World Fence News

June 2013

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30 • JUNE 2013 • WORLD FENCE NEWS Like in most industries, sales cycles, pricing structures and the fence industry supply chain can normally be tied to the cost of living index and inflation or deflation, but not always. As we know from past experiences, there are sometimes other extenuating circumstances that cause disturbances in the cost flow structure. Weird things can affect our industry, like a fire in a steel and coke producing plant in Pennsylvania that contributes to the disruption of steel production or fluctuation in the off shore steel supply or fires in the Canadian logging forests that affect logging Becoming partners with your suppliers is important part of the "value chain" BY TOM LUBY, PROFIT BUILDERS INTERNATIONAL costs. Fortunately, recent pricing increases in the fencing industry have been fairly steady, with only the normal annual spring and summer price increases to contend with for the most part. Slow, steady price increases tied to an inflation index hasn't always been the way we do business in the fence industry; the industry is too Pull Away From The Pack With PulJak! THE FENCEMAN'S FRIEND STRETCHES • LIFTS • ALIGNS • CLAMPS MODEL A–21⁄2 ® volatile and tied to too many potentially unstable factors. These include factors like fragmented markets, as I mentioned last month, which had become all too common in the fencing industry in years past, albeit today the industry is policing itself more and moving in the right direction in that arena. When I look at the marketplace, supply chain factors tend to highlight market segmentations and can expose highly profitable niche markets. To reinforce finding niche markets to sell to (which is really an important key to success and profitability), I feel the ideal business partnership philosophy for the contractor to embrace is to choose your vendors wisely, and pick ones who will support you and send FASTENER CAPS for the fence industry FOR: TIGHT CORNERS, SHORT PULLS, GATES ONLY Designed for those "Impossible" jobs $95.90 PulJak® Company LLC P.O. Box 449 • Branford, CT 06405 PHONE: (203) 500-2520 • FAX: (203) 738-1088 E-mail: Visit us on the Web at ALL TYPES Snap-Caps, Tap Caps, Kappets, Hex-Caps, Hinge Caps All colors and sizes available in small or large quantities Easy to order through PRO-DEC.COM Check us out! © Skidril Inc. 2013 Ending back breaking post pounding! Skidril is the place for fence post pounders and equipment. With over 30 years of experience and thousands of customers all over the world look no further for the best in the business. We make Gasoline, Hydraulic and Pneumatic powered drivers. The Skidril hydraulic driver line can be powered by the smallest power supply in the industry (only 97 lb. and 2 sq. ft.) or even your tractor, skid loader or digger. From ground rods to 4" pipe or wood we have a solution for you. SKIDRIL.COM • 800-843-3745 American Ingenuity. Back in the 90's we had an idea! We invented the self-contained post driver. The first machine (which is still running) was delivered to a fencer in New York State. Now the Ultra-Driver G20D Gas Powered Post Driver offers awesome performance in an affordable package. Make no mistake only the Skidril G20D comes from a company with nearly 30 years experience making gas driven tools for the fence industry. The Ultra-Driver G20D is the most powerful driver in its class powered by a 4 stroke Honda motor or 2 stroke. A great product at a good price from a name you can trust! referrals directly to you, whatever your product mix. After all, you do become partners with your suppliers; it's all part of a value chain designed to bring the best products and services to your customers at the best possible price. You should discuss things like your vendors dealer referral program, support networking and all other sales support tools they can offer. Sometimes this can be much more important than a few pennies difference in price. After all, you do become partners with your suppliers; it's all part of a value chain designed to bring the best products and services to your customers at the best possible price. Another mode for protecting our industry's viability in the marketplace and generating all-important profits for the legitimate contractors relates directly into supply chain management and supply chain economy which is, quite simply, how a product gets from the manufacturer to the end user. Let's face it, whether we are talking cars, television sets or fencing products, there is a process and "supply chain" that allows for the flow of product from the factory to the end user. What channels of distribution the product goes through, what value, if any, is added to the product through this process, and how well the end user is serviced prior and subsequent to the final sale of the product is what we call "supply chain management." While better management of the supply chain will not necessarily guarantee that the industry will be profitable and there will never be shortages or sharp or volatile price increases, it would go a long way in adding stability to supply chain pricing for the fence market. Even oil, price-wise one of the most volatile products on the planet, still does have a strict supply chain component. Unfortunately for us, the end users, oftentimes the oil barons manage that supply chain to the greatest advantage of the members of that distribution network. The problem with oil is that too few countries and individuals control too much of the raw supply and manipulate that supply for their greatest advantage. Let's try to learn what not to do from them. Other than finding alternative energy sources and/or becoming energy independent (which I for one am greatly in favor of, and all indications continued on page 32

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