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Manufacturers in the metal fastener and associated industries could be costing themselves thousands of pounds a year in lost time and productivity by not providing all the appropriate information when placing an order for raw materials.

Sheffield based international metals stockist and supplier, Broder Metals Group, has carried out an analysis of missing information on orders it has taken and has concluded that customers could save themselves thousands of pounds by ensuring compete details are provided when placing an order.

UK Sales Team Manager at Broder Metals Group, Richard Learad says the results of the analysis surprised everyone at the company.

"We looked through a number of orders taken in the last year and realised that we had spent extra time going back to the client asking for essential information that we need in order to source and supply materials. Sometimes it's really simple things like the size, shape and quantity involved but on others it can be vitally important technical details. This all takes time at our end which can impact on our stated aim of a quick response to quoting, order processing and delivery. More importantly, it can mean the customer delays work on the next order it has to fulfil, which is not good news and impacts on the bottom line," says Richard.

Broder Metals Group is committed to same or next day delivery of materials ordered, which is why it carried out the research, so it can pass on information to customers.

"Sometimes it's a simple oversight that can be sorted quickly but if the technical details such as the GE specifications are not correct or incomplete it can cause real problems. For instance, many GE specifications cover a range of properties required, and the reference number determines which properties we have to supply against. We may be given a specification for an order such as VGS.5.540.1 Revision 1, but there are up to 220 different combinations of tensile and test requirements that are indicated by a set of numbers that follow this specification; for example VGS.5.540.0 Rev 11 – 21. Without the complete code we run the risk of supplying inappropriate material that can then cause problems for the end user. The same applies for the condition and chemistry of the metals we supply to fastener industry manufacturers. We cannot quote against incomplete order information and the time we spend obtaining the details means lost productivity for customers which is always costly," says Richard.

Managing Director of Broder Metals Group, Mark Burton, says the company is taking steps to address the problem in order to speed up the delivery process and save customers money. "We have created a new Processing Unit that spans all aspect of the company from order taking to sourcing to dispatching from the warehouse. The aim is to ensure that everyone in the company has all the knowledge they need to ensure we meet our commitment to same or next day delivery and order details will form a key part of that process," says Mark.

Broder Metals Group is a leading supplier of nickel alloys, high tensile stainless steel, duplex, super duplex, flanges and fittings to fastener manufacturers. The company employs 21 people at its head office in Ecclesfield, Sheffield from where it dispatches orders to customers located in 42 different countries.


For more information on Broder Metals Group visit

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Rotherham’s young “make-up artist to the stars” is celebrating a huge boost to her business and proving that with the right support start-up businesses can really take fly.


Earlier this year Katie Daley-Ahern (24) from Swinton near Rotherham launched her own Professional Make-Up Artist business. She aimed to provide full make-up services for brides and bridal parties in her local area – little did she know that months after the launch her work would be featured on the front page of Hello! magazine and that she would be working with a raft of pop music celebrities.

Katie launched her new business in March after applying for funding from UK Steel Enterprise’s Kickstart Fund, which she used to pay for essential equipment and stock; she also received support from Rotherham Youth Enterprise with her business planning.  

“It’s been amazing to go from starting the business to doing the make-up for former Miss England Georgia Horsley at her marriage to McBusted front man Danny Jones. I did the whole bridal party including singer Ellie Goulding and when Hello! magazine featured the wedding it felt out of this world to see my work on the front page. Next month I give tips on make-up in another Hello! title. I’m now having to think about taking on additional service support to cope with the calls I’m getting but I will never forget the help I got when starting out. Without the grant from UK Steel Enterprise I could never have set up the studio which got me going. Most of my bookings, including Georgia Horsley’s wedding, come from referrals, which is the best way to grow a new business like mine. I’m just loving being so busy at the moment,” said Katie.

Katie uses her salon room to do test sessions with her clients, which could be the bride, bridesmaids as young as 12 or any of the girls and ladies in the bridal party. The young entrepreneur has several years of experience behind her working in professional beauty salons that she used to draw on to launch her own business.

Applicants to the Kickstart Fund can get support from Rotherham Investment & Development Office and Rotherham Youth Enterprise to help them with business planning and mentoring through the early stages of running the business.  The Fund takes applications from young people aged up to 30 that are looking to start a business and need help to get trading. UK Steel Enterprise has helped over 200 people start a business in Rotherham since 2009.

UK Steel Enterprise is a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Steel. Its Kickstart Fund provides grants of up to £500 to start-up businesses to purchase essential equipment and or services that can get them trading. Its main investment fund provides business finance in amounts from £25,000 up to £750,000 to companies in South Yorkshire and other areas affected by changes in the steel industry.

Hayley Middlebrook of UK Steel Enterprise says that Katie looks set to become a rising star in her business sector.

“It’s great to see Katie being so successful in such a short time. She clearly has the skills she needs to keep customers satisfied. With the start she’s had she really could reach for the stars; we wish her all the best for the future and look forward to seeing her business expand further,” says Hayley.

Jackie Frost, Manager of Rotherham Youth Enterprise encouraged more people to follow Katie into self-employment in saying; “Katie is a great example of what can be achieved with self-belief and determination. We are happy to have helped her with the grant application process and are already talking to her about how we can provide further support so she can grow the business.”

Anyone wanting to make an application to the Kickstart Fund should call Rotherham Youth Enterprise on0114 269 5053.

Kaitie's work can be seen on her Facebook page at by clicking here  

Photo caption: Kaite adds the finishing touches to Hayley's make-up while she reads about Katie's work in Hello!

A football project in Rotherham has received vital funding  for a project helping to reduce anti-social behaviour among young people.

The Great Millers Youth Forum, which works in association with the Rotherham United Community Sports Trust (RUCST) received a grant of £1,500, made up in equal parts from the UK Steel Enterprise Charitable Fund and the AESSEAL Charitable Trust Community First Endowment Fund for South Yorkshire. The funds are being used to support a football training project that helps young people between the ages of 16 and 24  to engage in activities that can develop social skills and increase health and wellbeing.


Mused Salem from the Forum says that the funding is critical for a number of reasons. “The areas we work in have some of the most disengaged young people living in high unemployment areas of Rotherham. They have little to do in the area and can easily get into anti-social behaviour, which causes problems in the community. We had complaints about youths playing football on a shopping area car park so we thought, why not organise something constructive nearby to bring them together? Without the funding from UK Steel and AESSEAL we simply could not run the twice weekly sessions which are already seeing improvements in community relations in Rotherham. The financial support is superb and we really appreciate it.”

The group runs twice weekly football sessions at Winterhill School in Kimberworth where it makes use of an inflatable football pitch provided by RUCST, which helps to attract young people to engage with the project. The sessions are run, with assistance from RUCST football coaches, for a period of ten weeks covering the summer holidays; a key time of the year where anti-social behaviour can increase and cause community problems.

UK Steel Enterprise Ltd is a subsidiary of Tata Steel that invests up to £750,000 in growing businesses within the South Yorkshire area.  It also has the Charitable Fund that is managed by South Yorkshire Community Foundation, which supports community based organisations that help to make a positive difference within areas that have been affected by the changes to the UK’s steel industry.

Keith Williams, Regional Manager for UK Steel Enterprise says that the Forum is playing a key role in trying to get potentially disengaged young people to look at productive uses of their time.

“This project benefits young people by engaging them in a community based sport right on their doorstep.  The benefits of sport and organised activities are clear and such initiatives  help improve relationships between young people and older residents in the neighbourhood. Young people can also be signposted to other services providing information on education and training, to improve their  employment prospects.”

Sue Wragg, Fund Manager for South Yorkshire Community Foundation said; “The Forum project interacts with young people in a way that provides an opportunity to talk to them about aspirations and improving their potential. We have been working with UK Steel Enterprise for several years, in which time we have delivered much needed funding to our local communities. These projects help to regenerate our local communities and we are very grateful for the support from UK Steel and AESSEAL.”


Photo Caption: Keith Williams of UK Steel Enterprise (front row in hoops) joins the Great Millers Youth Forum football team at Winterhill School, Kimberworth.

If you are a supplier to the power generation industry in the UK, are you prepared for a possible sudden demand for raw materials in the light of National Grid seeking additional electricity supplies for this coming winter?

National Grid, which runs the power supply network for the UK has expressed concern that with several power stations closed or facing closure for various reasons, power generation capacity may be much tighter than expected for the end of 2014 and the start of 2015.

This year four nuclear power units have been shut down for safety reasons following routine inspections and with fires at coal-fired units at Ferrybridge and Ironbridge further reducing capacity, National Grid is now talking to power generators about bringing capacity back on-line sooner than expected. The UK was expected to experience a power squeeze in 2015/16 but this has now been brought forward to 2014/15.

This has led some in the supply chain to the power generation industry to ask whether outages will be brought forward and if this will bring about a sudden demand for raw materials?

“Due to the power squeeze on the UK’s power generation being brought forward a whole year following the unexpected problems with several plants, we may see pressure being applied to bring some plants on-line sooner than anticipated. This may lead to a sudden high demand for raw materials for fasteners, bars and plates which could in turn lead to shortages in supply, if you are a manufacturing supplier to power generators you would be well advised to speak to your suppliers now to make sure you are not caught out.  We are already seeing an increase in enquiries for our Alloy T41 and are booking orders against our next delivery in early November 2014,” says Mark Burton, Managing Director of Broder Metals Group.

For more information on this story, see the BBC News website here