Let’s say you want to buy a car. You have the option of buying a high mileage vehicle for $5,000, or you could buy a slightly newer, lower mileage vehicle for $9,000.
Obviously, you have to fork up an extra four thousand dollars for the nicer vehicle, but you have to weigh your options when it comes to what’s most important to you: a more reliable vehicle, or a lower overall price that may break the bank when you have car issues in a few months.
It’s a similar idea when comparing metal prices. Depending on the crucial quality requirements of your project, sourcing materials like steel, copper, or bronze at the lowest cost could drive up your overall cost later.
Finding the lowest material price and finding the lowest material price that meets your specific needs are two very different things.
So, this drives us to an important question.
What causes metal prices to rise and drop?
Sometimes it feels like there is no rhyme or reason to the market shifts in material and metal prices, but to put it simply, it’s the law of supply and demand.
Most of these base metals are the very backbone of global industrial production and construction, ebbing and flowing with the constant shifts of the global economy.
Price charts can also drive the decisions and behavior of buyers, traders, and investors. Since they are usually all studying similar data, their decisions influenced by one another to buy and sell can influence the prices in a big way.
While these prices tend to rise and drop frequently, what establishes these metal prices is a different story.
What establishes metal prices?
Material price and material quality are generally closely related.
Low steel prices typically indicate lower quality, and higher steel prices indicate higher quality.
There are a few ways that price and quality are two halves of the same whole when it comes to sourcing metals.
ISO standards is the primary way to ensure that your material has the perfect tolerance level and passes quality tests time and time again. In order to meet that goal, manufacturers need to sink employee time and resources into the testing and verifying process.
At Mead Metals, if we encounter material that doesn't meet ISO standards, it doesn't make it out the door. We'll hold it, find something better for the customer, and find the perfect substitute that meets your specific needs.
When your application requires specific dimensions and tight tolerances, getting the right metal the first time is worth every penny.
Buffering Out Imperfections
We strive for perfection and make it a priority to deliver metals as close to their usable state as possible.
With value added-processes, we are able to avoid most quality issues. For instance, camber and burr problems can affect a customer's ability to meet their project specifications, so we will take care of them at our facility.
If you receive metals from other suppliers that need to be slit down or reworked before you use them, you can bring the metals to us for processing.
However, as opposed to receiving your metal in a usable state the first time, this adds an extra step to the process. You’ll end up investing more money and more time to get those lower-quality metals into a usable state.
The solution? Avoid losing time and money, and research the best material for your job, rather than the cheapest.
The Overall Quality of the Material
Depending on your project, you may not need your metals in tip-top shape to use them.
For applications where the material needs to go through stamping and painting, appearance issues like stains and surface finish inconsistencies won’t show up in the final product.
In these situations, you can feel free to go for the lowest material price or even the spot metal price without a care in the world.
Alternatively, if your application is high-speed and tolerance-critical, you're going to need the best of the best. In that case, when you source at the lowest steel price or close to the spot metal price, it will ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Find the right balance with MEAD Metals
No matter what application you need high-quality metals for, trust Mead Metals to smooth out the process.
We’ll help you find the perfect balance between your budget and your unique project requirements so you can streamline your applications without a hitch.
Contact us today to get a free quote on the top-notch material you need for your project.