A new online resource aims to level the playing field for metals buyers by creating an objective and anonymous materials pricing platform to help them benchmark raw material market prices.
Price Dynamics launched in October. Developed by Supply Dynamics, Loveland, OH, the web site is designed for metals buyers from different industries and allows them to privately and securely compare metals prices and evaluate all known sources of supply.
“Price Dynamics provides reliable statistics about what others are paying for the raw material you are buying–taking into account things like form, grade, specification, transaction size or quantity,” explains Trevor Stansbury, founder and president of Supply Dynamics. “A community of actual buyers, and not the sellers, are probably a better judge of what a fair market price is.”
Users have free access to basic pricing information, but will pay a fee for advanced reports and filters, which include functions such as storing information from previous entries and eventually receiving alerts that indicate when a specific material’s average market price has increased or decreased based on the last paid by the user.
Stansbury says his team has put a lot of work into creating a secure site with comprehensive information. The software is equipped with advanced algorithms that prevent manipulation of the data by robots “or other questionable user behaviour” that could potentially skew prices. “For example, if a price entered by a user varies by more than two standard deviations from the mean, it doesn’t get included in the database; we put many measures like that in place to preserve the accuracy,” says Stansbury.
He says users can also access, for free, a comprehensive list of legitimate suppliers of materials.
“If you determine the price you have is not competitive, you can identify all (known) alternative sources of supply. We’ll tell you the name, address and show the location of the supplier in relation to your facility. You can also filter the type of supplier you are looking for, whether it’s a mill or a distributor,” explains Stansbury.
User Larry Bumgardner, director of purchasing at fabrication equipment supplier Cincinnati Inc., says the report made obvious an opportunity for significant savings on A36 carbon steel plate. “The Metals Benchmarking Report showed potential … savings that made us review our strategy. Our expectations are high, (with) $50,000 cost savings on product and total steel inventory at 50 per cent or less of past levels. The analysis provided by the report has steered our raw material acquisition in a new, lower cost direction.”