“Knowledge is power is time is money,” the saying goes. This has never been more true than in business today.  An abundance of information can be at our fingertips and how we choose to utilize data, or not use it, can create or diminish a competitive advantage. This holds true in the scrap metal recycling industry.   

While the work of a scrap metal recycling yard may be crushing metal, the success of the business will be in crunching numbers. 

A myriad of purchases provide the ground work for a scrap yard’s business, and sales to consumers ultimately provide revenue. Having a handle on the volume and pricing of incoming and outgoing material is how you can track profitability. Keeping track of all these purchase and sale obligations is a complex and time-consuming task. This is where industry-specific software comes into play. 

Industry-specific software for a scrap metal recycling business can address two issues. 

First, it can help a scrap yard effectively manage the administrative burden of tracking the countless transactions involved in the buying and selling of scrap metal. Secondly, in addition to streamlining this administrative burden, it provides a bird’s eye view of all transactions, allowing you to clearly track profitability and see where there is opportunity for increasing it.  Having this kind of data available can be a game changer for a scrap metal recycling business. 

Control the Purchasing Process

Nothing impacts the bottom line like the purchasing process. Are you actively managing, tracking and reviewing how much you are paying for raw material? A good industry-specific software will allow you to exercise complete control over retail and commercial purchasing processes. Software should be able to provide insights into purchase and vendor activity across multiple sites. Accurate reporting should allow you to view what has been purchased, from whom, for how much and where the purchase took place.  A good software solution will then be able to generate a variety of reports to summarize and dissect this information, revealing where this is room for improvement. 

Manage Shipments and Sales

If a scrap yard is using paper tracking or spreadsheets to document sales and shipments to consumers, chances are they are not getting a clear overview of vital information. A software solution can track costs related to the shipment and its sales contract and keep track of simultaneous shipment and sales transactions at multiple locations. It can then provide a variety of reports that will tell an accurate story of consumer activity across one or more yards.  You can look up who you sold material to, at what price, with shipment information, using a variety of parameters including date range and consumer.

Track and Process Quotes and Contracts

To optimize business opportunities, a software solution can provide scrap metal recyclers with a simple and efficient way to create, track and process each quote and contract.  With insight provided by software, a recycler can adapt purchase and sales decisions according to ever-changing market conditions.  A premier software solution should be able to support open pricing, formula pricing linked to price books, and recurring quotes and contracts, among other options.

A variety of software products designed to help businesses produce quotes are on the market today.  Sometimes called “Quotes to Cash” systems, they have been proven to reduce the time spent managing contracts, shorten the sales cycle and increase revenue. An industry-specific software is a better solution for scrap metal recyclers because it is designed for scrap metal transactions exclusively.  It can be used to rapidly produce quotes and then track those quotes issued to vendors as well as quotes received from consumers. Then, when it is time to close a deal, you can save time by easily converting the quote into a contract. 

Another time-saving feature is the ability to convey a contract to a vendor that they can sign with an e-signature.  E-signatures are legally binding but do not require the parties to deliver pieces of paper for a hard copy signature.  With an e-signature solution, a quote can be converted to a contract and emailed back to the vendor for an immediate e-signature. This greatly simplifies and speeds up your business process.  ScrapWare Corp., which provides software to scrap metal recyclers, has teamed up with DocuSign to integrate e-signatures into their software with their ScrapScribe product.

Scrap brokerage transactions can also be handled with industry-specific software. A brokerage feature should allow you to relate a sales contract to one or more purchase contracts. After establishing the relationships between contracts, a variety of brokerage reports can give a recycler insight into the profitability of brokerage activity.    

The most important feature of a quotes and contracts software package is the impact on the bottom line.  A good quotes and contracts solution allows you to quickly and easily determine which consumers offer the best price for a given commodity, view open and closed contracts with vendors and consumers, and decide what material to ship first.  It can be used to measure vendor performance against promised delivery tonnages and adjust your pricing accordingly.

In addition to these industry-specific benefits, cloud-based software today allows users important general benefits as well, such as:
  • ability for your workforce to conduct business from anywhere
  • ability to share documents
  • capacity to have documents saved and backed up in a secure manner

Harnessing and analyzing data is the way of the future to be competitive. ScrapWare Corp. has been supplying scrap metal recyclers with industry-specific software for the past 30 years.  ScrapWare’s cloud-based product is designed specifically for the needs of the scrap metal recycling industry. ScrapWare has continually enhanced its modules to track and manage purchases, sales, quotes and contracts with input from its scrap metal recycling customers.

As scrap metal recyclers seek to invest in more efficient ways to process metal, they also need to examine software investments to help them crunch the numbers.  For, as Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

ScrapWare Corp., of Rockville, MD, has been providing software to the scrap metal recycling industry for over 30 years.  ScrapWare uses an Oracle database to provide a cloud-based software solution to manage all aspects of a recycling business.  With numerous modules, extensive technical support, remote installation and online training, ScrapWare helps recycling companies with compliance, efficiency and profitability. Check out ScrapWare’s website, read the user testimonials, and see its offerings for your recycling software solution.