Steeling market share
A British Steel case study

Page 1: Introduction

It is easy for consumers in a changing world to take availability and choice for granted. This can be best characterised by examining markets in the private sector, where it is clear few organisations are free from wide scale competitive pressures. Competition exists wherever products are developed as close substitutes for others. Some competition is more direct than others. As an example, two...
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Page 2: The supply chain

To respond to the aluminium threat, British Steel initiated research which was designed to help understand the strategies and expectations of the key players in the supply chain. It was critically important for British Steel Tinplate to understand the key properties that can makers, fillers, retailers and consumers were looking for from steel cans. A clear understanding of these supply chain needs...
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Page 3: Innovation

The clear advantage for steel over aluminium was the strength of the can. The key issue for winning back market share was: How to position steel where aluminium could not follow? British Steel began the process of establishing the virtues of steel to create competitive advantage. This was achieved through the development of high technology, added value products. Steel cans offer many...
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Page 4: Product development

Currently the ends of all drinks cans are made from aluminium ring pull ends. Competitively, British Steel saw an opportunity to penetrate this market. To grasp the new opportunity, British Steel Tinplate joined with other European steelmakers to find a solution. The net result has been the development of a new can end called Ecotop. This steel beverage end is opened via a push button mechanism...
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Page 5: Decision making

Making a decision to switch production from aluminium to steel does not necessarily fall solely upon the shoulders of the can makers. It was Coca-Cola and Schweppes Beverages that decided, during 1995, to return to steel for a proportion of its drinks cans.A number of British brands such as Carling Black Label, McEwans Lager and Stones Bitter followed suit. A number of determining factors led...
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Page 6: Conclusion

The key to British Steel both sustaining and further developing its market share is innovation. Innovation not only provides consumers with all steel drinks cans but also helps to develop significant environmental benefits. The result is simply a combination of outstanding product strength combined with low metal cost, which adds value and provides advantages throughout the steel packaging chain.
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Related: British Steel
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