WSD Consulting Services

World Steel Dynamics regularly performs customized steel consulting studies on a broad range of subjects. Past consulting assignments have ranged from competitive market assessments to detailed company evaluations and product specific studies. Clients have included U.S. and international steel producers, steel users, raw material suppliers and financial and government groups.

WSD seeks to be innovative in these studies. This is a function of effort, method and knowledge. Regarding method, we take both a bottom-up and top-down approach to answering questions. We also try to apply time-tested "industrial structure" economic principles to better understand what has happened and what will happen. Regarding knowledge, WSD principal partners and staff have more than 200 years of combined experience in analyzing the steel industry. A major aid is World Steel Dynamics' vast data base on international steel prices, costs, capacity, demand and finances, which permits the detailed analysis of historic relationships in an industry perspective. In order to maximize results, WSD has designated Richard D. McLaughlin as the lead consultant. We also frequently work with an array of outside industry experts specialized in various steel industry sectors.

In performing these studies, detailed marketplace and product pricing crosschecks are a frequent requirement. These are facilitated by our extensive network of contacts the world over. We also place great emphasis on the relative cost position of the firm. The purpose is to better understand what conditions are necessary for the steel firm in question to have the "pricing power" to pass on its costs.

Partner - WSD Consulting

Richard D. McLaughlin

Corporate & Business Unit Strategy Development

Richard has over 25 years experience as a strategy consultant to the Iron & Steel industry. He joined Beddows & Company, now part of Hatch, in 1989, and became a Director in 1999. He also worked as an industry expert for Deloitte Consulting, and has served as an independent consultant on issues of finance and strategy for a variety of public and private sector clients.

He has worked with clients in the Metals and Mining industries worldwide, with a focus on North and South America. He has managed and participated in a variety of consulting engagements encompassing corporate and business unit strategy development, new market and product planning, capital investment planning and project financing, and shareholder value enhancement. His clients have included mining companies, metals producers and processors, suppliers, customers, governments, banks, private equity and others with an interest in the strategic issues facing the industry.

WSD Affiliated Consultants & Industry Experts

John E. Lichtenstein
Strategy, Organization and Business Transformation
After an initial stint with Inland Steel, John has spent more than 30 years as a senior advisor to global metals and mining executives and as an industry consulting practice leader at Accenture, Arthur D Little and Beddows & Co. In addition to North America and Europe, John has worked extensively with clients in India, Brazil, Russia and China – where he lived for two years. While John’s specific expertise is in strategy, organization and business transformation, he has also managed numerous teams that delivered client value in the areas of supply chain and manufacturing optimization, systems and digital enablement and business process outsourcing.

John has been a regular speaker at Steel Success Strategies conferences and at other industry events around the globe. John earned a B.A. in philosophy at Yale Collage and a MBA from the Yale School of Management.

He is presently a Principal at Crucible Consulting, LLC and a Managing Partner at RCG Consulting Group AG in Pfaeffikon, Switzerland.
Rick W. Preckel
Principal for Steel Pipe & Tube
32 year of business experience with 25 years in the pipe and tube industry with a steel pipe and tube manufacturer. While in the pipe and tube manufacturing business, Rick was involved in all key functions of running a business including executive and administrative functions such as accounting, marketing, human resources, information technology, acquisitions and divestitures, investor relations, strategy and expansion, international trade, and operational functions such as logistics, supply chain, and start-ups.

Mr. Preckel is currently a partner in Preston Publishing, the pipe and tube industry's premier resource for industry data and consulting services.
Robert E. Mazurak
Iron & Steel Industry Market Research
Bob's 40 years industry experience covers a broad range from mining through final product placement and end use applications of various raw material commodities. His primary emphasis has been in iron ore, scrap and alternative iron products for the iron & steel industry. While at Cliffs Natural Resources (formerly Cleveland-Cliffs), his Involvements included global technical assistance, due diligence, transportation logistics, ironmaking, market analyses, commercial services, financial and operational auditing, and macroeconomics.

Bob is President of Mazurak Resource Consulting, LLC. He received a Bachelors of Science degree cum laude in geology from York College of the City University of New York (1972), a Masters of Science degree in geology from the Pennsylvania State University (1976), and a Masters degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University (1986) with honors in marketing. He is a member of the Association for Iron & Steel Technology (AIST), a Fellow of the International Iron Metallics Association (IIMA), served many years on the HBI Association, and on the Commercial Research Committee of the American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI).
Paul E. Vivian
Principal for Steel Pipe & Tube
33 years of experience in the pipe and tubing industry with both distribution and manufacturing companies. While in the distribution business, Paul was involved in the purchasing, inventory management and supply chain side of the business before switching to sales and site selection. While in manufacturing, his focus was on business plan development, forecasting, international trade and sales issues.

Mr. Vivian is currently a partner in Preston Publishing, the pipe and tube industry's premier resource for industry data and consulting services.
Dr. Joseph J. Poveromo
Raw Materials & Ironmanking Specialist
Joseph J. Poveromo received his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1974 at the Center for Process Metallurgy, State University of New York at Buffalo (SUNYAB). Earlier he had received a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Poly.

He then joined Bethlehem Steel's Homer Research Laboratories where he advanced to the position of Research Consultant. In 1993 he established his consultancy, Raw Materials & Ironmaking Global Consulting. From 1993 through 2008 his principal client was the Quebec Cartier Mining Company, for whom he served as Director Technology-International. Currently, he consults for steel, iron ore, other natural resource, technology provider, financial and consultancy companies on a global basis.

Dr. Poveromo is a Distinguished Member of the Iron and Steel Society (now AIST) of AIME. He has received a number of Iron & Steel Society Awards including the T. L. Joseph Award in 1998 for his long-standing contributions to ironmaking technology. He is also a Special Member of the IIMA (International Iron Metallics Association).
Robert M. Miller
Investment Banking Expert
Mr. Miller is a prominent industry expert, with over 30 years of experience advising a broad range of companies and other parties. Mr. Miller represents many of the world's most prominent companies in the steel, metals and mining sectors and is considered one of the world's leading financial and strategic advisors to the sector.

His firm, Miller Mathis, offers clients a complete range of services including: strategic advice; mergers & aquisitions and capital raising (through affiliates). They specialize in sell-side engagements for mature companies/projects and finding strategic or financial partners/investors for worthy earlier stage companies and projects.

Topics & Assignments

Consulting assignments have covered a broad range of subjects in the past. A few of the examples include:

  • Assessments of the competitive situation for a specific steel plant. This included a comparison of its process-by-process costs versus the competition, standing in the marketplace and the steps needed to ensure viability.
  • Evaluations of the mini mill industry, including the determination of the costs and shipments by product for the North American participants.
  • Investigations of the U.S. steel service center, converting and processing industry.
  • Regional supply/demand balances for specific products and the competitive position of the groups supplying the product to the market.
  • Global or regional studies for products such as steel scrap, slabs, plate, flat-rolled sheet, stainless steel and iron ore. This included demand forecasts, supply assessments, the production cost of the leading players, names and requirements of specific buyers and sellers, trade balances and historic and forecasted pricing trends.
  • Detailed process-by-process cost comparisons for steel slab, plate, hot-and-cold-rolled sheet, OCTG, rebar and structurals.
  • Comprehensive slab market and coke market reports.

Please contact WSD to discuss your specific consulting needs.