A transactional relationship between British Steel and Heraeus Electro-Nite (HEN) was transformed into a true partnership, delivering millions of pounds of savings and putting the steel company at the forefront of technological innovation. British Steel began in 2016 when the Long Products Europe business of Tata Steel separated. This presented a chance to change what had often been an adversarial commercial relationship with HEN, a supplier of measurement systems for factors such as temperature, oxygen, carbon and hydrogen.
Now each year senior staff meet to review and agree priorities. HEN presents its new technology, while British Steel explains operational forecasts and challenges, leading to joint improvement projects. The work, driven by procurement, has enabled British Steel to be the first steel plant worldwide to adopt technology that has cut process time, enabled greater throughput and reduced wear. This is delivering annual savings of up to £2m.
Judges said: “A great example of turning a problematic relationship into a true partnership. A real alignment and focus on value creation in order to underpin growth.”