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Highlights of 05/2009

Created: 2/2/2009
Author: Recorded by: Iveta FIALOVA
Category: 05/2009

George F. Babcoke met on meetings with company managers

The company president George F. Babcoke met on three meetings with more than three hundred company managers yesterday, February 10th. The main subject was the company busi­ness. He reviewed last year results in the first part while in the second President talked about current market situation.
As he said, year 2008 was exceptionally good for the company despite of weaker market during the last quarter.­ Mr. Babcoke passed Chairman and CEO John Surma thanks to all employees for the work done last year.
Year 2009 will be much harder. As he stressed we cannot just wait and rely­ on market, this will not help us.

We will not wait we have to act
“We will not sit and wait until the situation is better, but we act to be successful in the hard times. I am convinced that we are capable to do that.” He pointed mainly to the fact that if we are flexible and act quickly we can make a good starting point and use it for our gain when the market situation improves. This is a challenging situation and we have to be flexible.
It is difficult to make a market outlook for this year. Similarly as in the last quarter of last year, lower customers’ orders continue in the first quarter, too. They are still using steel from stocks. Majority of our customers reduced their production and we adjusted our production to their demand.

Our response to market conditions is further cost reduction and generation of cash
“We have to make a difficult decisions as was a regulation of a work­ing time”, said the president and appreciated an understanding and co-o­peration­ with trade unions. Also the measure in partial compensation of contributions done by the Slovak government could help the company. “I am glad that the government has accepted the proposal and I believe it will also be supported in the Parliament and that we can hold employment in these difficult times.”

Utilizing our own people
The company reduced most of the external services. These are being performed now by our own employees and employees of USSK daughter companies. President evaluated the cooperation with them in a positive way. They are creative when utilizing the labor resources. There is a need to continue in a trend of costs reduction in all areas­ with no dramatic actions that could impact the employment, G. Babcoke emphasized. „Although the production­ division did a lot in this direction already,“ he stated, „there is a need to do more. Either in an area of strategic raw materials purchasing or in an area of the energies consumption. The costs for transportation can be reduced as well.“

Possiblities are everywhere
He encouraged the attendees to seek for the possibilities that could lower­ the costs and minimize the losses. He proved that it is possible by presentation of particular examples. He mentioned that we were able to substitute the activities of suppliers in investment area. We can make sav­ings within various types of services of our external suppliers, re-evaluate the payment conditions, etc.

New quality culture
Very important is to produce the good quality products. The approach of all has to be improved in this direction.­ The salesmen have a chance­ now to convince more customers. „Everybody can find his/her own way to contribute to the most effective run of the company,“ president addressed the attendees. He also informed all that the management in Serbian plant is making similar steps as here in Košice.

Safety stays priority
The most important is, as president pointed out at the end of the meeting, the maximum safe performance of all the tasks. „It is our responsibility and duty to see that our employees are leaving the plant as healthy as when they came in,“ he addressed the present managers.


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