The railcar industry might not seem very glamorous or profitable. After all, fewer and fewer trains are riding the rails, right? The railroads have been in decline since truck transportation took over in the 1970s and 1980s. What many people do not think about, however, is that people at the helm of these companies, like Gregory James Aziz, are fighting back and turning their investments into extremely profitable ventures.
Greg Aziz got into the railcar business in 1994 when he purchased National Steel Car. This company has been around since 1912 and has always specialized in the manufacturing of rolling stock like hopper cars, box cars, gondolas, and coal cars. It had served the area in Canada where it is headquartered for years without any issues. However, like many other companies in the industry, National Steel Car was having trouble staying afloat. That is when Aziz stepped in.
Gregory J. Aziz has had extensive experience in turning business around. He worked as an executive at his family’s business, Affiliated Foods, in the 1970s and 1980s. When he arrived, it was just a domestic importer and exporter of foodstuffs. When he left it was an international company with partners in South America, Europe, and the United States, boasting higher sales numbers than ever before. He was about to do the same thing to National Steel Car.
NSC was in shambles when James Aziz purchased it. The Company had been through several exchanges and transitions over its 100-year history, and all of these owners and managers had a different way of doing things. As such, the production line was set up for several different manufacturing styles. Workers who had been there for 40 years did not know what the new owner wanted. Legacy goals and focuses of the company were all short-term, and none of them dealt with the fact that the industry was dying. Aziz turned this all around.
Greg Aziz started several capital projects to increase production capacity. He hired more workers and shifted the focus on the company from low-cost railcars to higher-quality, well-engineered cars. He grew the labor force from 600 to 3,000 workers, and his initiatives and capital projects tripled production capacity. The company now focused on building to customer specifications and made sure their new cars would not become obsolete due to new regulations from the government. It is because of his ability to innovate and his knack for giving customers what they need that helped Aziz to the top, and it does not seem like he will be stepping down from his pedestal any time soon.
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. Find Additional Information Here.