Mr Henning Stams, CEO of Almatis Group
Refwin: What are the developments of Almatis in the past 2016 year?
Mr Henning Stams: Almatis evolved to position our business for the improving market conditions reached in 2016. We have reorganized our corporate management to make our decision making more effective and efficient – today’s world changes quickly and streamlining quickens our response. We continue to grow sales of specialty aluminasin refractories and across new markets also. With over 100 years of specialty alumina experience, Almatis continues to invest in the business and we are proud that Almatis is still the benchmark of this industry. Further technological development of aluminas moves our product line with innovative products that service our customers better, e.g. CA-670 Calcium Aluminate Cement.
Refwin: Since the increasing cost of industrial alumina, what is the effect on Almatis’ products and marketing?
Mr Henning Stams: The cost of feedstock is a key part of the total cost of alumina products. Any increase constitutes an increase in our total cost. Almatis tries to buffer such increases as well as possible with improved production efficiencies, but this has its limits.
Refwin: Which market regions are especially relevant for Almatis?Which market regions will be developed further?
Mr Henning Stams: Developing markets like India and China are our focus. Resources will be allocated toward these regions as investments are needed for the markets’ growth. Still, our U.S. and Western Europe business remains strong and strengthening. Markets also provide growth opportunities and Almatis pursues new business opportunities as they present. Almatis continually expands their product line for one-stop-shopping for alumina products in this industry.
Refwin: Almatis is the world's leading supplier of premium alumina. What are the main targets for the next years?
Mr Henning Stams: We strive to further develop our leading market position by a strong focus on innovation and cost efficiency.
Our Premium Alumina company is focused on value adding for our customers around the globe. Implementing Lean Management as a guiding principle brings cost improvement to the way we work. Improved processes will lead to improved quality, delivery and cost. We strive for excellence in everything we do and we use best practices the whole organization.
Refwin: Now Refwin have launched an online transactions platform for refractories players, where buyers and suppliers can order, pay, and ask for after service all online (currently only within China, but soon global). What are your views and plans on this new business form for refractories industry?
Mr Henning Stams: As an innovative leader of the Premium Alumina value chain, we constantly evaluate opportunities to improve our route to market. Customized application support requires technical expertise ensuring the implementation of the best solution for each of our customers.
Refwin: Thanks for talking to us!