How to leave the right legacy for your metals business

Tony Barnes
3/31/2021
How to leave the right legacy for your metals business

As an owner of a metals business, getting to where you are today has been more than building a successful business that makes a profit. It’s been a mission. You’ve built a strong reputation in your industry and you’ve poured yourself into your employees, their families, and your community. It’s personal.

The challenge many established metals businesses face is creating a solid foundation for the long haul. In this article, we’ll look at how you can set up the next generation for success in your metals business.

Empower your people

A big part of the metals business is about the people you employ, their experience, and what they provide to the customers. A simple formula exists for successful businesses: Get the right people, get them in the right seats, create the right culture, and give them the right tools.

Unfortunately, many companies struggle with the last part of the formula. While they invested in technology years ago, they haven’t kept up with the rapidly changing industry. The once innovative systems have become outdated and segregated and are slowing down the entire organization.

Providing accurate quotes and tracking orders should be a simple process, but outdated technology often requires navigating among systems and communicating with multiple departments. The resulting lag time in communication with the customer is frustrating for both the customer and the team member. A unified enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, however, offers real-time data to provide accurate quotes and order tracking in a simple, accurate, and efficient way.

As you consider your legacy, assess your current technology and ask your team members for feedback. How could investing in technology empower them in greater ways and increase efficiency, accuracy, and customer satisfaction? Setting them up to win also will help you attract and keep the best people.

Set the pace

Organizations that consider the long haul often are the ones leading their industry. Ask yourself an important question: Would a startup metals business strive to emulate my metals business? Consider these key areas:

  • Profitability. Are you leading market share with better margins and more sustainable growth than your competitors?
  • Products. Are your products high quality and customized for a diverse customer base, no matter how small or large their orders?
  • People. Are you attracting and keeping the best people with empowering leadership, a healthy culture, and a simple strategy to win?
  • Innovation. Does your technology give your team the edge to make smarter decisions, create faster processes, and develop better customer engagement? 

Stay nimble

In recent years, being nimble often has been the difference between success and failure for many metals businesses. While some struggle to adapt to a negative environment, others seize opportunities.

The ability to be nimble doesn’t help only in the challenging times, though. It is important to take advantage of positive trends, too. As an example, when demand increases for new metals products, prepared companies have the cutting-edge systems in place that enable them to adapt, adjust, and gain market share.

As you consider your legacy, think through the foundational areas of your business and the ability to be nimble. If your metals business is struggling to be nimble, make sure you attack this issue head-on and assess how your technology is helping you or hurting you. 

You’ve worked hard for this, so make sure it lasts

It’s taken a lot of work to get where you are. You know how much is at stake and how important it is for your metals business to succeed for many years to come. Leave the legacy you want by empowering your team to win, setting the pace to lead, and being nimble to seize opportunities. And consider the important role technology can play in your long-term success.

Here at Crowe, we’ve helped metals businesses like yours take important steps toward securing long-term success through our metals industry experience and our specialization in ERP systems.

Contact us

Crowe has helped metals businesses build foundations with systems that set them up for long-term success. Contact us today, and let us help you leave the right legacy.
Tony Barnes
Tony Barnes
Managing Principal, Metals