CHICAGO Grand Steel
Products Inc., a small but growing distributor and processor,
is now in its second month of running a modified slitter and
has produced great-quality mults, president Jim Barnett told
AMM during a recent plant visit.
The Wixom, Mich.-based company
specializes in buying prime, excess prime and secondary mill
coils: hot-rolled; HR pickled and oiled; HR pickled dry;
cold-rolled; Galvannealed; Galvalume; galvanized; aluminized;
and cold-rolled painted products.
"We are diversified in terms of
the number of mills we buy from," Barnett said. Although
now-defunct RG Steel Inc. supplied the company with certain
specialty grades, Dearborn, Mich.-based Severstal North America
Inc. has "picked up the slack," he said.
The companys customer base
is even more diverse, with no single account representing more
than 5 percent of total sales, Barnett said. The companys
main end markets are light commercial and residential
construction; tubing; mining components; and quite a few major
distributors throughout North America.
Grand Steel Products has grown
steadily, expanding its staff to 16 employees from six over the
past few years, according to vice president Mike Barnett, who
is Jim Barnetts son. Sales doubled to $30 million in 2012
from $15 million in 2007, and the inventory has grown 50
percent. In addition, the company plans to build a new shipping
bay and more office space this spring,
The Barnetts realize that they
cant compete with large distributors who can lock in tons
and prices for six months, so as a spot-market player Grand
Steel specializes in cultivating close relationships with
buyers and sellers and rigorously investigating the quality of
the steel, Mike Barnett said.
"We are reapplying the material
to fit the needs of our customers," Jim Barnett said.
The company uses outside
processors to perform leveling, cut-to-length,
edge-conditioning and other services.