Projects and Features
Supply chain leader
During a challenging period, Barrett Steel, the UK’s largest steel stockholder, has continued to invest in supporting the steel construction sector.
In a year where the UK’s construction industry has faced several operational challenges, Barrett Steel says it is proud to support and continue its Headline sponsorship of Steel for Life.
Looking back, Barrett Steel says it had a markedly positive 2021. The business secured its position as the UK’s largest steel stockholder (having over 120,000 tonnes of stock in situ) through new acquisition and continuous investment in the latest fleet and processing technologies.
Barrett Steel has for generations been openly proud of supplying the steel construction market and despite recent sector uncertainties in material supply chains and distribution shortages, has continued to invest in supporting the industry, while securing jobs for many in the sector.
Commenting on the challenges ahead, Daniel Redgwick, Commerical Director for Barrett Constructional Steel says: “At Barrett Steel we have supported our customers throughout these uncertain times. Guaranteeing steel price security by standing over contractually agreed prices when our customers have faced site delays has enabled them to navigate a turbulent period for the sector.”
Long-established, as a key partner to construction businesses across the UK, the 6th generation family business prides itself being the most versatile of providers to the construction industry. An industry that has been imbedded right at the core of Barrett’s success since the business began with Henry Barrett in Bradford back in 1866.
In more recent times, late 2021 saw the launch of its Barrett Steel Scotland businesses new 9,300m² stock and processing site in Newbridge. The investment by Barrett Steel in this new facility is £5.5M on capital expenditure and stock that provides a total stockholding of 5,000 to 6,000 tonnes of stock, based in Scotland for next day delivery. The site is said to be perfectly located to service construction customers across the entire breadth of Scotland as it is situated on the M8/9 interchange just outside of Edinburgh.
In addition to this, the Group has recently purchased additional land surrounding one of its key structural section processing hubs in North Lincolnshire. This expansion will enable the site to grow to meet the increasing demands for steel supply within the sector. Barrett Steel has navigated the recent driver shortages by having its own dedicated fleet of over 150 modern vehicles maintaining service standards to key construction projects across the UK and Ireland.
Continuous investment in state-of-the-art steel processing equipment continued for the group in 2021. Barrett Steel’s key manufacturing hub and centre of excellence for section/hollow section processing in Dudley has recently seen extensive investment in three new tube lasers, including a jumbo tube laser, alongside a new structural saw line installation. This investment follows the recent arrival of two rapid angle processing lines for the businesses UK network as well as a new fully automated shotblast, paint and processing line at its HQ in Bradford.
There has also been substantial investment at the company’s dedicated and expanding plate profiling centre based in Rotherham, which has seen the addition of a new plasma profiling machine with a second machine due to be installed in February. In addition, the site will also see a further two 10kw fibre lasers join the centre over the next 10 months.
Tom Barrett, Group Commercial Director says: “We’ve seen continued growth in our plate profiles team at Rotherham. The installation of a third plasma and an additional two laser machines will extend our plate profiling capacity and further complement our existing HD Plasma, laser, oxy and plate drilling facilities.
“Already with a strong reputation for customer service and quality, these machines will broaden our supply opportunities and reduce lead times.”
On the topic of steel stockholders being able to offer an increasingly varied supply of processed material into the construction sector, Group Managing Director James Barrett says: “Over 150 years working hand-in-hand with the construction industry has enabled Barrett’s to be in tune with the challenges our customers are facing daily. At Barrett’s we work seamlessly with our customers to not only ensure stock availability at short notice but to ensure, where we can, that our investments in advanced processing can assist our customers to hit ever tightened and constrained schedules.”
The experience entwined in the Barrett Steel operation means not only does the Group have the scope to supply a wide variety of stock and processed products, but additionally its long-established supply chain relationships pass on an enormous amount of benefits to the customer. Whether it is sourcing diverse types of stock, such as non-standard specification for the nuclear construction sector, or by reducing costs for end-users thanks to single-source operation, its supply chain allows reduction in costs and transport requirements across the board.
Barrett Steel were recently the first steel stockholder in the UK to join the Climate Groups SteelZero initiative, and by doing this it has joined key steel industry partners in a commitment to procure 100% net-zero steel by 2050. In addition to this the Group has also announced its strategy to be a net-zero carbon business by 2035.
The company says, what is certain in these challenging times, is that Barrett Steel’s team of experts can boast significant levels of technical knowledge and in 2021 the Group has invested significantly in its people with over 30 employees undertaking Aspiring, Advancing and Ascending Leadership courses, with a further 45 joining their 2022 programmes.
This level of knowledge and understanding of the sectors they are servicing, allows them not only to create tailored solution-based offerings to assist customers with their ever-changing challenges, but also backs up the Group’s investment in stock, transport and the processing capabilities required to cater perfectly to the construction industry for many generations to come.
is a headline sponsor of Steel for Life