Kloeckner’s Hawaii branch is unique. It has three completely different profit centers, and all three are high value-added businesses. The branch’s galvanizing plant is the only one in the state, and the branch manufactures premium metal roofing. As a steel distributor, the branch also has value-added capabilities such as burning, punching/drilling holes, shearing, and saw cutting.
“Our uniqueness is how diversified our product offering is,” said Diane Malinovich, vice president and general manager of the Hawaii branch.
Hawaii is geographically the most remote place on the planet. Surrounded by the ocean, the salt-laden air is very corrosive. As a result, roofs need to be replaced, making metal roofing a real mainstay of the Hawaii branch’s business.
“We’ve expanded our capabilities on the metal roofing side, and have really become more of a major player in that segment,” Diane said.
The corrosive atmosphere also makes galvanization very important. In 2018, the Hawaii branch plans on upgrading its galvanization facilities by installing a new furnace. The furnace heats the molten zinc in the kettle to a constant 835 degrees, where it stays 24-7.
“What we are looking at doing is completely upgrading our furnace and other components within the plant,” Diane said.
The physical distance of Hawaii from the mainland doesn’t pose any logistical problems thanks to regular shipping schedules from the West Coast. Despite the large physical distance, the Hawaii branch maintains lead times that are typically two weeks, for product on the floor, to ship. Suppliers are clustered near the major port areas on the mainland and offer sailing options on different vessels.
In addition, “we source special buyout items routinely, which involves shipping from coast to coast” Diane said, which can include shipping via rail car, trucking, and barging, or container ships to the Port of Honolulu.
The work atmosphere at the Hawaii branch is positive, upbeat and very customer focused. The team is happy and driven. Everyone takes great pride in their work, the branch and the company. They follow the golden rule, treating each other and the customers with respect and appreciation.
“Everybody has fun,” Diane said. “If you enjoy what you do, it’s not work. It is a very harmonious team-effort atmosphere.”