Businesses within the sheet metal manufacturing industry regularly face a level of uncertainty in the marketplace. Changes in the oil and gas industry, automotive, exports, and other business sectors can also play an influential role, impacting customer order and operational activities. For many businesses, these changes can create problems or lead to new opportunities. Learn how you can take advantage of changing marketplace conditions by deploying stronger technology.
As discussed in the article, “Metal fabrication in 2016: Diversification proves its worth,” posted by Tim Heston on TheFabricator.com, the market is up and down for various industries, with fluctuations in the metals industry. Today’s marketplace is a mixed bag and according to the FMA’s Forming & Fabricating Job Shop Consumption Report, new-order activity was increasing as much as decreasing. According to the 2016 Capital Spending Forecast, more than 61% of those surveyed predicted that operating levels will be better than 2015, which is still lower from the previous year when 65% predicted an increase. In addition, metal prices are down, partially due to lower global demand and also due to mill consolidation. Lower prices may not help fabricators much since customer consumption is lower than normal and they are also looking for cost savings. With a marketplace in flux, it can be difficult for the metals industry to adapt and stay profitable, especially when using outdated business systems. Without quick access to trending data, steel service centers and metal fabricators can’t adjust to marketplace changes and deploy the strategies needed to remain productive and profitable.
A powerful business management solution, such as RealSTEEL, can make it easier to capture core business data including financial operations, inventory, supply chain data, manufacturing and distribution activities, and other key data. Business intelligence and reporting features pull from the data that you generate each day and highlight trends in inventory consumption, customer preferences and buying behaviors. Armed with this insight, you can react faster to changing business conditions that could be impacted by changing marketplace conditions.
Marketplace and customer changes can signal lean times for businesses that aren’t ready or slow to adapt. Deploy RealSTEEL to harness data and identify trends, then adjust goals to protect your business and take advantage of new opportunities. Contact The Wolcott Group for more information about using RealSTEEL to strengthen operations and remain flexible and agile in today’s fluctuating marketplace.
By The Wolcott Group, providers of RealSTEEL, a ‘real world’ solution for the steel and metals industry