Getting aerospace aluminum extrusions at the right price and time is an ongoing challenge that could linger as supply chain pressures continue to push prices up and delivery times back.
“We’re in the same situation that we have been for the bulk of our extrusions. Lead times are mainly 60 to 80 weeks out and up to 100 weeks in some cases,” said Jamie Barron, Vice President of New Source Corporation.
Pricing factors such as sustained global conflicts, escalating shipping costs and persistent labor shortages make competitive pricing and timely shipments essential to keeping projects on time and within budget. As aluminum aerospace experts with years of expertise supplying the industry with high-quality aviation aluminum extrusions, New Source Corporation offers customers tips for saving money and keeping projects on track.
Planning ahead is the first step toward saving. “The best way to manage costs is to continue to plan ahead. The days of last-minute orders are gone,” Barron said.
With lead teams already commonly exceeding 80 weeks, Barron recommends planning more than two years ahead. “That’s the only way to lock in lower contract pricing,” he said.
Lead teams may not improve any time soon either if demand continues to outpace supply, like with government and military orders increasing as industry production gradually ramps up. However, New Source Corporation can secure better prices now even for orders that will not be delivered for a year or longer.
“We have already gotten orders for 2025-26 deliveries and even 2027. That’s four years away but customers are already putting orders on the books with us,” Barron said. “They know that they can have confidence in the base price that we give them and that we will honor it provided there are not any catastrophic events.”
Ordering ahead also lets a customer lock in their materials sooner. “If a customer keeps waiting to order, another customer is going to jump up there and take that spot on the schedule. So, planning ahead reduces the costs as well as the risk of not having the material on time,” Barron said, noting that waiting to order could even cost a customer more in the long run if they have to machine materials later due to the delay.
New Source Corporation makes it easier to order ahead by ordering more materials than customers need at the moment and holding them until they are ready to take delivery. As a supplier with vendor-managed inventory, New Source Corporation can offer customers lower prices over the long term by holding the price at the time of purchase from established mills.
Furthermore, New Source Corporation may be able to help a customer save money by creating custom extrusions. “Just because the part doesn’t exist now doesn’t mean you can’t design it,” Barron said. “The more creative you can be, the better you may be able to reduce lead times and costs.”
New Source Corporation works closely with customers, helping them find the best solutions for their needs. For example, in knowing what programs a customer supports, New Source Corporation can help them with demand planning and supply chain challenges.
“If we know that each plane needs 20 of the part and they have five planes to build, we can help them get at least 100 pieces,” Barron said, for example. New Source Corporation can assist the customer in forecasting the aluminum extrusion market amidst supply chain challenges.
New Source Corporation also offers managed processing capabilities that can help a customer keep their project on time and within budget, like by ordering parts of custom lengths and sizes.
“We want to be a partner, not just a vendor or supplier,” Barron said. “By being a partner, our customers can trust us and have one less thing to worry about.”
In specializing in aerospace aluminum extrusions, New Source Corporation helps customers save money and achieve their goals of keeping projects on time and within budget.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you with aerospace aluminum extrusions.