Norfolk Iron & Metal to Acquire Cd’A Metals

NORFOLK, NE and SPOKANE, WA, December 15, 2020 — Norfolk Iron & Metal, Co. (“NIM”), a full-line steel service center, and The Coeur d’Alenes Company (Cd’A Metals), a full-line metal service center in the Inland Northwest, jointly announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement in which NIM will acquire Cd’A Metals. The transaction is expected to close on or before December 31, 2020.

The acquisition will complement NIM’s market coverage, adding three new locations in the Northwest, and further expand NIM’s product lines and processing capabilities. NIM first expanded its western geographic reach with its acquisition of Metalwest in 2018.

“We are pleased to welcome the Cd’A team members to the NIM family,” Richard Robinson, Chairman and CEO of NIM, said. “This investment represents a strategic opportunity to increase our capacity and geographic presence and is integral to our commitment to meet the growing needs of our customers. Cd’A Metals’ complementary capabilities combined with its long history of success positions us well to further develop our business in the northwestern markets.”

“It is a great opportunity for Cd’A Metals to join the NIM team,” said Lawrence Coulson, CEO of Cd’A Metals. “It was important that Cd’A Metals continue to be family-owned. Combining Cd’A Metals with NIM and Metalwest creates a family of companies that provides a broad geographic footprint, expanded processing capabilities and deep product offering ready to meet the growing demands of our customer base.”

Heritage Capital Group is serving as financial advisor, and Witherspoon Kelley is providing legal services, to Cd’A Metals. Abrahams Kaslow & Cassman LLP is acting as legal counsel to NIM.

About Cd’A Metals
Cd’A Metals is a full-line metal service center and supplier, headquartered in Spokane, Washington. With three locations across the Inland Northwest, the company provides bar and structural steel, plate and sheet products, as well as ornamental iron. Founded in 1884, Cd’A Metals has offered over a century of processing expertise to the metals industry and is a member of the Metal Service Center Institute (MSCI) and the North American Steel Alliance. For more information, visit www.cdametals.com.

About Norfolk Iron & Metal
Norfolk Iron & Metal, Co. (NIM) is a full-line steel service center headquartered in Norfolk, Nebraska. It is one of the nation’s largest and most technologically advanced steel providers. In 2018, NIM acquired Metalwest, a leading processor and distributor of non-ferrous and carbon flat rolled metal products. With 13 locations across the U.S., NIM’s warehouses are stocked with more than 3,000 items including carbon steel beams, angles, channels, flat-roll sheet and coil, plate, and tubing. NIM has been a family-run business since 1908 and is a member of MSCI. For more information, visit www.norfolkiron.com.

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December 2020 Insight Guide: Market Indicators

The Economy

The U.S. economy is seen as more resilient than many people think. According to Rick Rieder, BlackRock’s CIO of global fixed income, there is potential for gains in parts of tech, consumer, cyclical areas such as industrials, as well as housing and some leisure sectors, with the expectation of a vaccine expected to boost service sectors.

He also does not expect inflation to rise strongly as he expects the Federal Reserve to push back from yields moving much higher.

The U.S. economy added 245,000 jobs in November, the fewest since April, while the unemployment rate fell to 6.7% as many people stopped looking for work and were no longer counted as unemployed.

Key Indicators

The Architecture Billings Index rose to a score of 47.5 in October, up slightly from September’s reading. This indicates that the share of firms seeing their billings decline shrank further (a score under 50 indicates a decline in billings).

The November Purchasing Managers Index registered at 57.5%, down 1.8 points from October. This indicates expansion in the overall economy for the seventh consecutive month, as a score above 50 represents expansion. The New Orders Index registered at 65.1%, down 2.8 points from the previous month. The Production Index registered at 60.8%, down 2.2 points from the previous month.

Consumer confidence declined in November as the Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index registered at 96.1, down from 101.4 in October.

Industry News

Buyers in the U.S. steel industry are pessimistic about their ability to secure tons in the beginning of the new year as limited supply is pushing prices up. HRC futures hit a yearly low of $447 per ton in August. However, the benchmark steel prices has since risen more than 80%. While domestic supply is currently tight, analysts expect it to to come back online during the first half of 2021.

Aluminum prices are  still rising, even as global production continues to increase. Much of the rise is due to a resurgent Chinese economic recovery, which drove strong domestic demand that the country has switched to becoming a net importer on key materials. Meanwhile, North American output reached 334,000 metric tons, up from 317,000 metric tons in the previous month and up from 316,000 metric tons the same time last year.

For more information, view the December 2020 Market Insight Guide below or contact your local sales representative.

Metalwest Market Insight - December 2020
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ISO Certification: What is it?

It all started with a piece of candy. I walked out onto the floor to complete my first audit. I knew I didn’t want to be labeled as “that auditor,” I wanted to be helpful, and I wanted to provide value. So, with these thoughts on my mind I walked up to the packager on the floor and handed him a piece of candy.

I asked how his day was.
I asked him to explain what he was working on.
Last, I asked what causes him the most frustration.

When it was all said and done our organic conversation turned into a completed audit where I was able to capture many exciting opportunities that I couldn’t wait to share.

Similar to the organic nature of my first audit experience, Metalwest has adopted and built a very simple yet effective Quality Management System (QMS). The evolution of our QMS has changed the perception of “ISO”. Audits are no longer a dreaded task; they have become an opportunity for us to show-and-tell what Metalwest does best! It didn’t change overnight, but the evolution has successfully shown that over the past couple of years when our external auditor leaves, we are left with only opportunities that will make us better.

So what is ISO? What is a Quality Management System (QMS)? Let me break down how Metalwest has been able to align our QMS with the ISO fundamentals by taking a simple approach and letting the people drive the work.

What is the benefit to being ISO Certified?

This is the most frequently asked question. Our ISO certificate gives our customers evidence that Metalwest will be able to consistently provide them with quality products and services. Some customers require their suppliers to be ISO certified. And for those that don’t require ISO certification, most still require proof that we have all of the ISO required elements in place. The best way to meet this need is to send them our ISO Certificate instead of spending valuable resources participating in multiple customer-specific audits. It’s like being a part of the Better Business Bureau, it gives us some street cred’.

What exactly is ISO 9001:2015?

It’s an international standard that outlines elements of an effective Quality Management System. The ISO 9001:2015 standard is separated into 10 sections listed below.

Sections 1.0 – 4.0: Scope and Context

Who are we and what do we do? Instead of mirroring the ISO Standard itself changing words like “you shall” to “Metalwest does”, we got straight to the point with a one-page Quality Manual capturing exactly who we are and what we do.

Sections 5.0 – 6.0: Leadership and Planning

This section gets into how a company plans on getting work done while managing risk. This is where we showcase our “Playbook” which captures all of our metrics, trends, notes and is a fantastic tool that we use to communicate from our parent company and throughout our organization on a daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly basis.

Section 7.0; Support

Do we have the resources we need to conduct business? Trained People, Standard Processes, Maintained Equipment and Quality Materials – these are the heartbeat of the Metalwest Quality Management System. We use our procedures to document how we manage these parts of our business. We store how-to-guides, keystrokes, helpful information, forms and reference documents all in one neat package. Then we deliver this package to our employees to provide them with the knowledge they need to do their job.

Section 8.0 – 10.0: Operations, Evaluation, and Improvement

These sections oversee the process controls we have in place to ensure a consistent quality product delivered to our customer. Just as important, when something goes wrong how do we manage through it? Metalwest uses a Corrective Action system to capture problems and identify the root cause. We utilize our Corrective Actions and Internal Audits to evaluate our processes with the goal of preventing defects from getting to our customers. Overall Metalwest is constantly evaluating its processes through audits, reviewing trends in performance and deciding what problems we want to solve and what opportunities we can capture and share.

Metalwest has taken a unique approach to ISO by capturing what we do best and aligning it with the ISO standard. We utilize tools in our systems like Corrective Actions to capture gaps and find ways to bridge those gaps by developing simple approaches that work organically with our people and processes. Most importantly, we avoid using the ISO standard to push work, instead we use it to define what our people need to be successful. This has given us an even stronger foundation to continuously improve our products and services.

Post by: Rachael Watanabe, quality systems engineer for Metalwest.