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    Tata Steel

    Depend on our tailored solutions for cost savings and flexibility

    Steelmaker works in partnership with RS Local to reduce the cost of MRO purchases

    RS drives strategic improvements through a range of innovative solutions

    As an omnichannel solutions provider, RS is in a unique position to understand the complex needs of its customers and to help these businesses streamline their processes and make cost efficiencies.

    Our RS Local network is made up of 17 branches, located across the UK and Ireland. With dedicated Branch Experts on hand to offer advice and expertise, each RS Local holds thousands of products carefully selected to support local businesses, with same-day collection or a range of custom delivery and packing options.

    Challenge

    Tata Steel is one of Europe’s largest steel producers and serves key markets including construction, automotive, and packaging. Its primary steelmaking site in Port Talbot, South Wales, employs around 4,000 people and is home to two blast furnaces capable of producing five million tonnes of iron each year.

    Like many manufacturers, Tata Steel is continually looking for ways to improve procurement efficiencies while keeping an eye on costs. Each year, the steelmaker recruits up to 30 manufacturing apprentices. Every apprentice requires a set list of site-approved tools and equipment, including electronic cutters, hammers, hacksaws and chisels.

    Totalling 44 items, each tool had to be purchased individually and then stored and assembled as a kit by Tata Steel stores personnel, before being distributed to the new starters. This was a time-consuming, costly, and labour-intensive job, which sometimes led to an inconsistent mix of products across the workforce.

    Solution

    RS has worked closely with Tata Steel for decades, with RS Local’s South Wales branch playing an instrumental role in delivering products and services tailored to meet the needs of the steelmaker. This partnership allowed the RS Local team to identify how value-added solutions like its kitting service could be used to streamline and simplify the cumbersome process.

    RS Local’s Graham Steele explains: “We worked with the Tata Steel team to identify and approve a kit that would be suitable for each of the engineering apprentices. This included a large number of RS PRO products, which attracted savings in comparison to branded products.”

    Each of the apprentice kits is now collated and assembled by the RS Local South Wales branch team, freeing up the time previously spent by Tata Steel personnel sourcing and purchasing tools from multiple suppliers before being put together in-house. “Our kitting service can help customers like Tata Steel achieve soft cost savings and streamline time-consuming processes,” adds Graham.

    Outcome

    The service has helped Tata Steel reduce costs, with savings of approximately £146 per kit,** **with the added reassurance that the kit is compliant. In the five years since it was launched, the kitting solution has saved Tata Steel thousands of pounds.

    The time spent on sourcing and compiling the kits has also been freed up, while the procurement process has been streamlined with a single purchase order and invoice required instead of dealing with multiple vendors.

    The bespoke kitting solution is just one of a number of services RS provides Tata Steel. The branch has also assigned a dedicated team member to deal with all of the customer’s operational requirements. RS also provides a direct-to-desk delivery service, which is particularly important to the steelmaker’s operations given the size of its Port Talbot site. Using a dedicated driver, who has authorisation to enter the site, RS orders are delivered directly to the named individual at their location of work.

    The kitting service has made a real difference for us. We no longer need to purchase the parts separately or hold the kits on site, so the whole process keeps us compliant, saves us time and money.

    Richard Powell Electrical Instructor at Tata Steel

    Flexible and supportive

    RS Locals are open Monday to Friday from 8.00am until 4.30pm.

    Contact your local branch now to find out what we can do for you.

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