WORKING CAPITAL tends to pose major challenges with steel businesses involved in manufacturing, fabrication and building. Many businesses require inventory and free cash to meet demanding customer requirements. In the quest to meet these requirements and expectations, working capital is over extended. This often results in cash ow pressure and pro t leakage. Investing in the right type and amount of inventory where possible; ensuring the range and scale works for your business will help reduce working capital.

Our SER® consultants have recommended the following 3 key solutions to help reduce WORKING CAPITAL:

1. LAYOUT AND FLOW IMPROVEMENTS TO ELIMINATE BOTTLENECKS. Look at the warehouse layout and by balancing the production processes to ensure that work in progress does not build up between production lines. It is not important to run every machine as fast as it can be run, at the end of the day we only need to make things as quickly as the customer wants them, no faster. “Kanban” systems can be used to help ensure that we balance our processes and prevent the build up of inventory – reducing working capital.

2. ABILITY TO SOURCE HIGH QUALITY RAW MATERIALS (SEMI-FINISHED). By making end products with semi-finished feedstock, working capital can be reduced significantly. This will allow steel businesses involved in manufacturing, fabrication and building to remove the main cause of excess inventory. Working with high quality semi-finished material will enable stock to be produced quickly – removing non-value added processes. This requires trust in customer requirement and correct forecasting.

3. OPTIMISATION OF FEED MATERIAL. Investing in smaller material deliveries and quicker lead times where possible enables processing to be managed efficiently. In addition to this, creating optimal coil sizes, pack sizes and packaging will greatly reduce the waste of inappropriate processing patterns.


As a supplier of steel and aluminium products, we must continue to strive to find a better way with our customers. We have found, our customers pursue the SER® as a vehicle to look at their business in a different way to make some small changes to reap big rewards. The Steel Efficiency Review® aims to provide recommendations to support our customer’s business and at the same time improve our product and service offer.

To register for the Steel Efficiency Review® click here.