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5 Key Qualities You Should Look for in Steel Suppliers
When sourcing steel for your business, the bottom line often comes down to how to find a quality product at the right price and at the right time. Sourcing is far more intricate than the mentioned. Selecting a reliable and top steel supplier can be a game-changer for your business. In a nutshell, there are 5 qualities you should look for when searching for a steel supplier.
1. Global Experience + Local Expertise
Global sourcing has unique advantages that cannot be replaced, specifically when it comes to steel. As shown in this latest steel market outlook report, China accounts for over 50% of the world's steel production. Many steel users import their supplies from China, India, and other key steel-producing countries for maximized benefits. Getting steel supplies overseas is an increasingly popular trend, especially for those who need consistent and large volumes.
That being said, it's not easy to find global suppliers who can also meet your needs from a local scope.
Firstly, the most common issue, the language barrier, comes to mind. Also, overseas companies may not be that well versed in the local market. That's why it's important to select a supplier that has local team members with in-depth knowledge about the market, preferably a local office.
CUMIC Steel, led by globally experienced management, has a culturally diverse sales team in multiple branch offices around the world. We have local offices in over 10 countries & regions including the U.S, Canada, UAE, South Africa, Thailand, Vietnam, Chile, Peru, Belgium, etc. with experienced traders. With the help of these local experts, the language & cultural barrier can be minimized to zero.
2. A Strong Supply Network of Manufacturers
This is a must for any business that requires a consistent supply of quality steel.
There are countless manufacturers out there, making endless types and grades of steels for various applications. However, it doesn't happen often when a supplier can integrate all these manufacturers' resources and provide an all-in-one package readily available for you.
For example, take a look at the 50 top steel-producing companies according to Worldsteel. CUMIC has long-term cooperation with 9 out of the 10 top steel mills in the world. In addition, our supply network expands to over 200 mills worldwide, including many exclusive agreements with leading manufacturers.
In addition, as an extremely versatile material, steel serves different functions in countless industries, and every steel using scenario may have its own specific demand for the material. Sometimes, standardized production and processing might not be enough for your business, and that's when customization comes in handy. Apart from exclusive agreements with top quality mills, we can also customize orders tailored to your needs, and help you get just the right type of material needed.
3. Technical Support and Market Intelligence
A mediocre steel supplier provides the basic: a steel grade that meets a minimum standard. A great steel supplier is way more than that. Although there are many reputable suppliers in the marketplace, few can offer technical advice or even application knowledge for the challenges many manufacturers face today.
What you should look for instead, is more than just a supplier, because you'll find life incredibly easier when your supplier can consult with you to address downstream operations and final application performance. A trusted steel supplier is prepared to have in-depth discussions with you to provide various suggestions and help you make the right decision for materials and technical services, rather than suggest the easiest or cheapest option.
With the right type of steel supplier, you not only find a good supplier, but also a consultant that can provide much more than the product itself to you.
At CUMIC, we have team members well versed in different types of products and downstream applications. Many come from academic and professional backgrounds of metallurgy, machinery, and have decades of experience working for top steel mills. What you'll find here, is a group of experts who know what they're selling.
Apart from the technical side, CUMIC even has professional market intelligence services.
l We offer steel market analysis reports to our customers on a regular basis.
l We have constant updates of industry news, data, and market insights on our social media channels like our LinkedIn and Facebook page.
For example, you can download our latest market intelligence report, Global Steel Market Outlook 2021, written by our professional team.
4. Demonstration in Consistent Quality
A commitment to quality and continuous improvement is an essential quality you should be looking for in a partnership. Your steel supplier should demonstrate a commitment to providing you with consistent, quality products that exceed your expectations. It's easier said than done, so look for their credentials to make sure they're legit.
For example, they should maintain a quality management system in conformance with their ISO 9001:2015 certification (view our certification here)
CUMIC's commitment to quality is also based on how we handle quality control:
In fact, over 55% of our orders have undergone strict inspection by globally known inspection organizations such as SGS, Bureau Veritas Group, and Intertek, with who we also signed a strategic alliance.
Over 1000 third-party inspection reports are provided per year.
We closely supervise the production process of mills with sampling inspection.
5. Long-term Strategies
Anyone that works in raw material sourcing knows, it takes A LOT of work to select a new supplier, and it's even more of a nuisance to switch steel suppliers.
For the procurement of industrial goods, consistency is key, so look for a steel supplier that has a clear long-term strategy.
You want a steel supplier who thinks big and commits to providing long-term solutions, rather than someone who's in the business for some quick cash without consistency.
When it comes to long-term strategies, you can check out your prospective supplier's company history to see how they've evolved, and also see their visions & missions to get a taste of their company culture as well as strategic plans.
More than a Supplier: Look for an All-in-one steel solution provider.
A great steel supplier has the ability to provide a complete solution to the problem and work with you to identify the manufacturing challenges you have. These suppliers not only provide quality products, but also aid you in the manufacturing process and can help you to select the right material for the job.
CUMIC Steel has been serving the global market for over 15 years, with extensive experience in steel solutions for various sectors. With the vision to “Build the future with steel+”, we strive to build partnerships made of steel to connect the supply chain and be the agile partner who can give customers expert advice.
The pace of innovation is rising in this changing industrial landscape, and we have never stopped leveling up our services to exceed your expectations. Get in touch today to open up new horizons through dialogue, to let us be your trusted partner!
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