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    Perfect service gains success in steel industry
    ----Interview with Alexey Sukhnev
    General Manager
    Steel Industry Company
    Steel Industrial Company (SIC) is one of the major independent companies supplying rolled steel products (like rebar, beams, coils and sheets) to the Russian market and the CIS countries. It has been trading steel products in Russia since 1991, with its managing company located in Yekaterinburg. The company is in wholesaling and retailing and is developing its own production, i.e. steel processing and section production.

    Asian Metal: Dear Mr Sukhnev, please make an introduction of your company.

    Mr Sukhnev: For more than 26 years, our company has supplied steel products through its 50 branches all over Russia. All of our branches have their own covered storage facilities and offer a wide range of services. All of our warehouses hold total stocks of 250,000MT of steel products for many articles and sizes. Besides wholesaling and retailing, our company is developing its own production. We developed 20 steel service centers, which produce electric-welded pipes, steel tile, corrugated steel sheets, grid and other steel products, allowing our company to be more competitive on assortment and to satisfy the most demanding clients' needs. Service is one of the company’s biggest merits. We can cut, pack, deliver necessary steel on customers' demand. Since the delivery is arranged by our own transport facilities, which reduces delivery costs and delivery time for our clients.

    Asian Metal: How did SIC develop in recent years? What are SIC's superiorities over others?

    Mr Sukhnev: We have been one of the TOP-3 biggest steel trade networks in Russia for many years. This is due to several reasons.
    First of all, it is large stocks of about 2,800 types of steel products, which allows our customers to purchase all required assortment in one stock. As it was mentioned, this gives our clients the advantage of low-cost and short time delivery.
    Secondly, we can provide profitable prices to customers according to their consuming volume, budget and purchasing frequency. It allows the clients to choose optimal budgeting and satisfy them so that they stay in pool.
    Thirdly, we have individual approach to every client. Our sales managers are always in touch and ready to help. Regular clients have special payment and cooperation terms.
    Another important benefit of our company is that we supply steel products with no compromise on quality from Russian and foreign leading mills. Our steel service centers perform constant production quality control.
    In our digital age, there is no doubt that if you want to succeed in sales and particularly in steel trading, you have to develop and implement online trading instruments (store). All range of our products is available for booking on our website.

    Asian Metal: Who are among your customers?

    Mr Sukhnev: Our customers are the leading oil and gas corporations, construction companies and DIY networks. SIC has supplied steels to all significant construction projects in Russia. In 2017, we have shipped steel products to more than 75,000 customers. Reliability and business reputation of SIC is confirmed by Forbes rating. According to Forbes it ranks among the 200 major Russian companies.

    Asian Metal: Could you name any significant construction objects supplied by SIC?

    Mr Sukhnev: The biggest and well known are multi-purpose arenas "Bolshoi" and "Aisberg" in Sochi - the most significant object of 2014 Winter Olympics. Besides that, our products were used in construction of The Russky Bridge, which is a cable-stayed bridge in Vladivostok, International airport in Kazan - one of the biggest airports in Russia and the best one according to SkyTrax. One of the biggest stadiums in Russia - "Kazan-Arena" is built of materials supplied by SIC. Also we took part in construction of seaport "Sabetta" on the Yamal Peninsula and "Pulkovo" international airport in St. Petersburg.

    Asian Metal: How do you choose your suppliers of steel and equipment?

    Mr Sukhnev: Generally, much work of exploring manufacturers market is to be done prior to that we make our choices. Before making a decision we considered many factors - well-developed logistic channels, client friendly policy, and of course pricing system. At the moment, main suppliers of Steel Industrial Company are the leading home and foreign metallurgical holdings.
    When choosing equipment for our own production, main factors are its reliability, flexibility, high technological and economic efficiency. All the manufacturers' projects are examined and compared carefully. Then we choose the project that corresponds to the most of our demands: technical decision, economic efficiency, customer service.
    Nowadays all of our material centers are equipped with modern and professional facilities that allow us to produce high-quality product.

    Asian Metal: Which new technologies are implemented in SIC and what are the problems for implementation?

    Mr Sukhnev: Serious job has been done on the company structure so it is fast to response to changing tendencies and market needs. Today we live in digital world and for any business it is important to rich maximum automatization for all processes. Our company has got that trend on time and actively uses modern digital technologies to optimize its work.
    This year we are planning to start an online personal office, where any B2B client could make an inquiry in 24 hours and check their execution online, saving his time and communication expenses by contacting sales managers. Thus main advantage of our online personal office is booking the material online, fast invoicing and online status with noticing to email or mobile. If we talk about problem, that is client's habit to talk to the manager. Solution is to teach competently and serve if any difficulties to use online office, as well as optimal promotion to the market. For the record adding that for B2C clients we have a pretty convenient internet store, where the end client may do the inquiry for materials we sell.

    Asian Metal: Which are the perspectives for your company in next 10 years?

    Mr Sukhnev: We are looking for all market changes, following trends in all areas which engage the business we are in and we aim to develop the company using new directions. I do believe that being in trend and on peak of market trends will help SIC to keep leading positions in the market of rolled steel and successfully compete with other participants of the market.

    Asian Metal: I learnt that Russia's steel export increased a lot and became more and more competitive since last year. Overseas customers are more and more interested in Russia's steels especially CRC and rebar. Could you introduce some reasons?

    Mr Sukhnev: It is true and I believe the main reasons are traditionally good quality of Russia-made steel and possibilities of local mills to give competitive prices due to rate change between USD and RUB.

    Asian Metal: Do you have any prediction for the steel market in Russia in coming 5 years?

    Mr Sukhnev: To my knowledge, making forecast for such a long period for Russian market is something ungrateful. Too many factors are influencing the market. I want to hope that market forecasts of both domestic and foreign research institutes will come true and our company will do the best to be in the market, slightly outrunning it.

    Asian Metal: Thanks so much for your time. Wish SIC better development in the future.

    Mr Sukhnev: Thanks.
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