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Introduction of Group Companies
Metal One Specialty Steel Corporation.
From Value One Winter 2013-2014, No.43
Our Strengths and Distinctive Qualities
Meeting diverse processing needs at five processing centers in Japan
Developing new markets by sending personnel to four overseas business bases
Actively seeking alliances with fellow traders
A Leading Trading Company Focusing on the Specialty Steel Industry

Metal One Specialty Steel Corporation has a history of almost a century, counting back to when Hakama Steel Shoten Co., Ltd. set up in Osaka before World War II. It is the largest-scale trading company focusing on the specialty steel business in Japan. Through its nationwide network of five processing centers (in Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, Chubu and Kansai) and eight branches (in Tohoku, Kanto, Hokuriku, Chubu, Hyogo, Mizushima, Hiroshima and Kyushu), the company is engaged in stocking, processing and even distribution of diverse specialty steel items such as plates, sheets, bars and pipes. As a group of specialty steel professionals, it also provides high-value-added functions and services.

Metal One Specialty Steel was launched in 2005 by integrating three companies: Asahi Steel Co., Ltd.; MC Metal Works Co., Ltd.; and Ryoyo Steel Center Co., Ltd. In 2008, it merged with the Metal One's specialty steel division to become a giant trading company dedicated to the specialty steel business, handling transactions worth ¥150 billion a year.

Lately the company has been pursuing a strategy of forming alliances with fellow traders. Beginning with a tie-up arrangement made in 2010 with Hakuro Special Steel Co., Ltd. (Himeji-shi, Hyogo) for retail sales of structural steel bars in western Japan, Metal One Specialty Steel also allied with Metal One Group's Maxis Corporation (Minato-ku, Tokyo) in 2011 for business in eastern Japan. In other regions, too, the company is committed to mutual utilization of distribution, stocking and processing functions with regional specialty steel marketers.

"Domestic market pies have shrunk, and it is difficult for us alone to fully meet the market needs," explains President Yasutomo Koga on how his company's presence is perceived. "With our scale and network, we can become the hub of collaboration for the industry."

Since the auto industry accounts for about 60 percent of specialty steel demand, the company is proactively expanding its overseas business to ride on the wave of worldwide growth in auto production that has been building the last few years. In addition to strengthening its foreign trade capabilities, Metal One Specialty Steel has stationed representatives dedicated to the specialty steel business in Metal One's overseas offices in Thailand, Indonesia and Germany to track the trend of specialty steel customers to shift their operations overseas, resulting in a steady expansion in transactions. Especially in Thailand—where the company has its own warehouses and delivers goods unerringly to meet client needs—Metal One Specialty Steel performs the same functions and provides the same services it does back in Japan. It further plans to send personnel to other regions, with an eye to reinforcing its commitment to developing new markets in Asia and North America, where auto production is growing.

Since the specialty steel sector requires personnel with highly specialized knowledge, the company is making concerted efforts to develop its human resources. Besides sending employees to joint training sessions with Metal One, it also has a training program for young employees and mid-career staff, part of an all-out push to hand down skills and know-how to the younger generation.

 

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