Vicente Sabater, managing director of Centro Alum, and Hydro share a passion for treating others with respect.
“You do as you want to be treated,” Vicente says of his business philosophy. “When you’ve been in the market for 25 years, you have a long-term relationship with a lot of customers. We also have a close relationship with Hydro.
“I believe you work with your customers as you would expect from your suppliers.”
He also likes to say that Centro Alum is “the biggest of the smallest and the smallest of the biggest.”
This allows the company to be “more agile than the bigger companies, so we can focus on service.”
Centro Alum’s specialty is supplying surface-treated extrusions for the residential market in Barcelona and beyond throughout the region of Catalonia. Its products – in a wide variety of shapes and colors – are delivered to contractors and others for on-site assembly. An in-house design team leads the way with new shapes and concepts.
A family atmosphere prevails, Vicente says: “Some of our employees have been working with us for more than 20 years. They are very proud of working for Centro Alum. This translates into good customer relationships, too.”
Centro Alum receives aluminium extrusions from Hydro’s plants in nearby La Roca, which has two extrusion presses – a P22 and a P35. The extrusions – 70-plus different shapes – get anodizing and painting at Hydro’s surface treatment facility in Santa Oliva, also near Barcelona.
Centro Alum has grown significantly in recent years, from its original small warehouse to more than 5,000-square-meter operation. In addition, a spacious warehouse just outside of Barcelona helps with logistics and distribution.
What does Vicente want from Hydro? He sees the benefits of working with a global, integrated aluminium company, but he doesn’t want to lose that personal touch.
“I want to work with the local people here,” he says. “If they’re close by, all the better.”