Commercial Profile: Thomas Stamp

Thomas has just started a new role at British Steel as Commercial Manager – Wire Rod. Having first started his career here as an Industrial Placement Student in 2003, he brings over 20 years’ worth of experience to the role. Find out more about Thomas’ journey within the business and how his wealth of commercial knowledge will continue to support our customers and build on new business opportunities…

Tell us about your background

I am the third generation in my family to work in the Steel industry at Scunthorpe. My grandfather Thomas also worked in Logistics, and my father Michael worked for over 40 years as a Plant Engineer across the Scunthorpe site. It’s fair to say steel is somewhat in my blood!

From 2000-2004 I studied a Business degree at Sheffield Hallam University. In my third year I started my career in the Steel industry as an Industrial Placement Student for Corus Group Plc (Construction sector). After a successful 12-month placement I returned to university and was lucky enough to be sponsored by Corus, which also guaranteed my access to the Commercial Graduate Scheme after university. 

In 2004 I joined Corus as a Commercial Graduate in the Wire Rod business. I spent time as a UK and Export Account Supervisor, understanding the basic commercial processes and international customer base.

During my 20 year career I have covered several account management roles in Wire Rod, Plate, Narrow Strip (Hot Rolled Coil), Sections and Special Profiles. I have also experienced business development roles (including an overseas role in the USA) and external roles in other metals companies within the UK.

What does your new role involve?

As Commercial Manager – Wire Rod I manage and lead an experienced sales team of UK and regional based account managers. Our team covers sales of 5.5-30mm wire rod produced at our Scunthorpe Rod Mill in the United Kingdom, and FN Steel Roll Mill in Alblasserdam, the Netherlands. Our customer base covers roughly half the geographical regions for rod sales across Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, the Far East, Turkey as well as South America.

My role is to lead and support the sales team, maximise the sales price and volume opportunities in the market and ensure customers pay on time. Frequent customer contact during face-to-face market visits with technical and production colleagues is an essential and highly enjoyable part of this role.

Daily activities include leading and guiding price and volume negotiations, working closely with the Customer Service function to manage production and delivery of existing orders, as well as making sure customers remain within workable credit limits and pay the business on time.

What skills and experience do you bring to your new role?

Over the last 20 years I have built up strong commercial negotiation and relationship building skills with customers, which I hope to share with the sales team. This helps to maximise the value during price and volume negotiations with customers, and to develop British Steel’s long-term supplier relationships in the market by building customer intimacy.

Why do you enjoy working for us?

The steel industry continues to be extremely challenging and dynamic. I really enjoy the challenge of the changing environment, which requires being resilient, thinking on your feet and adapting to the ever changing market environment. 

What is your proudest achievement so far?

My career highlight to date must be the expansive network of customers and contact relationships I have made in the Steel industry. I can even call some of my customers and colleagues friends for whom I have developed deep trust with.

What do you hope the future holds for you here?

I hope for a successful move to EAF steelmaking in Scunthorpe, which will cement the long-term future for the business and the local people.

Within the Wire Rod business, we are still extremely keen to continue Project Aurora – moving to a single strand high speed rod mill in Scunthorpe. This will really enhance current product capability, whilst expanding our sales into differentiated markets and new product development.

From a personnel perspective, I have career aspirations to continue to progress within the company to Commercial Director level.

What would you say to someone considering a career at British Steel?

The Steel industry remains one of the most dynamic and interesting sectors in manufacturing. People joining the industry should brace themselves for the green steel movement, which should see significant investments in the global steelmaking infrastructure and the site here in Scunthorpe.

Any newcomer to the industry must be braced for frequent change and unpredictable market conditions, but be ready to work with a highly motivated and passionate team at British Steel.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

At the age of 14 I played football in front of Sir Alex Ferguson against Manchester United for Scunthorpe United. Unfortunately, Sir Alex missed my footballing talents, which led me into a successful career in the Steel industry instead!