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Stainless steel producer invests big in high-quality products and long-distance service

Stainless steel producer invests big in high-quality products and long-distance service

By Venus Posted November 5, 2015 In Stainless Steel Wires

Stainless steel producer invests big in high-quality products and long-distance service.

Stainless steel consumers around the world rely on Venus Wires Indus­ tries. Why does this Mumbai, India-based company matter? Venuswires exports products to over 50 countries with 95 percent of its out­ put shipped into North America and Europe.Venus Sales and Marketing Director Pratik Sanghvi shares with Modem Metals the traits and practices that have kept the lights on for 50 years, with­ out needing to establish production in North America.

All in the family

Although 8,000 miles away, Sanghvi treats American customers as if they were down the street. A family-o,,,ned company, Venus \/Vires is not just a voice-operated , order-taking telephone system. A second­ generation owner, Sanghvi says the company values humanity over business.

“We firmly believe that business is built for people. Our belief is reflected in our approach with all levels of the supply chain. Be it our suppliers, customers or em­ ployees, we treat them all with dignity and respect. We treat them as our extended family and de­ velop long-term relations,”he says. While the “familial”relationships Venus has formed around the world are its foundation to establishing the three-tiered company, its specially formulated stainless steel produ cts are the anchor its customers rely on. Venus Wires Industries Pvt. Ltd., a di­ vision of the Venus Group, started as a trading company in 1965 selling stainless steel long products within India. In 1990, Venus expanded its production unit to export mate­rial. A young supplier in the export market, the mill quietly grew its presence in the stain­ less steel global arena. Venus Wires sells to a wide range of in-dustries: automotive, oil & gas, medical, hydraulics and pneumatic equipment, shipbuilding and, more recen tly, aero­ space, Sanghvi says.

In addition to Venus Wires, the parent group operates Venus Weld and Venus Bars from a plant near India’s busiest seaport, Nhava Sheva. Total production capacity is 60,000 metric tons per year. With 1,000 employees, Venus Group makes round, square and hexagon shapes in various sizes, including its trademark products, the VSQ bar (PSQ), FitMach machining-grade stainless bar, Solenoid quality bar and Tru:Tuf stainless steel bar. Its production quality is backed by ISO 9001, ISOfTS 16949, AS 9100, TS 14001, OHSAS 18000 and ASME Section III certifications.

Finished entirely witl1in the Mumbai factory, ilie stainless products are con­ trolled from “ingot to shipment,” Sanghvi says. Stainless steel products are heat treated in-house in Venus’ computer-con­ trolled furnaces to customer specifications, giving Venus full command of the prod­ uct, keeping heat consistent and making scheduling amenable to abrupt changes. Products undergo rigorous surface rough­ ness tests, l00 percent crack testing, tolerance tests by laser micrometer and ring gauge testing prior to shipment.

Flexible arrangements

Sanghvi says Venus strives to be highly flex­ ible in order to adapt to ilie specific needs of niche markets. Its engineers are always on hand, experimenting “Willi special chemistries to reach customers’ desired specifications. “In the grades we make there are more tl1an 10 different chemical compositions each to suit different appli­ cation requirements. Our flexibility over all these processes and meeting exactly what a customer needs gives Venus ilie added advantage.”

Steve Spradley, owner of Best Stainless & Alloys LP, Houston, has worked with Venus for over a decade. Since its founding in 2003, Best sought suppliers iliat could formulate chemistries distinct to its brand . “Of course, we buy from many different mills but they’re one of our key suppliers, and a good supplier,” says Spradley. A stocking service center that workswitl1pre­ mium specialty stainless and nickel alloy bars, Best Stainless’ performs such processes as honing, turning, heat treating and water jet machining. Finished bars are sold into markets like oil & gas, rotating equipment, mining and petrochemical.

One of tl1e special chemistries Venus supplies Best Stainless is PSQ bar for pump shafts. Ranging &om inch to 5 inches in a va riety of grades 20-.foot random lengtl1s, Venus formulates ilie PSQ bars to match Best Stainless’ customers’ requirements.

“This development has helped Venus”
Venus’ 300 metric ton power press treats precision straightening bar up to 6 inches in diameter and 25 feet in length for the oil& gas industry.

achieve [a rate of] less ilian l00 parts per million for products tl1at don’t match the specifications … for PSQ bars (madeJ for Best Stainless. Such reliability helps our customers grow their business more witl1 lower inventories and fewer complaints &om ilieir customers,”says Sanghvi.Spradley adds that competitive pricing and customer service have kept Best Stain­ less loyal. “Customer service has been excellent,” naming Sanghvi and sales rep­ resentative Thrideep Pillai as timely and courteous when addressing errors or con­ cerns.

Direct delivery

A primary concern for distributors-no matter the time difference-is prompt de­ livery. Aware of the long-distance trip its products must take, Venus is on high alert when it comes to packaging and delivery. The mill rigorously checks material quality to ensureorder accuracy prior toshipment. “Most of our business in ilie United States is with DDP, delivered and duty paid. Once a customer places the order wiili us, we take care of all other factors involved to complete the transaction. We deliver our goods right to tl1eir warehouse on flatbed trucks, exactly like a local sup­ plier. Hence, for customers it’s as good as buying locally. We have long relationships with shipping and warehousing compa­ nies locally to handle all our needs,” explains Sanghvi, adding that, because surface quality is so important,each bar is bundled in “seaworthy packing to avoid any damage caused during transit.”

Venus has an 80 percent on-time delivery rate. Ocean-goingvesselscan face delays. To communicate unpredictable changes, cus­ tomers are given weekly progress reports “and-in case of supply linestoppage on ilie customer’s end -we also deliver the mate­ rial via air;’says Sanghvi.

Although Venus conducts the vast bulk of its business dealings from India, face time is not out of ilie question. Venus has four manufacturer’s representatives serving ilie United States who are on call to re­ solve problems and give in-person attention to critical needs. These reps are educated on stainless steel long products, acting as liaisons for Venus, reporting back to Venus management.

Spradley says Venus representatives proactively seek resolutions without delay. “‘vVe takeour claimsvery seriously. We pay attention to the smallest feedback from our customers and try to implement [changesJ in our procedures to avoid problems in the future. When we receive any complaints, it is always followed up by a local rep­ resentative’s visit, who collects samples and sends them to India. After detailed study of our internal procedures and samples, we de­ rive conclusions and take necessary action,” says Sanghvi.

Ultimately, Venus wants to guarantee quality products for its customers, no matter how far the material travels. Nearly 25 years after introducing its product to the United States, Venus is now a supplier for several ma jor service centers, a segment that has grown 10 percent annually. Sanghvi anticipates Venus Group will increase its production capacity down the road, noting the auto­ motive and medical markets are looking “very good” in 20 15.

Sanghvi cannot emphasize thegroup’s philosophy-humanity over business-enough,saying, ‘We discourage all unethical trade practices and cultivate self-respect and freedom among the peo­ ple working with us. Venus always aims to have sustainable development and build a business for the people.”