If you’re planning on creating a startup that deals with manufacturing, there’s a good chance you’ll enter the steel and metals market in the future. After all, metal is an essential material in various sectors, including aerospace, construction, aviation, and even the medical industry.
As a manufacturer, you most likely would require all sorts of metals for various purposes. But before you enter the market, it’s worth noting that engaging in this endeavor won’t be easy, as it comes with several challenges. For one, the market can be volatile, so prices change countless times within a short period of time. Furthermore, finding a reliable supplier can be challenging.
If you intend to enter the steel and metals market soon, it’ll do you well if you know what you’re doing. On that note, here are four tips to help you out with this particular venture.
Before anything else, you should know first where to look for steel and metals. Similar to most commodities, metals should be circulating in different parts of the world. Since the world is becoming digital day by day, you can expect that such a commodity would be present on the internet, and that’s where you should look first. You can also find it in hardware stores.
Note that steel can come in many forms, such as beams, channels, bars, and angles. You should be able to cut these into your exact specifications, like, for example, a metal mesh screen.
As mentioned earlier, metals can come in various forms. You can find them in bars, angles, or even in long beams. The diversity in shapes and forms only ensures that the manufacturer can package the items nicely. Grades, on the other hand, can influence the properties of the material. Stainless steel, in particular, may vary in properties according to its grades.
Hence, if you’re planning on entering the market with the intent of getting stainless steel for a specific purpose, it’s advisable to know about this matter. Here’s a closer look at the grades that most stainless steel belongs to and their respective uses and applications:
While each grade may vary in its properties, some are similar to each other. For instance, both grade 316 and 304 are suitable materials for producing components like stainless steel mesh. However, there remains a difference between the two, such as their chemical structure and resistance. The same applies to all these grades–they’re similar yet different at the same time.
As stated earlier, the steel and metals market can be highly volatile at certain times. Much like most commodities, the prices of these materials can be rock-bottom at one point, only to take off a few hours later. For example, on May 11, 2021, steel came at a price of 92 cents per kg. But on May 19, its price went down to 82 cents per kg. On the surface, the difference might be mediocre, but when you’re buying in bulk, a 10-cent difference can make a huge difference.
Suppose you buy ten tonnes (2000 kilograms) of steel on May 11. In that case, you would’ve spent a total of around USD$9,200. By making that purchase, you’re essentially wasting a thousand dollars that you could’ve saved if you only waited for eight days. That’s precisely why staying up-to-date with the news concerning metal prices is crucial, especially to startups such as yourself. So, how can you do that?
For starters, you can refer to the following platforms:
Take note that news is literally everywhere, so finding a news source, much less staying up-to-date, shouldn’t be too difficult. But of course, you have to ensure your source is trustworthy.
As eager as you may be to start your manufacturing startup, you must remember that not every supplier will meet your standards. Hence, if you value quality over quantity, it’s best if you take your time selecting a supplier for steel and metals, or any other commodity, for that matter. Who knows, you might find a supplier that sells materials at a lower price than most. You’ll also do well if you build your connections with suppliers, even if you don’t plan on buying in the near future.
Entering the steel and metals market is no joke. It’s incredibly volatile, so you’re likely to make a mistake that can ultimately lay waste on your startup’s budget. For that reason, if you want to succeed in this venture, extensive knowledge of the subject matter is a must. Fortunately, with these tips, that should no longer be a problem. Still, you have to be careful when entering the market at all times.