Plymouth Steel Corporation is a processor of carbon and alloy cold-drawn steel bars. The company was founded in 1941 in Plymouth, Michigan by Walter J. Bothwell. Currently, his grandson John Quay serves as chairman of the family-owned business.
The steel bar supplier was established to help the Allies during World War II. Its first job was the production of a 4140 alloy octagon bar that was used for track components on Sherman tanks.
Today, the ISO 9002/QS9000-certified company is one of the country’s largest producers of carbon, alloy and free-machining, cold-finished bar. In addition to rounds, hexes and squares, the company offers a variety of special shapes, including octagons, stars, D shapes, double Ds and special sections.
Plymouth Steel has 121 employees at three plants—two in Warren, Michigan, and one near Cincinnati, in Florence, Kentucky. The company has a total of 275,000 square feet of manufacturing space and operates its own fleet of 30 trucks.
A PMPA member since 1982, Plymouth Steel operates 10 draw lines of various sizes, as well as a wide variety of modern bar processing and testing equipment to serve industries throughout North America.
Its customers are in three primary markets: automotive; capital equipment, such as components for energy and agricultural equipment; and consumer items, such as home appliances and power tools.
The company’s mantra is "cus-tomer obsession." "We live by the notion that our customers are the most important part of our business," says company president and chief operating officer, Roger Bassett.
Upon joining the company in 2000, Mr. Bassett was given only one directive by the owner—to follow the Golden Rule. "Mr. Quay said to me, ‘Whether you’re dealing with people inside the company or outside, treat them as you would want to be treated.’ He has never had to repeat that instruction to me."
Educated as a metallurgical engineer with a master’s degree in business, Mr. Bassett has been in the steel business for 35 years. In addition to leading Plymouth Steel, he has been a PMPA board member for the last 3 years, as well as the Technical Member Committee chairman since 2006. He is also a committee member and former chairman of PMPA’s Michigan District chapter and is active on the PMPA Government Affairs Committee.
As a member of that committee, Mr. Bassett has met with U.S. leaders to lobby on issues pertinent to the precision machined products industry. "We recently helped draft a legislation modification that would allow manufacturers to get an R&D tax credit for prototype parts made on their existing equipment," he says.
Part of his involvement in PMPA includes attending all of the national meetings. "A significant number of our employees also go to the Tech Conference, the Management Update and the local district meetings," he adds.
Mr. Bassett points to the Listserve as one of the PMPA’s most important benefits. "It’s a two-way street. We provide as much information as we get. It’s probably the most useful forum out there.
"I think the networking in PMPA is also very important," he continues. "The idea of being able to bounce ideas off people who will willingly review them in a nonjudgmental way is a unique feature of the PMPA. Even though there are many in the organization who are competitors, there’s a straightforward, easy relationship between member companies that is not very common."
Mr. Bassett’s time on the PMPA board will end this month. In retrospect, he says, "The PMPA is a very good, well-run organization. It has been an honor for me to be able to serve on the board and in the various other capacities that I have been offered. I appreciate the opportunity to positively contribute to the association."
Plymouth Steel Corporation is located at 22700 Nagel Street, Warren, Michigan 48089-3756. Phone: (586) 755-5810.
Toll Free: (800) 354-5660.
Fax: (586) 755-9452.
Web site: www.plymouthsteel.com