By William L. Douglass
Read the Original Modern Metals Article HERE
For more than 50 years – for as long as we have been in business – we have been recognized by our colleagues and leaders in the world’s steel industry for our ability to accurately forecast market trends and act upon them quickly. In addition, we continue to stand out among our competitors for our best practices in such important business functions as purchasing, inventory management, employee relations and customer service.
While our company’s success is a great source of pride for our management team and our employee family, the fact that we continue to attract positive coverage by local and trade media is a constant reminder that good things really do happen to good people. In this case our entire organization. Here’s the latest example of all the LexCentral “news that is fit to print!”
In the August issue of Modern Metals, one of the country’s leading magazines aimed at metal service centers, fabricators, original equipment manufacturers and end-users, LexCentral was featured in a feature article in which I was interviewed on a variety of subjects, from vendor relations to manpower demands, from equipment investment to resource efficiency.
Asked about our perspective on the supply chain, for instance, I was quoted as saying
“We have to be responsible in how we buy and sell and lead customers inn the right way. It’s not just being an expert on this. No one outsmarts the market every time…we sometimes call the market wrong…but the trick is just to be right more than wrong. Perfectly timing the market is an illusion. Getting the trends correct may not yield the home run but will consistently deliver savings with less risk. We line the mills up right and consistently supply at consistently competitive prices.”
On the subject of inventory control, I said “LexCentral helps customers turn their inventory faster. If they call us before noon, we will have an order to their door the next morning. We have inventory, we have trucks and drivers. We help them control their inventory and take out their speculation, thereby reducing costs.”
The article covered every aspect of our business.
Earlier this year, we were the focus of a feature story in Metal Center News, another influential trade publication. The writer began his story by stating that “there is no steel distribution business quite like the one operated by the Douglass family” and “has become one of the fastest-growing enterprises in the steel distribution sector.”
The article continued to describe the unique attributes that have led to our success over a half-century, including the decision to invest in our own trucking company to alleviate our transportation needs.
Speaking of our growth, I am quoted as saying:
“Some companies (in the steel distribution market) that did a lot of acquisitions in the past, they had sales guys undercutting one another. We try not to overlap. We may acquire another service center that does what Lexington does, but only in another part of the country that gives us more depth.
“One benefit of the growth of the entire enterprise comes in purchasing. It’s helped us as a steel buyer, there’s no question about it. We’re almost to the point where we can buy nearly anything you can make. We’ve always had good mill relationships, but this has done nothing but help it.”
The article concludes on the subject of market change, and I summarize by saying: “If we can turn steel into a time-sensitive market, we win.”
Being in the news on a consistent basis is our intention. It is not my personal ego that drives the media to our door, rather it is our achievements and industry participation that attracts positive attention to the Lex Group. I am proud of our company and everyone who contributes to our success – and that by itself is newsworthy.
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