underwood, president of Systems Alternatives International LLC (SAI), has made the Maumee, Ohio-based software firm a byword for computerized management of operations and finance for scrap companies worldwide. Now he wants to expand that customer base to include the raw materials end of the global steel industry.

“When you look at steel, they’ve done an unbelievably good job in recent years at getting their costs down. They’ve reduced electric consumption by 30 percent, labor costs by 80 percent,” he said. “What they haven’t done is reduced costs in handling raw materials coming in and managing inventory. Right now, scrap is 50 to 60 percent of the cost of finished steel. Most mills today have software systems that literally run the hot end. But their systems are just terrible for raw materials.”

Underwood noted that ferrous scrap prices have increased about 350 percent since 1992, so deploying technology to control and manage raw material costs makes sense. “It’s where the money is,” he said.

SAI develops and sells software and information technology systems that allow companies to automate each aspect of their raw material operations, from purchase orders to paying and posting accounts. The systems also provide additional benefits, including fraud prevention and detection; complete transaction audit trails in support of Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance; automated reapplication of shipments of some orders; and freight handling and accounting, including weight guarantees, automated chargebacks and unnoticed shipment penalties.....

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