Import Stainless Tubing
With recent soaring prices in steel, buying domestic was a severe challenge for many industries and process engineers found that they could no longer stay in business practicing the way they had in days of boom steel pricing. Import stainless tubing became attractive to many as a way to keep prices down and remain competitive in a world turned upside down with a churning economy. The debate of import stainless tubing versus domestic has continued with a comparison of the product and the end result of its use.
Lower prices do not always mean a sacrifice in quality. However, unfortunately for countries exporting their stainless tubing, the quality of import stainless tubing has suffered compared to that of domestic. During the initial crisis of the soaring price of steel, companies welcomed the ease of import stainless tubing and its cheap pricing. As time passed, the mediocre quality became expensive as the end users no longer found the cheaper product acceptable.
Distributors who went off shore for import stainless tubing to protect their profitability and stay afloat found that their customers eventually became dissatisfied with the quality and began to turn away, to find domestic stainless tubing from another distributor. This was a painful lesson for companies who modified their practices to accommodate what to them seemed an endangered economy. Good business practices such as keeping your customers happy whether or not you use import stainless tubing are critical in any economy.
The difference in quality of import stainless tubing with domestic is measurable and most noticeable with the finished product of tube polishing. What may be termed a 180 grit polished finish by a supplier of import stainless tubing could be considered more akin to a mill finish which has no polish at all. It is no wonder that such a supplier would be suffering from low sales. What is surprising is that the supplier would not make the connection that going cheap was not satisfactory to his customers.
The difference between the 180 grit polished finish of the import stainless tubing and a finished polish from a domestic product is significant. The imported 180 grit appears duller and less polished whereas it should have a gritty finish and still looked polished. The cuts were distinctly ragged due to the lesser quality of import stainless tubing and companies were experiencing a downturn in their own economic outlook as a result.
Import stainless tubing has also become less competitive with the price of nickel dropping. The danger of ordering the inferior but cheaper import steel tubing is that as it crosses the Pacific to reach you, prices have dropped domestically and end users can buy the superior local product at the same or even better price than what you spent on the import.
The important lesson learned by those who import stainless tubing is that their customers are willing to pay a little more for greater value. There is no economic down turn for those who provide value in exchange for their customer's dollar.