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A market supplier for specialist steels

Even in the current somewhat difficult market environment Peter Schorr, Managing Director of Bepro, sees good opportunities for his company to continue on its positive development path. Be it an expanded product range or intensified business in Eastern Europe – the steel distributor relies on proactive approaches and creative ideas.

Peter Schorr

»If we don’t take care of the customers, someone else will do« – this is one of the principles followed by Peter Schorr, founder and managing director of the steel distribution company Bepro. This has kept the company on an uninterrupted growth track during the last 42 years. Schorr is proud to state that during these five decades the company has always closed with positive results. 2008 was closed with a record turnover of 85 million EUR.

Success based on a wide-ranging portfolio of special steels

Bepro is a well reputed player in the market. The company, which is based in the centre of the Ruhr Area, is not only known in Germany but all over Europe. With its wideranging portfolio, which not only comprises but distinguishes itself by special grades in special dimensions, the steel distributor from North RhineWestphalia has established itself as a niche supplier of specialist steels. »We want to be able to offer our customers exactly what they need and what they might not find elsewhere,« explains Peter Schorr his business strategy.

The product portfolio comprises wideflanged beams, angles, flats and wide flats as well as rounds and squares. The company usually has in stock about 30,000 t of steel products. Rounds are not only available in standard dimensions but also in intermediate sizes, from 8 mm through to 600 mm diameters. »Angles and sections in grade S355J2 are another mainstay of the range of products which we keep in stock,« adds Peter Schorr.

Eastern Europe: an increasingly attractive market

Deliveries to countries all over Europe are everyday business for Bepro. The company is planning to further expand its scope of action – especially in Eastern Europe. As the steel market in that region is becoming increasingly attractive for German companies, countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, Hungary, Ukraine and Poland are moving more and more into the focus. According to Peter Schorr, deliveries over long distances no longer pose a logistical problem. »But it is of crucial importance to become known in those markets.«

»Expanding our business in Eastern Europe is a medium to long term goal,« comments Schorr. But deliveries to Eastern Europe are already today a growth segment for Bepro. »The volumes of our deliveries to Eastern Europe have been constantly growing during the last few years,« adds Sören Filipczak, the second Managing Director of the company alongside Peter Schorr.

However, not only the European economy is concentrating. From a global perspective, also the world, especially the world of trade, has become smaller. »We have noticed that there are buyer for our products everywhere in the world,« states Peter Schorr, referring to new customer links, for example, in the Arab Emirates, China and Singapore. »These are first steps in a direction which we will be focussing with growing attention,« explains Sören Filipczak.

Deliveries to all key industrial sectors

To be able to supply its customers readily and at any time, Bepro has established a dense international network of suppliers and traders. Most steel products come from Western and Central Europe, including Great Britain. But also products from China, India, South Korea and Turkey have already been delivered to Bepro customers, who come virtually from all industrial sectors. From plant engineering, the energy industry, automotive industry and steel construction through to power plant engineering and the wind energy industry – in all sectors the company is highly reputed for its competence in supplying special steel grades and special dimensions.

New ideas offer opportunities

Both managing directors consider it their foremost tasks to continuously optimize the company’s product and service offer, be innovative and listen to the pulse of the market. To be able to cater even better to the demands of its customers, Bepro recently expanded its supply range and range of stored items. »We are considering adding further products of new grades in order to reach new customers worldwide,« states Schorr.

Specialists also in customer service

A key factor of the business is to know the customers’ requirements. Good service and immediate delivery are two indispensible elements. »Taking care of each customer individually has top priority for us«, emphasizes Schorr. »Another important aspect for us is to have fair dealings with our customers on a partnership basis – to the benefit of both sides.«

This makes the company a specialist not only in steel products but also in customer service – above all in handling special customer requests. »If a customer wishes to have a red line painted on a steel beam every ten centimetres, we’ll do that for him,« says Sören Filipczak. Be it unusual order volumes, complex logistics or complicated customs clearance procedures – Bepro has the necessary knowhow.The company has set itself the goal of reaching an annual trading volume of 100,000 tonnes of a wide range of different steel products.

The Managing Directors Peter Schorr and Sören Filipczak are confident that they will be able to reach this goal in the medium term.

The first months of 2011 give reason to optimism. Sales are going up and prices are stable. If this development continues 2011 might become a new record year.