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.

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June 2020 Insight Guide: Market Indicators

The Economy

The U.S. economy added 2.5 million jobs in May, a surprising jump as businesses across the nation began to reopen from the COVID-19 shutdown. The unemployment rate fell to 13.3%; this is still high by historical standards, but much better than expected and still an improvement over April’s jobless rate of 14.7%.

With restrictions due to COVID-19 gradually being lifted on state by state basis, officials are looking for signs of an economic rebound. However, so far the rebound remains slow. Information collected by Goldman Sachs and the New York Federal Reserve showed the economy continuing near bottom with no sign of further decline, but no clear upward trend yet either.

Key Indicators

The Architectural Billings Index fell again in April, following the large decline in March. The ABI registered at 29.3, a new all-time low for the index.

The May Purchasing Managers Index registered at 43.1%, up 1.6 points from April’s reading. This indicates expansion in the overall economy after April’s contraction. The New Orders Index registered at 31.8%, an increase of 4.7 points from April’s reading of 27.1%. The Production Index registered at 33.2%, up 5.7 points compared to April.

The Consumer Confidence Index held steady in May, following a rather sharp decline in April. The index registered at 86.6, up from 85.7 in April. Short-term expectations moderately increased as the gradual re-opening of the economy helped improved consumers’ spirits. However, consumers remain concerned about their financial statuses.

The Steel Industry

Due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, global steel demand is expected to decrease by 6.40% year on year in 2020 according to the World Steel Association. They expect steel demand to drop by 1.65 billion tonnes for June 2020, but to recover to 1.72 billion tonnes in 2021.

U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to a record low of 301 in the week to May 29. Analysts expect U.S. firms to continue chopping rigs for the rest of the year and the count will remain low in 2021 and 2022.

Contact your local sales representative to learn more.

Metalwest Market Insight - June 2020