Access to metal is a key component for most manufacturing businesses. Recent supply challenges and pricing fluctuations that have emerged since the pandemic have started to force companies right across the sector to revaluate how they source metal and protect their supply chains.
Progressive manufacturing businesses are now considering the adoption of digital procurement technologies because they can make a significant impact in addressing some of the major difficulties that the market is facing.
Historically, the jump to digital procurement is often undertaken purely as a cost controlling exercise. While it is certainly true that it almost always dramatically reduces costs, this is only one area of benefit.
There are many ways that turning to technology can help the manufacturing sector gain better access to the products and services they need, at the right time and the right price.
A digital future
It’s undeniable that the adoption of digital services rocketed during the pandemic with Britain’s smaller firms undergoing three years’ worth of innovation in just three months of the first lockdown period¹.
Perhaps one of the biggest benefits of moving to digital platforms is that they are accessible anywhere, by almost anyone, at any time. This removes geographical barriers and instantly provides access to new suppliers locally as well as nationally.
The ‘always-available’ nature of digital means that businesses don’t have to be constrained to office hours, while buyers and suppliers can manage their orders from any location. This has been, and continues to be, important to a large section of the workforce during the pandemic, with many unable to perform their functions on-site.
By working with a platform that can move as quickly as your business needs to, and one that offers a real-time view of availability, it becomes easier to rapidly connect with the right suppliers. This in turn can help to reduce uncertainty in projects and opens and up new opportunities.
The latest tools and platforms can add value quickly and bring competitive advantages in rapidly changing market conditions. Metal supply is one area that has the potential to harness these technologies to generate efficiencies and growth opportunities.
SteelScout Procure and SteelScout Direct are two multi-supplier platforms that use digital technology to provide market visibility and make metal procurement more efficient. By connecting buyers with a broad network of suppliers, SteelScout provides access to a range of highly competitive quotes. And because SteelScout Procure sources the best deal for you from a large network of distributors, buyers can be confident that they will simplify their process and deliver value.
The pressure to change is challenging many leaders to reconsider the benefits of digital transformation. There are barriers to overcome, such as perceived costs of technology, implementing new processes and the anticipated impact on relationships.
However, most, if not all of these barriers, can be addressed by choosing a trusted digital partner. With SteelScout, the costs for buyers and investment in technology are removed completely, letting you concentrate on growing your business as we head into 2021.
¹ The UK’s technology moment – why 2020 can be the year that changed our trajectory on tech, Be the Business and McKinsey & Company