Purchasing managers for contractors in any industry have an ongoing, ever changing task. Not only will they need to stay on top of the materials used in their projects (like lumber, steel or plastics), they'll also need to keep an eye on the fluctuating cost of Building Fasteners such as Deckfast Deck Screws, Tek Screws and Heavy Hex Bolts to list a few. Why do these prices change so much and what's the easiest way to stay on top of things? It's important to control costs, after all, and the materials and fasteners used are a major part of the overall cost.
Why the Constant Change In Price?
Fasteners are made from many different materials - including steel, brass, copper and nickel. These raw materials very often experience swings in price as the supply and demand go up and down. When that happens fastener manufacturers need to adjust their prices accordingly. And depending on the time of year that price change may occur on a regular basis.
The supply and demand of the fasteners themselves will make a difference to the price. When a distributor has stocked up on a certain type or size of fastener and demand drops, they will be keen to liquidate their stock. This very often means a good deal for contractors and building supply stores. Once demand picks up however, you can expect that price to change.
The lesson? Buy early and take advantage of sales when the opportunity presents itself.
How Can Purchasing Managers Stay On Top of Things?
The very best way to keep up with price swings is by building a relationship with your fastener distributor. Talk to them on a regular basis, even if only through email. That way you can keep each other informed on the status of business and be primed to jump when a sale starts or act when the prices are about to shift upward.
Build this relationship with a distributor you can trust, someone who has been in the business for some time. An established professional will know how the market works and will be able to give you insight and direction. You can communicate what's happening in your own industry as well and this exchange of information will actually help you both.
The price of building fasteners can have a major impact on a contractor's or manufacturer's bottom line. Being aware of the patterns in the market and having an established relationship with a leading distributor will help you better weather the shifts in these costs.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.