A sharper edge for steel’s market development sword

Nov 01, 2008 | 11:44 AM |

To be competitive in today's global marketplace, the steel industry must have a clear understanding of current market trends and a vision for those issues that will define future market demand.

To take advantage of opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) has established the Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of AISI. Building on the success of AISI's market development programs, the SMDI's mission is "to advance the competitive use of steel through a market-driven strategy that promotes cost-effective steel-based solutions." In other words, the SMDI is now the AISI's leading organization for actively engaging customers, designers, developers and other interest groups in meeting market demand with innovative steel solutions.

The essential purpose behind the SMDI's strategic business model resides in three areas the need to sustain long-term market demand consistent with the industry's investment in capital; a critical strategy to address competing material challenges to market share; and the engagement of customers in both defining and investing in new technologies.

Through a comprehensive, five-year business plan, the SMDI has defined a strategic "road map" for where to apply the industry's annual investment in order to ensure long-term steel demand.

Customer partnerships and collaboration with the design community are essential to achieving the long-term goals of the SMDI mission. As a primary material industry, steel is 100 percent dependent on the downstream manufacturing sector—our customers—to convert steel into consumable products such as automobiles, buildings, bridges and containers. Today, there are more than 265 organizations, ranging from large original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to small fabricators, partnering in the SMDI programs. These partnerships are essential to our advancements in the market and in helping customers remain competitive. ....





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