Metal fabrication inflation

As a retail designer I have experianced a rather drastic price increase on custom fabricated metal componets lately. My internal metal purchasing agents contiune to site the recent raw steel price increase, which I agree is valid to some extent - My main concern however after doing a little research myself is that these drastic price increases of 50-60% on metal components and hardware are being blown grossly out of proportion and that a 15-25% increase would be more realistic

Are the purchasing agents crazy/lazy or is everyone experiencing this??

if your company is rather large, I’d be suspicious that your purchasing agents are lazy/crappy/or on the take. Metal has gone up in price but the economy has been crappy and a lot of these custom fabrication places can’t really afford to be gouging customers just yet. (it’s been real hungry out there)
I would show your cost estimates to the buyer/purchasing agent and your boss/superior. I pretty much had to hold the buyers hand when I wanted some custom stuff done. (they insisted that they could find other places that could do some specialty work that I knew could only be done locally by one company) (they eventually dug up some quotes from other places, that were really low, but I had to convince the commitee that these “low quoters” did not have the experience, or capabilities to do the project.

of course I would have been blamed if they went with the crappy guys. :unamused:


Our company is rather large, we probably purchase 6-9 million a year in custom farbricated metal parts(not machined - bending, lasercutting, and welding only). Our puchasing group has contacts at 5 large metal vendors in the US, although we typically deal with only 2 of them. My personal opion is that our purchasing group is horrilbe, but I wanted to get some outside feedback before I spent an absorbant amount of time researching this perticular issue.

I am also inclined to think our purchasing group is the real problem becuase we also have a difficult time recieving pricing, sometimes up to a week from submission of mechanical drawings. Which ultimately leaves a viarable(sometimes 50% of the end price) in the pricing for our clients.