Careers at Nucor
Nucor’s mission is to be the safest, highest quality, lowest cost, most productive, and most profitable steel and steel products company in the world.
Nucor is a provider ofsteel and steel-related products. The firm operates three reportable business segments:
- Steel Mills – Produces and distributes sheet steel (hot-rolled, cold-rolled, and galvanized), plate steel, structural steel (wide-flange beams, beam blanks, H-piling, and sheet piling) and bar steel (blooms, billets, concrete reinforcing bar, merchant bar, wire rod, and SBQ).
- Steel Products – Produces steel joists and joist girders, steel deck, fabricated concrete reinforcing steel, cold finished steel, steel fasteners, metal building systems, steel grating, wire, and wire mesh.
- Raw Materials – Produces DRI; brokers ferrous and nonferrous metals, pig iron, HBI and DRI; supplies ferro-alloys; and processes ferrous and nonferrous scrap metal.
At the turn of the 20th century automobile inventor Ransom Eli Olds launched Olds Motor Works in Michigan. In 1904 he left it to start a new firm, R.E. Olds Company, later changing it to REO Motor Car Company. He served as President before moving onto real estate speculation, which put him in financial straits, forcing him to sell his REO stock. REO’s sales fell when the Great Depression hit.
The company tried to rebound by diversifying, making lawnmowers and trucks. However, by 1955 it was headed for liquidation. A group of its activist stockholders saw promise in a small nuclear services firm called Nuclear Consultants. They challenged the liquidation and forced REO to take over the company in a “reverse takeover”. REO was then renamed Nuclear Corporation of America.
The new firm was the first public nuclear company. Its initial offerings involved nuclear energy, nuclear instrumentation, electronics, and chemicals. Unfortunately, its performance continued to be poor, motivating it to complete a series of acquisitions for unrelated products. One of these was Vulcraft, a metal fabrication business that specialized in girders and steel joists.
By the 1960s, Nuclear Corp. was losing $400,000 annually. Management decided to dump half of its divisions in response. Vulcraft eventually became the only healthy unit of the new conglomerate, accounting for 20% of the overall joist market. Nuclear Corp. got into steel production with a unit called Nucor Steel, which boosted its fortunes. In 1972, the firm was renamed Nucor Corporation.
Business model of Nucor
Nucor has a niche market business model, with a specialized customer segment. The company targets its offerings at steel service centers, fabricators, manufacturers, and general contractors.
Nucor offers three primary value propositions: innovation, performance, and brand/status.
The company has embraced innovation from the beginning. It has been groundbreaking as follows:
- The first mini mill for producing flat-rolled steel
- The introduction of thin-slab casting, which accounts for a large portion of flat-rolled steel
- The creation of Castrip, a thin-strip casting technology that converts molten steel directly into solid sheets, reducing energy use and maximizing manpower
The company has demonstrated strong performance through tangible results. Its Electric Arc Furnace, which operates at 90-to-150 megawatts, drives the mini mill process. It can transform 130 – 170 tons of scrap and iron into liquid steel in a matter of hours. It can also recycle an average of 1,200 pounds of steel every second of every hour daily.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It is the largest mini-mill steelmaker, and the largest producer of steel in the U.S., with a production capacity that exceeds 27 million tons. It is the largest recycler in North America, and recycled 16.9 million tons of scrap steel in 2015 alone.
Nucor’s main channel is its direct sales team. The company promotes its offering through its website, social media pages, and sponsorship of sports teams such as the Latitude 35 rowing team.
Nucor’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service nature. Customers utilize its products while having limited interaction with employees.
Nucor’s business model entails designing, developing, and manufacturing its products.
Nucor’s key partners are the suppliers that provide the raw materials and equipment it uses to manufacture its products. It also depends on truck transportation vendors and operators of transload facilities.
Nucor’s main resources are its physical resources, which include the following:
- Steel Mills segment - Eight manufacturing facilities in the United States and Canada and one distribution center in Veracruz, Mexico
- Steel Products segment - 80 operating facilities in 37 states and 27 operating facilities in Canada
- Raw Materials segment - 70 operating facilities in 16 states along with multiple brokerage offices in the United States and other locations
Nucor has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation. Its biggest cost driver is cost of products sold, a variable expense. Other major drivers are in the areas of sales/marketing and administration, both fixed expenses.
Nucor has one revenue stream: revenues generated from sales of its products to its customers. The sales typically occur through the formation of fixed-price contracts.
info: John J. Ferriola previously held numerous leadership positions at Nucor. These included Chief Operating Officer, Chief Operating Officer of Steel Making Operations, Executive Vice President, and General Manager of Nucor Steel Indiana.
info: James D. Frias previously held several leadership roles at Nucor. These included Vice President, Corporate Controller, Controller of Nucor Steel Indiana, and Controller of Nucor Building Systems Indiana.
info: R. Joseph Stratman previously held numerous leadership roles at Nucor. These included Vice President and General Manager of Nucor-Yamato Steel Company and Vice President of Nucor Steel Nebraska.
info: James R. Darsey previously had a number of leadership roles at Nucor. These included President of the Vulcraft/Verco Group, General Manager of Nucor Steel Texas, Vice President of Nucor, and General Manager of Vulcraft Texas.
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