Steel Advice - The Fabricator's Resource
Dedicated to support the steel fabricator with real world solutions to real world problems.
Fabricators are surviving though
economic indicators remain weak
Talk around the industry is that many fabricators are surprised at the survival of their competition. During times like these we feel we should see many companies close their doors, but not so in the past two years. How has this not happened? The answer to this is complicated.
Some fabricators saw the recession coming, and were able to set themselves financially to carry through. Some companies have diversified into different markets. Some have found work out of state because they know they offer a competitive edge in expertise or labor cost. Some have transitioned into service providers, doing design, fabrication and installation as a complete package, becoming the 'one stop shop'.
It seems as though much is happening at a more negotiated status. The open market commercial work is mostly government funded (schools and universities) while the private work is more subdued, almost downplayed, and is not advertised in the same way it used to be. Projects have become more 'select list' and are not visible to the general public. Many jobs, normally listed and found at BXWA are now appearing at other sites like Blue Book or iSqft instead. This shift in advertising may have been a financial decision, but it is a wake up call to those that have been used to the status quo. The projects are out there, they are just harder to find.
If our niche in the industry is not working for us than we have to make a new one. Creating a diversified work load for the shop, trimming costs, lowering margins, minimizing the workforce and subcontracting some of the work as projects require may be the combination that is keeping many fabricators alive. Planned or unplanned, the survivors are surviving.
We trimmed costs, lowered margins, what is left? Divide and Conquer!
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Just one more thing we had to say......