Metal Networks.AI spoke to dozens of top CEO’s in the industrial metals distribution industry over the past year to uncover what keeps them up at night around technology. Here’s the top concerns:
1) E-commerce & marketplaces are the future of buying & selling. Will Amazon or some other e-commerce giant move into our space, leaving us as a warehouse operation while they own the front-end customer experience & relationship?
2) Aging demographics in the industry. Our most experienced people have been with us for over 30 years and will be retiring in the next few years along with their intricate knowledge of “how things work”. How do we attract, train, & retain younger candidates and replace that knowledge, particularly in sales positions?
3) The economy, metal prices, and the geopolitical landscape are creating the need for active risk mitigation strategies around stocking & inventory. How do we manage our risk more effectively?
4) Our ERP system is either old or ineffective in streamlining sales operations and business processes. There’s a lot of resources and overhead tied up in sales administration. How we give our sales team better technology so they can spend less time on administration and more time with our customers.
While Metal Networks.AI doesn’t have all the answers, stay tuned for some interesting insights and ways to cost effectively deal with all 4 forces driving change in the industry.