NEW YORK Gerdau Long Steel North America will briefly suspend shipping at 11 North American mills in early February as it transitions to a new software system, a company spokesman told AMM.
The new software, produced by German company SAP AG, is intended to help Gerdau identify and communicate with its customers more effectively, the spokesman said. The Tampa, Fla.-based company will pause shipping during the first four days of February to allow for the installation, he said.
"We strategically scheduled the implementation for the weekend of Feb. 1 to Feb. 4, when we have minimum shipping requirements," the spokesman said.
The mills transitioning to the new system and briefly suspending shipments are located in Beaumont, Texas; Calvert City, Ky.; Cartersville, Ga.; Charlotte, N.C.; Jackson, Tenn.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Joliet, Ill.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Selkirk, Manitoba; St. Paul, Minn.; and Wilton, Iowa.
The steelmaker will also be converting to the new system its metallics raw materials locations; its grinding ball location in Duluth, Minn.; its rail facilities in Lancaster, S.C., Paragould, Ark., and Sand Springs, Okla.; and its depots, terminals and headquarters in Tampa, according to a Jan. 7 letter to customers.
At least one consumer source said he was pleased with news of the new system. "It makes them smarter, it makes them more user-friendly, it gives them better user information systems, and it helps my purchasing people," he told AMM.