Stockholding in the past equated to little more than ‘breaking bulk’; buying in volume from mills and selling on smaller quantities to lots of different customers. However, as customers began to request material ‘cut-to-length’, stockholders responded by offering a processing service using relatively lowtech equipment such as bandsaws and circular saws. Says Ralph Robinson, Managing Director of Barrett Steel Ltd’s Tubes Division: “We then realised that what customers actually wanted was a finished component, and we knew we could both justify and fund the purchase of the high-tech equipment needed to deliver exactly that, while taking cost out of the customer’s manufacturing process.”
The first step was to set up LaserTUBE Cutting, initially as a subsidiary of ISO 9001:2000-accredited tube and hollow section stockholder Tubes (UK) Ltd, to process stainless steel hollow sections for the coach-building industry. Now a separate company within the Barrett Steel Group, one of the largest independent steel stockholders in the UK, LaserTUBE Cutting in partnership with Tubes UK provides what Ralph Robinson describes as “the total solution in processing tubes and hollow steel sections.”
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