2017 is set to be a very exciting time for Kloeckner Metals UK as we have just finalised a major reorganisation within our parent company Kloeckner Metals Europe, which belongs to Klöckner & Co – one of the largest producer-independent distributors of steel and metal products and one of the leading steel service center companies worldwide. This revamp called ‘One Europe’ has seen a fundamental structural change in operational management within most of our European countries.
Moving from a traditional, hierarchical structure to a matrix organization will make for better communication and interactions between different countries, paving the way for improved knowledge sharing and allowing each market to be elevated to the level of its neighbour. This is going to ensure we break down any country barriers and share effectively our customer base, procurement capabilities and economies of scale.
The European Region will be divided into two sub-regions: A Central and a Western Region including the UK.
Kaha Avaliani is the Executive Vice President of Region West and has shared with us his thoughts, not only on Kloeckner Metals UK’s plans and predictions for the coming year but also with regards to the industries of our main customer base.
We’ll be sharing his considerations in a series of posts throughout this week, starting with his thoughts on the Construction industry below:
Construction is the biggest business exposure we have in the UK and we are vitally interested in the further growth of this particular sector. So far we haven’t seen any deterioration, in the midst of the great unknown known as Brexit.
I also think its key to be observant of the usual seasonal peaks and troughs in the industry but at the same time be acutely aware of the potential effects of Brexit; ‘the night is still young’ and there are still a lot of political and economic questions that have not been answered. The one thing that makes businesses and investors unhappy is uncertainty.
The pound is weak and will most probably remain weak for the foreseeable future and if you are, like us, aligned with domestic suppliers of steel, then you are in a better position than those who import.
I’d reaffirm how vital the construction sector is in the UK – and here are some projects that we at Kloeckner are looking to be involved in that corroborate that:
Heathrow Runway 3
We are very interested in this project it may not happen for up to ten years but it’s definitely one we’re looking forward to be part of.
The HS2 and other infrastructure development projects are on the agenda for the UK government and are mentioned frequently by PM Theresa May, hopefully it will start to kick in and it is on our watched list.
The Silvertown Tunnel in London
Transport for London’s sub-Thames tunnel is a way of combating congestion on the capital’s roads. It will be a very significant project and we are lucky because the exit of the tunnel will come out right next to our London site! It will hopefully start in early 2019, or even before, and it will be a multi-million pound project.