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Company Profile and Strategy

Gerdau is a leading producer of long steel in the Americas and one of the largest suppliers of special steel in the world. It has industrial operations in 14 countries - in the Americas, Europe and Asia - which together represent an installed capacity of over 25 million metric tons of steel per year. It is the largest recycler in Latin America and around the world it transforms, each year, millions of metric tons of scrap into steel, reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development in the regions where it operates. With more than 110,000 shareholders, the Company is listed on the stock exchanges of São Paulo, New York and Madrid.

Strategy and Competitive Advantage

Management methodologies for high performance
The focus on reducing costs and expenses and the quest to give greater competitiveness to Gerdau’s operations through continuous improvement involves applying management methodologies with the active participation of employees. The Quality Improvement Story (QIS) Groups, for example, are made up of teams with three to seven members who develop solutions for common problems in their plants. In addition to generating profits for the Company, the initiative encourages the commitment, creativity, and teamwork of Gerdau’s professionals. The groups are recognized at the Company’s QIS Global Meeting. 

The management tools applied by Gerdau to improve its results also include the Ideas program, which encourages employees to search for innovative solutions — individually or in groups — and promotes everyone’s commitment to overcome the Organization’s challenges. Gerdau’s Working Cells program develops the autonomy of teams by providing the means for employees to actively participate in managing their work cells and controll processes such as safety, quality, costs, maintenance, and the environment. Gerdau also permanently develops projects through Six Sigma methodology in order to leverage results quickly and consistently, reaching more challenging targets. Furthermore, since 2012 the Company has managed its operations through an EBITDA breakdown methodology where each employee gets to know exactly their role and their contribution in trying to reach the Company’s operating cash flow (EBITDA) goals.


Innovation Program
Gerdau is constantly looking for new opportunities to generate more value for its business through innovative solutions in products, services, internal processes, and management practices. This movement is organized globally by the Innovation program, which seeks to develop specific methodologies and processes to strengthen and expand the Company’s innovative capacity and technological expertise. Among the initiatives taken in 2014 were the innovation programs that were implemented in the various segments that Gerdau operates to anticipate market trends in order to develop innovative products and services. These actions resulted, for example, in reducing energy consumption and improving the customized service for the special steel segment. Another action taken during the year was implementing the IThink program, which encourages executives to suggest ideas and solutions for the Company’s strategic challenges. The program has been successfully implemented in some plants in Brazil, with the participation of more than 480 professionals who proposed 449 ideas. In 2015, IThink should be expanded to other plants in the Company.

Gerdau Template

In 2014, Gerdau completed another step in the process of deploying a single, global information technology platform to expand the capacity to manage its operations, this time in Brazil. This global IT system is now present in 80% of the Company, covering nine countries: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Uruguay. In the next two years, the system will be extended to Gerdau’s special steel plants located in Brazil, the United States, Spain, and India.

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