When it comes to demand planning for aerospace metals, it’s best to forget the past and focus on the future. Whatever may have worked previously might not work now.
“The most important thing right now is being proactive on forecasting. Looking ahead, and not behind,” said Jamie Barron, Vice President of New Source Corporation. “One of the biggest mistakes we see is people using previous years’ data.”
Too much has changed in the world and within the aerospace and defense industries to place orders based on previous conditions. Lead times for some materials have reached 80 to 85 weeks due to supply chain challenges like those caused by the war in Ukraine and escalating demand for metals as the US and its allies build up their militaries.
“We’re planning as if what we’ve seen going on is going to be compounded,” Barron said. “All of this uncertainty causes questions to come out as to what will happen if global tensions continue, especially in the defense industry.”
The aerospace industry in general is surging as airlines also build out their fleets. “There are many purchases on the books and planes being built. Whether it’s airlines or defense contractors, there’s unprecedented and increasing demand,” Barron said.
With material being in such high demand, Barron recommends that customers take advantage of New Source Corporation’ stock and place their Orders now. The company could then hold the materials in its warehouse and ship them when the customer is ready.
“It’s surprising how many of our customers get prices but don’t place the actual orders when they may have to wait 1.5 years for a new Mill run of material,” Barron said.
In addition to urging customers to order ahead, New Source Corporation is helping them by investing in more holding space and increasing its inventory of materials such as aerospace-grade aircraft aluminum extrusions, aluminum seamless tubing and high-performance alloys. It also offers vendor-managed inventory so that customers can trust products to be available when needed.
“We urge our customers to inform us of their programs and to trust us to manage it,” Barron said. “That way, they don’t have to worry about analyzing lead times and adjusting forecasts because we do it for them. It’s one less thing they have to worry about.”
Communicating and collaborating
New Source Corporation has also expanded its team, going from 20 employees to 32 in a year, so that it can work with customers more closely. The expansion has included adding new Sales Representative, Sales Assistants and Warehouse Personnel to ensure a quick turn-around time for customer shipments
“As our team grows, our Sales Representatives are able to reach out to more customers more often,” Barron said. “We want to give all of them the most professional attention and help them as much as we can.”
That help includes assisting them with demand planning and business forecasting in uncertain times. In looking ahead, instead of behind, New Source Corporation is helping customers get the materials they need, when they need them.
New Source Corporation has one of the largest inventories of aluminum extruded products, tubing, and other high-performance alloys in the country. Contact us today to learn how we can help you overcome supply chain challenges and get you the right pieces for the right price at the right time, every time.