Dallas-based NTR Metals has a customer base of more than 20,000 companies, with 40 offices in the United States and England. It’s one of the world’s largest precious metals companies, fully integrated with refining, minting and recycling services.“NTR’s national presence, strong financial position and resulting ability to provide fast payment are what have led to our success,” says Vice President of Sales Dave Zimmer, who came to the company three years ago with nearly 30 years of refining experience under his belt. “What’s also nice about NTR is that it’s a true refiner. A lot of companies say they’re a true refiner, but very few actually refine metal and produce bullion as we do.”
NTR deals with jewelers, pawnshops and others in the precious metals industry, but not the public, so it’s not competing with its own customers. With its 40 locations and 88,000 square feet for refining and minting, Zimmer notes, “our customers can go right in and have materials processed, as opposed to shipping.
“NTR’s robust liquidity allows us to offer reliable, same-day service,” he adds. “When a customer comes in, we can settle within an hour – and they’re walking out the door with their payment.”
NTR also offers the option of calling ahead to its hedging desk to lock in a spot price for precious metals before shipping or bringing the materials to one of the processing centers.
“Our customers appreciate the flexibility of locking in to avoid market fluctuations,” Zimmer says from NTR’s national sales office in Buffalo, N.Y. “Or we also offer the option of pooling the material for future sales.”
NTR accepts gold, silver, platinum and palladium scrap metal for refining. It offers stone removal for diamonds and other gemstones from various jewelry, and refining of floor sweeps, bench sweeps, polishings, filters and sink collections. The company recently added an industrial recycling division that can transform even hazardous waste streams into productive raw materials and precious metals.
It has a full bullion trading desk and a minting division. NTR manufactures pure bullion, offering silver and gold bars and coins.
NTR prides itself on being “one of the most fully integrated precious metals companies in the world.” By managing the “entire metal life cycle,” the company is able to maintain high quality control as it refines, casts, extrudes, rolls, blanks and strikes its bullion products.Customers enjoy another fringe benefit: having their profits credited to an account affiliated with Roseco, a major jewelry supply house in Dallas.
“We have a close relationship with Roseco,” Zimmer says. “If customers want to bring a material in and exchange it, we can get them discounts on Roseco products. We have a great relationship between the two of us.”
Zimmer says that as the economy is changing, the whole industry is changing, and NTR is changing right along with them to meet customers’ needs. Quick turnaround and near-immediate payment are the key advancements, he says. “NTR’s liquidity and reliability are what make us unique in offering this level of service.
“In the old days, you’d send scrap to a refiner - mail it to them - and wait seven to 10 days before the company would call with results.
“Now, with 40 locations, a customer comes walking in, he sells, and he can settle with us within an hour. The customer is walking out with his check. He didn’t have to wait, and he’s happy. He doesn’t have to worry about whether his gold’s going down or going up. He’s got his payment.
“It allows the customer to get right back out there, get busy and buy more scrap. I don’t think anyone can really compete with us on that.”
Customers Across the Board
Customer service is the first priority at NTR, whose clients range from small independents to giant retailers. “We’re nothing without our customers,” Zimmer says.
“We’re part of the IJO (Independent Jewelers Organization) and the RJO (Retail Jewelers Organization), and there are very few refiners involved with those groups. We’re also part of the National Pawnbrokers Association and many other organizations.
“A typical customer can vary from someone who has one ounce of gold scrap, up to large, commercial retail chains. We deal across the board. I have a local jeweler who comes in here about three times a week with maybe 20 pennyweight of scrap each time.
“We’re not talking a lot of money, but she needs that money, quickly. Let’s face it – sales are not great in the jewelry industry right now. A lot of people are having a hard time trying to keep their business going, but NTR is here to meet their needs with our locations, liquidity and speed.
“So if my customer comes in three times a week, one day it could be 16 pennyweight; next time, 24 pennyweight. At the end of the week, it could be 30 pennyweight. And another customer may bring in several thousand ounces.
“But they both know that in 30 minutes to an hour they’ll walk out of here with money in hand. It’s the great thing about our company. We offer liquidity. We’re able to help people stay afloat in these times.
“As we’re growing and opening more offices across the country and abroad, we’re always looking at customers’ needs and where we need to change, and we’ll adapt to it.”