Metal Center News

JAN 2018

Metal Center services the metal center and toll processor industry.

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Page 26 of 48

F or the modern metals executive, inventory can be a dirty word. Mills and end users don't want any of it. And service centers often want as little as possible, ideally sent out one door just moments after it arrives from the mill. For a West Coast distributor such as Totten Tubes Inc., the challenge is even more profound. The West Coast market is heavily in- fluenced by the import market, with its fewer domestic mill options lo- cally, smaller manufacturing base, geographic obstacles between the re- gion and the mills in the Midwest and Southeast, and relatively easy access to the market by Asian producers. "Imported coil and finished prod- ucts in tubing have a huge impact on the market," says Greg Totten, co- president and CEO of Azusa-Calif.- based Totten Tubes. "It feels a little more volatile, and it makes it a challenge to us to do what we do and stay competitive." Besides the import influence, the market is decidedly dif- ferent in terms of end use. Manufacturing is not the driver of economic activity out west. Instead, it's construction. That results in a business model that's largely transactional. "We can't depend on the big con- tracts that are going to fill our plate next year. It makes distribution like a job-shop model," says Paul Totten, co-president and COO. These factors make managing in- ventory even more difficult. Yet, the third-generation leaders are embrac- ing, rather than shrinking, from the task. "We're 100 percent committed to it. It's the exciting part of the busi- ness," Greg says. "We're really evolv- ing at managing the inventory. We're 26 ❘ Metal Center News — January 2018 Service Center Profile: Totten Tubes Inc. Taking Their Turn Totten Tubes Inc. " Our goal is to tighten the ship so that all branches are operating, essentially, with the same procedures as the mother ship, with variations based on regional requirements . " Greg Totten, Totten Tubes Totten Tubes Inc. West Coast tube specialist Totten Tubes is now under the third generation of family leadership. West Coast tube specialist Totten Tubes is now under the third generation of family leadership.

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