Strength and Sustainability

Christy Metals

When it comes to the distribution of metals of the highest quality, Christy Metals is the premier supplier. Offering the foremost in quality and exceptional service, and over four decades of industry experience, it is the trusted supplier partner of customers in many sectors, shipping worldwide to ensure its customers everywhere have access to the best materials when they need them the most.
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Since its founding by Creighton Helms in 1964, Christy Metals has been headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois and has continued to expand its market outward, growing its equipment and capabilities to guarantee the standards of service and quality it provides are never compromised.

Christy Metals is headquartered in the Chicagoland area, and boasts a relatively new manufacturing facility in El Paso, Texas and a facility in Florida. The company has experienced growth across the U.S., Canada and abroad, nearly tripling its size over the last decade.

The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. That year, Christy Helms, Creighton’s son and the company’s namesake and president, purchased Christy Metals, buying out his father and his brother to do so. With over two decades of experience at the company’s helm, he was prepared to take the family business’ growth to a new level.

Under the control of Helms Performance Group, Inc., Christy Metals and its two sister companies were poised for growth. Chris Industries Inc. and Chris Plating Inc., which offer metal sheeting, gutters and hangers, as well as hot-dip tinning, respectively, mean that the Group can offer the full gamut of metal distribution and processing services required by customers.

From outstanding global sourcing to reliable delivery, Christy Metals has the expertise, the talent and the equipment to remain a leading player in the market, domestically and abroad. Customers rely on the company for its traverse winding, slitting, cut-to-length and plating services of a variety of materials. Christy Metals is the go-to source for aluminum, brass alloys, copper, beryllium copper, nickel alloys, phosphor bronze, cupro nickels, nickel slivers and stainless steel for its customers, many of whom it has maintained long-standing relationships with. The company’s expansive material offerings and superior service provide customers with access to a full line of non-ferrous metals that are available in strip, sheet, wire, tube, coil and bar form and come in a variety of gauges, tempers, diameters, and widths.

Offering stock alloys in a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as in-house processing services, Christy Metals remains a partner of choice for customers who require material for the healthy and profitable functioning of their operations, from smaller mills to Fortune 500 companies.

In addition to its ability to customize orders to specification, Christy Metals also ships product in accordance with customer requirements using cardboard cores, wood, fiber and even customized skids, as desired. It takes great pride in this ability to deliver consistent results regardless of what a customer’s demands may entail. Diversity is its strength.

Christy Metals serves a diverse array of industries, with customers in the electrical, automotive, aeronautics, architectural, building, dental, forging, fabrication, machinery, machine, medical, structural and ship building sectors. Attributable to this diversity, it has been able to insulate itself from down markets by remaining competitive in others. The company has been able to stay relevant and profitable, remaining steadfast in the face of challenge, by ensuring material quality is paramount and providing an expansive and anticipatory inventory, which includes custom stocking programs, on-time delivery and reduced production times for the benefit of its customers. The company even sells product below market price to maintain relationships.

Despite occasional down markets and challenging commodity prices, Christy Metals has continued to diversify its offerings, as well as its equipment and thus, capabilities, while many of its competitors in the market were unable to survive, succumbing to the less than ideal market conditions. As markets recovered, Christy Metals was able to leverage its many investments to meet growing demand.

Indeed, a significant part of Christy Metals’ success has been its continued investment in its operations. Christy Metals recently invested in a new heavy gauge slitting machine and edging machine and anticipates the addition of more equipment in the not so distant future. Further investments in equipment will improve its existing repertoire of capabilities. By improving its in-house capacity, it is better able to control production timelines as well as quality throughout the entire process. In addition to improving quality control and timelines by bringing more capacity in house, Christy Metals reduced its reliance on outsourcing. With no minimum order size – be it a 20-pound order or a 50 000-pound order – its in-house capacity is impressive and reinforces its reputation as a leader in its field.

Investments like these mean fewer set-ups and changeovers in the company’s operations, which improves its operational efficiencies and results in more competitive costs for its customers. If necessary, Christy Metals can run two or three shifts, seven days a week to meet production deadlines, capacity it has yet to tap out, meaning it can sustain any future growth in demand that may occur.

Acknowledged as a master distributor thanks to its inventory, diversity of metals and services, and ability to distribute material for customers, the company’s business practices are worthy of being emulated, especially in terms of its commitment to sustainability. Beyond material recycling across its operations, Christy Metals has incorporated energy-efficient furnaces and lighting, installed solar panels to provide a renewable energy source, and remains dedicated to reducing its environmental impact.

Not only is Christy Metals ISO 9001:2008 certified, it is ISO 14001:2015 certified, a standard of environmental management that it worked diligently to achieve. Another goal of the company is to achieve ISO/TS 16949 certification to improve output for the automotive industry, further expanding its market reach.

Christy Metals has been able to grow by following a smart and strategic growth plan, listening to the needs of customers and making good on meeting their demands, and being a good corporate citizen. While down markets could have gotten the best of it, it was resilient in the face of challenge.

The company’s expansive inventories, equipment and capabilities, along with its desire to succeed from the top down, have yielded positive results for Christy Metals, making it a master distributor of choice and an irreplaceable part of its customers’ operations thanks to the efficient, cost-effective and high-quality services and wide array of materials it provides.

Working Smarter

A key goal of any successful manufacturing operation is a continual drive toward improving the efficiency of the manufacturing process. Traditionally, this has been accomplished through the adoption of lean production principles, waste reduction using the Six Sigma approach, and similar productivity solutions. These systems have been widely incorporated throughout the manufacturing industry and have significantly improved product quality, production speeds, and perhaps most importantly, the safety of those working in manufacturing plants.

Past Issues

October 15, 2019, 7:56 AM EDT