Projects and Features
All about stockholding
NSC highlights the services steel stockholders provide, the benefits they offer and some of the standards and requirements applicable to this sector.
Steel stockholders play a vital part in the steel construction supply chain, ensuring the market is supplied with what it needs when it is needed. From an extensive national network of depots, steel stockholders serve all parts of the UK industry.
What range of products do they stock?
As well as heavy structural sections they supply plates, hollow sections, light sections, cladding materials, flats and angles – all the elements needed to create a steel structure.
What other services do they offer?
Like the rest of the steel construction supply chain, stockholders have invested heavily in recent years in productivity and service enhancing equipment and computer-controlled stock control and distribution processes. Some have invested in the latest laser cutting, sawing, shotblasting and priming equipment.
Barrett Steel Group Managing Director James Barrett.
“Today’s steel stockholders play a much bigger role in the supply chain, offering more than just stock materials from the mill. Processing services such as sawing, painting and drilling are being demanded more and more by steelwork contractors. Most look to tap into the large investments made in plant and machinery that give flexibility to match their workloads, storage space, shorter lead-times and availability of labour; while keeping control of their output,” says AJN Steelstock Sales Executive Phil Cleaver.
What is the relationship between the steel stockholder and steelwork contractor?
Some steelwork contractors of course buy direct from the mill, usually for specific projects involving large quantities of steel sections. The factors that influence what percentage of a steelwork contractor’s steel is sourced from a stockholder or direct from the mill will vary over time and with the size and nature of each project. There will also be a lot of variation between steelwork contractors.
Benefits of using a steel stockholder
Stockpiling ensures continuity of supply when production is interrupted and avoids disruption to customers. Stockholders also have a bulk breaking role.
One of the major benefits to steelwork contractors of the stockholders is not having to hold expensive stocks of steel themselves, tying up capital with no guarantee that the steel stocked will be needed for the next project. Stockholders can do this much more economically as, having a lot of steelwork contractors to supply, they can turn their stock over much more quickly.
“As tubular specialists, National Tube Stockholders (NTS) offers the market a wide product portfolio of sizes and grades to suit many applications. Our service is second to none, with a highly professional and knowledgeable team we aim to make life a little bit easier for our customers,” says NTS Group Marketing Manager Danni Hadley.
Requirements and Certification
Most stockholders are now accredited to ISO9001 – Quality Management. Other certifications stockholders might hold include;
- BS EN 1090-1 – Factory Production Control
- BS EN ISO14001 – Environmental Management
- BS OHSAS 18001 – Health & Safety Management.
A new requirement for stockholders who are involved in stocking structural steel products for highways work is National Highways Sector Scheme 3B – Stocking and distribution activities for structural steel products.
From 15 September 2018, NHSS3B will be a mandatory requirement for all companies involved in the stocking and distribution of structural steel products for all Highways England projects, as well as other public bodies adopting the Highways England Series 1800 specification for structural steelwork.
Furthermore, for projects that start before 15 September 2018 and finish after this date it is highly likely that NHSS3B will be a requirement.
NHSS3B does not apply to manufacturing activities, only to stocking and distribution activities.
Sponsors: Steel Stockholders
Headline: Barrett Steel Ltd
Gold: AJN Steelstock Ltd, National Tube Stockholders and Cleveland Steel & Tubes