Alicia Cole is a Materials Manager in the Procurement department of Kloeckner Metals. She has been with the company for almost four years. She started her journey here when she had been looking for a new career path and a recruiter suggested Kloeckner. “Procurement seemed to be an interesting new career path to take. I have learned a lot from this position so far and look forward to learning much more.” Alicia says.
Material management is a key role in Kloeckner’s success. It is as important as manufacturing, IT, and finance. The supply of proper quality of materials is essential for manufacturing products. The prevention of material wastage helps in controlling the cost of production. Alicia explains, “If one of the branches needs help with quoting material and or getting the material on order, they would come to me. I also monitor their inventory levels to make sure that they have branch stock available.”
Although most are familiar with her role, Alicia says there are still some misconceptions about what she does. “Some might think we are simply buying the branch’s stock. As a material manager, we must be very alert at all times. We handle a lot of large quotes for the branches and that requires us to stay aware of what’s going on in the market so that we can ensure our quote is competitive. We must also study the annual usage and trends on each item in our branches inventory, in order to correctly maintain their inventory levels. There are a lot of moving parts that go into all that we do.”
Alicia also says she is thrilled that Kloeckner has a strong focus on digitalization and it is what sets them apart from other steel service centers. I agree with Mr. Ganem’s values in forward-thinking and digitalization. I find that some aspects of the steel industry are still handled in a very traditional manner when they could be modernized to create greater efficiency. As a young employee, Alicia says she believes she brings a lot of drive and energy to the table. Along with the coworkers on her team, she believes they all offer fresh new perspectives that can help take the company in the direction that the executive team envisions for Kloeckner Metals.
“A lot of my team is made up of millennials. We all share the strong drive for success and are willing to put in the work to achieve it. I am constantly learning from my coworkers, whether it is learning of new mill sources/reps or fixing errors made in Steel II. One great thing about having coworkers is that we can always continue to learn from each other and take advantage of each other’s knowledge.” Alicia says. And she is proud to be part of a steel company that is implementing strategies to ensure they are in line with the need that the digital generations have become accustomed to.
As for Alicia’s future with Kloeckner, she says she is currently working exclusively with pipe and tubing and has goals to set to expand her knowledge into all KMC products.