Posted on April 20, 2016 by Chris Brower (firstname.lastname@example.org)
On Tuesday, April 19, 2016, members of the Society of Automotive Analysts (SAA) were presented with an in-depth presentation entitled “The Evolution of Aluminum Processing in North America” by Laura Anderson, President & CEO, Aluminum Blanking Company (ABCo). ABCo has served as a leader in the processing of surface sensitive metals in both the automotive and commercial sectors for nearly 40 years.
Laura has held leadership positions in the automotive and aerospace industries, with dozens of years of experience in engineering, supply chain and manufacturing. With the support of her cross-functional team of experts and an engaged and dedicated workforce, Laura is leading the growth of ABCo, a company with a deep heritage as the first dedicated toll processor of aluminum in North America.
Anderson provided her analysis on the following topics:
• What’s at Stake? CAFE driven factors are contributing to unprecedented growth in aluminum sourcing, with some industry analysts pointing to over 70% of all NA light vehicles having at least one major stamped aluminum component (by 2020), a proposition that Anderson acknowledges “opens up numerous sourcing opportunities for ABCo.” According to Anderson, “This dynamic is threatening steel capacity investments, placing millions of pounds of material up for grabs.”
• Aluminum Myths – Perceptions & myths have kept aluminum in a niche market for years, but Anderson acknowledges that has changed, thereby referencing a recent quote from Ford’s past President and CEO Alan Mulally “…pound for pound, aluminum is stronger and tougher than steel and [aluminum] will be the material of choice for Ford moving forward.”
• Changing Sourcing Models - The convergence of factors, including “new market entrants, material availability, evolving sourcing options (direct / indirect), and the high value placed on scrap management are contributing to the emergence of new sourcing approaches,” which Anderson points out, “…is requiring every stakeholder to tweak their playbooks.”
• Expectations for Today’s Supplier - The plethora of sourcing options, is “complicating total landed cost models,” however Anderson suggests: “…those suppliers that are increasingly offering more value added services, are investing in their employees, have the capacity and proven capability, quality and risk mitigation approaches in place are increasingly the best positioned for the growth that is coming.”
Anderson highlighted numerous explanations for what it will take for suppliers to stay in the game, such as “capacity & capabilities ready where needed, more value-add with one supplier, and agility during periods of flux and market uncertainty” which she points out are areas that ABCo has pioneered and leveraged over its +37 year heritage in aluminum processing. However, Anderson said “there is no time for complacency and our team doesn’t take anything for granted. We know how quickly markets and models can change. We have been around a long time.” She also acknowledged that during these times of growth, “…purchasing executives need to be careful to not fall into the trap of making quick sourcing decisions based on the lowest cost provider, without fully validating recoveries, scrap value, quality and logistics,” which she says is contributing to ABCo being reestablished as the market leader in high quality aluminum processing. Anderson also recognized the support and strength of ABCo’s management team, staff, community and government partnerships, which is enabling the company for strong and sustainable growth.
To see the entire presentation by Laura Anderson, please click here.
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