Steel Dynamics’ CEO receives industry accolades

Mark Millett named 2014 Steelmaker of the year at AISTech 2014 show.

May 8, 2014
Recycling Today Staff

Mark Millett, president and CEO of the steel minimill company Steel Dynamics Inc., headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, has been named 2014 Steelmaker of the Year at the AISTech 2014 convention. Additionally, Millett was recognized with the 2014 William Hogan Memorial Lecture Award.

The AISTech event, held May 5-8, 2014, is organized by the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), a nonprofit organization with 16,000 members from more than 70 countries that represents a network of steel industry knowledge and expertise.

The Steelmaker of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize contributions of a prominent individual to the steel industry.

In receiving the two awards, Millett said, “It is both gratifying and humbling to receive such an award when it is at the discretion of one’s peers.”

Millett’s second honor, the William Hogan Memorial Lecture Award, recognizes an individual who provides strong leadership to the iron and steel industry. Millett was recognized for his presentation titled “Making Money in the Steel Industry Is Not a Mystery.”

In remarks, Millett noted that SDI’s experience can be an example for other companies and industries. It’s easy to make money and outperform peers by doing three things right, he said. The first is to be sure that the average raw material input costs are lower than the competition’s. The symbiotic relationship between its steel and scrap operations helps SDI achieve this, he said.

The second tenit is to ensure that the average selling prices for its products are higher than the competition. SDI achieves this by focusing on creating value for its customers, developing niche market opportunities to insulate it from imports and by exploring new markets. This has allowed the company to sustain higher production utilization rates through market cycles, generating greater profitability.

The third focus area, and the key driver to the company's success, Millett said, is the company’s lowest cost operating culture. While having state-of-the-art facilities producing quality products is important, it is also critical to have a passionate culture in which to exploit it, he said. The right people in the right place create the backbone of a quality organization, and they will create and sustain value for a company, its customers and its shareholders.