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A unique model for managing specialised supplies in steel industry, addressed to producers and plant suppliers.

Steele is a structureless organisation. It has no operating costs, plants, machines or warehouses. Yet it is able to manage a complex turnkey contract in steel production industry. How does it do it? Implementing an innovative business model, which is already common in food & beverage, for example, but not in steel industry: Steele puts structured customers in contact with its network of selected and specialised suppliers. “Depending on customer needs, we are able to find the most suitable solution within our network”, explains Giorgio Ghini, one of Steele’s three founding partners.

Despite having in its portfolio some of the most important national and international players in steel industry, Steele is a start-up, created in Brescia on January 8, 2020 from an idea by Ghini, Roberto Finanzon, Technical Director, and Fabio Marca, Business Networking Manager (in the picture, from left to right). They all have a long work experience in the most important plant suppliers to metal industry, such as Danieli and SMS Group. “Here we have developed our entrepreneurial idea and, after an intense commercial activity in the second half of 2019, we have started to propose it to the market” – recalls Ghini. “With an unexpected success, if we consider the unpredictable outbreak of pandemic that forced us to make some adjustments”.

“I couldn’t have imagined a better first year. What is happening in Italy and in the world – Ghini says – is fostering our business model. Of course, at the beginning it was difficult to lead “top producers”- I am thinking of Acciai Speciali Cogne, Acciaierie Venete, Alfa Acciai, Arvedi or Ferriere Valsabbia – to the idea that a different approach to a project was possible, achieving a significant cost saving while maintaining high technical and technological performance and a high quality of service. Once they understood, they calmly moved towards us and we began to receive the first offer and estimate requests”, up to the last months when – explains Ghini – “we have been able to enter into important companies and power projects that are very impacting in terms of investment and from a technical and economic point of view as well”.

Who are Steele’s networking partners? They “don’t belong to steelmaking industry, but they decided to commit to our project, trying to take the leap and diversify their business. Enterprises that, due to obvious technical, technological and commercial reasons, would not be able to enter into business relationships with top companies. And now they can, thanks to Steele”, which is the sole interlocutor of the final customer – explains Ghini.

70% of Steele’s customers belong to the steel production industry, while the remaining 30% are plant suppliers. “We are certainly not competing with them, but we are their valuable partners. We have worked for Danieli and SMS and other important European plant suppliers”. These percentages are partly the result of a forced repositioning due to pandemic: “Those who stopped their plants, often froze even most of the investments that were planned for the year. So, we thought about our business model – recalls Ghini – and we immediately changed it to fit the plant supply industry. This helped us a lot during the lockdown: while steelmaking halted, plant suppliers were already working on orders to be delivered in 2021”.

Elisa Bonomelli
Siderweb