The Savvy Business Practices of National Steel Car That Survived Three Wars

National Steel Car is the leading railroad freight car manufacturer in North America. Located in Hamilton, Ontario, the company is known for its strong engineering and commitment to quality.

 

By 1990, the company was on a decline and the owner at the time, Dofasco, did not think the company would recover. In 1994, Gregory J Aziz acquired National Steel Car. He purchased NSC with a simple goal in mind, which was to realign and reestablish NSC’s reputation as the leading railcar manufacturer in North America. Aziz, who also goes by Greg Aziz or James Aziz, is currently Chairman and CEO at NSC.

 

Aziz was no stranger to the business environment. He attended business college before moving on to the University of Western Ontario where he majored in economics. After graduation, he began working at his family’s business, Affiliated Foods, which sold food in wholesale. His education in conjunction with his keen business sense helped his family’s business grow to distribute fresh foods to international markets.

 

Aziz moved on to investment banking in New York for some time once his family’s business was underway and sturdy. He gained a vast amount of experience and in time was in in a position to invest. Once Aziz acquired NSC, he implemented a firm business model and proved that the company was salvageable.

 

Aziz’s business model foundation is safety, innovation, environment, and employee focused. Aziz and NSC make it a point to overstate that investing in their employees is just as important as investing in the community. Within five years, the company’s production of cars went from 3,500 to 12,000 per year, and employment rose from 600 employees to roughly 3,000.

 

A year after Aziz bought NSC, the company entered the U.S. market which spearheaded the expansion of the manufacturer to five production lines containing state of the art technology. Each production line includes top quality engineering and computer science, and Computer Numerical Controls for parts fabrication, which allows the assembly to be semi-automatic and more efficient.

 

For more than a decade NSC has been recognized by the TTX Supplier Evaluation Committee for supplier excellence. Furthermore, NSC is the only railcar manufacturer in North America to obtain a 9001 certification by the International Organization for Standardization.

 

In addition to his business ventures, Aziz also gives back to the Hamilton community sponsoring United Way, Salvation Army, Hamilton Opera, and Theatre Aquarius among several other local charities.

 

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