A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

Choosing a career can be a difficult process. The options can seem overwhelming as personal interest, job outlook, and viability must all be considered. Fortunately, industrial metal supply careers offer a little something for everyone. The work is interesting and offers variety, and the industry is on the rise. Whether you find metals interesting or love the idea of working in supply chain management, the field is ripe with opportunity.

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply Careers

Metal Careers

Metal is a critical component of most manufacturing. It is found in tools, molds, other equipment, and of course in products themselves. Copper, aluminum, nickel, zinc, iron, and (consequently) steel are merely a few of the base metals commonly used in manufacturing, both commercial and industrial. The process to take raw metals, craft them into a desirable product, and get that product to the public is long and involves many steps. On each of those steps is another industrial metal supply career.

Careers that involve working with industrial metals range from metal foundry jobs to metal sales careers. Metal casting foundry jobs include laborers, finishers, craftsmen, furnace operators, assemblers, and casting managers, and fabricators to name a few. These kinds of careers are good for those who like to work with their hands and even with heavy machinery. Metal sales careers encompass jobs in customer service and work as a sales representative. Such work is a better fit for those who enjoy working closely with people.

Industrial Metal Supply Chain Careers

Simply put, a supply chain is a network of people or businesses that work in succession to produce and deliver a product or service. The rapidly expanding supply chain job market can be found just about in every industry, providing many job opportunities.

A Brief Snapshot of Industrial Metal Supply CareersWhere Do Supply Chain Managers Work?

First of all, what is a supply chain manager? This critical piece of the puzzle coordinates organizes and manages any and all logistics involved in the production and distribution process of a company’s goods. They oversee the entire life cycle of a product or service, from start to finish. 

Because of the critical nature of their work, supply chain managers can be found in any major business operation. Large companies especially need people to fill such positions, which is evidenced by the fact that major corporations like Amazon, Apple, General Electric, Intel, Procter & Gamble, and the U.S. Air Force are among the leading employers of supply chain managers.

Some companies specialize in one or more aspects of a supply chain manager’s role and contract out their employees to perform the service. This means that if you enjoy a certain facet of the job description—purchasing, production, distribution, or logistics—more than others, you may be able to find a role that caters to that skill set. 

What Careers Are in Supply Chain Management?

Because the field is so broad, it can be difficult to confine available supply chain management jobs to a list. Of course, there will always be work for supply chain managers, but management positions that are more niche are also available. These include but are not limited to logistics, distribution, purchasing, project, and procurement managers.

For those more interested in the operations side of things, warehouses and other facilities need operations staff and a chain of command. To ensure optimal performance, procurement, business, and operations research analysts assess current procedures and find ways to improve efficiency. Consultants can also be hired in specific capacities for a similar purpose.

Metal West Aluminum Sheet

October 2021 Market Insight

Economic News

The U.S. unemployment claims fell to 326,000 last month, the first drop in four weeks, a sign that the U.S. job market and economy continue their steady recovery from last year’s recession.

A couple new surveys of the U.S. economy show it is expanding at a rapid pace, but the ongoing labor and supply shortages are still dragging growth.

Economic Indicators

The September Purchasing Managers Index registered at 61.1%, up 1.2 points from the previous month. This indicates expansion in the overall economy as any score above 50 represents expansion. The New Orders Index registered at 66.7%, unchanged from August’s score. The Production Index registered at 59.4%, down 0.6 points from August.

Architecture firm billings remained strong in August, with the Architecture Billings Index registering at 55.6. Despite concerns of the new Delta variant, most firms continue to report robust business conditions.

The Consumer Confidence Index, however, declined in September. The Index now stands at 109.3, down from 115.2 in August.

Industry News

U.S. construction spending reached a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,584.1 billion in August, up slightly from July’s estimate. Year-to-date construction spending marked at 7.0% increase year-over-year.

Global aluminum production dropped in August as prices touched a 13-year high. However, output increased from the estimated 5.52 million metric tons in August 2020.

For more information, contact your local sales rep or view the October 2021 Market Insight Guide below.

Metalwest Market Insight - October 2021
Metal West Aluminum Sheet

August 2021 Market Insight Guide

Economic News

The U.S. economy most likely gained steam in the second quarter, as massive government aid and vaccinations for COVID-19 fueled travel spending. The possible acceleration would lift the level of GDP above its peak in the 4th quarter of 2019.

The U.S. had its largest monthly gain in jobs since August 2020, adding 943,000 jobs in July. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4% from 5.9%.

Economic Indicators

The July Purchasing Managers Index registered at 59.5%, a decrease of 1.1 points from the previous month. This figure still indicates expansion in the overall economy for the 14th consecutive month as any score above 50 represents expansion.

Architecture firms reported another month of strong business conditions in June, with the Architecture Billings Index registering at 57.1. This current pace of billings growth is near the highest levels ever seen in the history of the index.

The Consumer Confidence Index was relatively unchanged in July, standing at 129.1, up from 128.9 in June. The Present Situations Index rose from 159.6 to 160.3.

Industry News

The Midwest aluminum premium price hit a record high at the end of July. This rapid increase caught the attention of the U.S. Senate and trade associations. The Aluminum Pricing Examination Act was reintroduced and would give the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission the jurisdiction over the market.

The Aluminum Association reported that demand for aluminum in the U.S. and Canada increased by 18.3% during the first five months of 2021 compared to the previous year.

China is actively contemplating adding more curbs to halt environmental pollution which will reduce its steel output and dampen exports. It is also considering imposing more tariffs on steel exports of 10-25% on steel products.

For more information, check out the August 2021 Market Insight Guide below or contact your local sales rep.

Metalwest Market Insight - August 2021