Q&A: Steel and Metals Industry Trends, Tips and Technology

Vice President of The Wolcott Group LLC, Kevin Ameche draws on over 30 years of industry experience in manufacturing and distribution to consistently deliver superior performance results. In this blog, he reflects on the steel and metals industry, the metals software space, and the RealSTEEL solution powered by Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. Kevin welcomes your comments and questions. You can contact him at: Mobile: 330.730.3666 or Toll free: 866-wolcott (866.965.2688).

What are some of the current trends in the steel and metals industry?

We are seeing increasing demand based on the rising number of infrastructure development projects. Not only does this create more demand for steel, it also creates an environment where manufacturers need to streamline their processes to achieve greater efficiencies and cost control. Implementing an ERP system is a major way to address that need.

How does RealSTEEL address industry needs?

RealSTEEL is a multi-faceted ERP solution that is built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and is customized for the steel and metals industry. We help our customers improve productivity and reduce non-billable time. Our product supports the specific needs in this market such as multiple product lines, outsourcing, production scheduling, automated cost allocation, and toll processing. It’s really all about helping our customers grow their businesses and profits. Once you have access to enterprise data, they can see which product lines are most profitable and evaluate potential new product lines.

Why did Wolcott Group decide to enter the metals software space?

With many years of experience in manufacturing and distribution, I saw some unique needs in this underserved market. For one thing, there is a great need for technology and upgrades in general. These manufacturers typically have multiple product lines with complex processes and many requirements including:

  • real-time visibility
  • inventory tracking
  • visibility into yield and gross margins
  • materials allocation at order entry and product planning stages
  • simplified materials pricing to support sales

What type of customer would most benefit from your solution?

We specialize in working with small-medium manufacturers including metal fabricators and steel servicers, building material manufacturers, coil slitters, and pipe and tube processors. The best candidates for our solution either have no ERP or outdated systems that are inefficient and causing employee frustration and productivity loss. Another indicator is stagnant sales. That is often a sign of a need for better and automated business processes.

What differentiates an average metals manufacturer from a very successful one?

In a word, technology. The manufacturers with the highest profits and growth are making investments in their business using technology to drive productivity. With greater productivity comes greater profits. I am constantly amazed at how much opportunity there is to improve (even completely turn around) a business with the addition of an ERP system. Our solution provides our customers with control of their business in ways they have never experienced before. Data insight on sales, purchasing, stocking, producing, and planning is very powerful. All these roads lead to better finances.

How can I find out more about RealSTEEL?

We want to hear from you. Contact us today to tell us about your challenges and we will deliver a customized demonstration for your organization. We welcome the opportunity to show you how RealSTEEL can improve your business operational efficiency and business insight.