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Structural steel fabrication and steel trade - mid-term review of a difficult year!

Nenok, as a leading specialist supplier of used structural steel machinery, services and tools for steel construction and metalworking as well as the steel trade, has always had close and trustful contact with its customers and suppliers and thus "has its ear to the pulse of the industry".
This pulse is still beating - even after 5 months of Corona-related state of emergency in the national and international steel industry and its supplier and customer industries. However, the challenges for companies in the steel construction and steel trade remain great and the effects of the steel industry's crisis, which has not only existed since Corona, are still being felt.
It is clearly evident that many steel traders had already done their homework before the crisis began and, thanks to their good positioning, have generally come through the past few months better than initially expected.

There are a number of similarities that distinguish the steel construction companies and steel distributors who have managed to get through the past months relatively well so far.
These are, for example:

  • The production lines have been thoroughly modernised for a number of years, so that the cost of processing a tonne of steel construction has remained the same or even decreased despite rising wage costs. The degree of automation has increased considerably in many companies in recent years, also thanks to the use of used machines. Used machines do not automatically mean obsolete technologies, but often they can be used to complement or expand existing production systems at low cost.

  • Investment in a good company-specific Internet presence. This has long been an important sales channel when it comes to drawing the market's attention to your own products and services.

  • Intensive personal acquisition with existing customers and possible new prospects.

  • The maintenance of good contacts or cooperation with suppliers, market companions and associations.

  • Another important aspect is the degree of digitization already achieved. Companies whose "digital maturity level" has advanced will benefit from lower costs, faster processes and greater customer orientation.

  • The smooth relocation of activities to the home office is also a considerable competitive advantage for some companies.

  • Finally, the instrument of short-time work, which many companies in the steel processing and steel trading industry use to reduce personnel costs in the short term and avoid liquidity bottlenecks, should be mentioned.

If we now look at these strategies for crisis management, we should not overlook the fact that there are still many steel and metal fabricators who are struggling to implement these recommendations. This is particularly true when creating and maintaining a suitable Internet presence. But it is not advisable to postpone this necessary task or project. Rather, more capacities should be made available to achieve important progress in this area. Even if our core competence is more in the area of used machines and tools, we can advise you on request. From our own experience we know how much time and creativity this topic requires; but also how much a professional internet presence pays off in the long run.
Apart from the optimization of processes and the development of added value (keyword homepage!), however, the dissolution of individual production areas or the sale of unused machines, equipment and accessories can also be a suitable method to create liquidity needed at short notice or to provide development space for new areas. Both are results that can help companies to navigate safely through troubled waters.
No one can know today where the global economy will be heading in the coming weeks and months, but one thing is certain: the diligence and creativity of small and medium-sized businesses remains high!

So there is good reason to tackle the necessary measures confidently and courageously. We wish you this confidence and will be happy to support you!