Time to take control of metal recycling

Mark Abbas, Director of Business Development at cloud technology company AMCS, explains how digitalisation can help metal recyclers navigate economic uncertainty and make their businesses more flexible

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The upheaval in global market conditions for commodities presents unprecedented challenges, not least for metal recyclers. Erratic fluctuations in supply, demand and currency prices for metals are part of the everyday reality, and metal recyclers are finding it hard to do business as consumers of recycled materials face economic difficulty.

In the face of such difficulties, moving towards a circular economy can seem like a daunting task, but it is a goal we must contribute to strive towards. Not only does it protect the environment, but it makes good business sense.

A pile of scrap metal
As Einstein once said, in the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity. Current market difficulties should be seen as an opportunity to get creative and innovative to thrive now and in the future.

The metal industry is projected to grow from US$52.1 billion in 2019 to US$76.1 billion by 2025, fuelled by the demand for steel from developing countries as they continue to urbanise and industrialise.

To take advantage of these opportunities, metal recyclers need to embrace the agility and flexibility provided by digitalisation of operations and AMCS is ready to support metal recyclers through this process.

Helping more than 600 recyclers worldwide to adapt to new market conditions, AMCS is well-placed to help metal recyclers to optimise their business, cutting logistics costs while supporting operational and post-operational processes.

AMCS provides a range of technologies that can help metal recycling companies to protect their margins, giving companies the tools they need to insulate against issues such as changing prices, complex pricing structures, material quality and contamination, downtime of facilities, inventory management, supplier communications and safety and crime prevention.

By streamlining all processes within one system across all locations using AMCS Recycling Software, businesses can work more efficiently, achieving growth and providing answers to unexpected challenges.

The uses for AMCS Recycling Software are multiple. Recyclers are provided with flexible pricing options, allowing them to set up individual prices by customer, their locations, commodities, dates, quantities and price codes. The software allows recyclers to download the London Metal Exchange’s close price (though you can fix to any market price list), which can be used to create contracts based on price, with a fixation notice going out to the customer. Contracts can be updated in real time and signed electronically, eliminating errors and reducing operating costs.

The AMCS Mobile Grading app automatically links photos to material, giving proof of a material’s quality and eliminating time-consuming manual processes. Now the Mobile Grading app does away with paper and speeds up truck weighing, while also being able to do multiple commodity splits and stock management.

And the benefits are clear. Businesses using AMCS Intelligent Optimisation have saved up to 75 per cent administration planning time and reduced the number of trucks on the road by up to 15 per cent.

Lang Recycling, a metal recycling company based in Gaggenau, Germany, that processes around 700,000 tonnes of scrap metal a year, used AMCS technology to record inventories in real time to increase transparency in material inputs and sorting, which allows for errors in the sorting process to be identified immediately. As a result Lang has been able to reduce its warehouse inventory by 25 per cent and save capital costs of around €40,000.

Commenting, Eduard Panaset, IT Manager at Lang, said: “AMCS has developed a mobile reporting app, which enables us to record and document inventory flows directly on the move. Additionally, to the mobile recording, we have also introduced the AMCS Business Intelligence solution, which allows us to better forecast and better align our sellers with quantity inflows. This allows us to react more flexibly and quickly to market shifts. Overall, the improved data quality of the latter product helps us to speed up processing and make every decision based on sound information.”

Meanwhile, Kaatsch Recycling, based in Plochingen, Germany, has also made gains using AMCS technology. The 200-person company with an annual turnover of €160 million now handles all its contract management, contract administration, position management, risks and monthly price adjustment in one place thanks to AMCS software.

Christiano Miranda, Procurement Manager at Kaatsch, said: "We use software solutions from Recy AMCS not only in the office, but also on our yard. Here, the material is assessed at goods reception using iGrading, so that we know at all times what kind of material it is, so that we can also make corresponding complaints, or the camera system, which takes photos from the front, back and top during the weighing process. This means that, on the one hand, I can prove to my customers that the truck was weighed properly. Secondly, I can also trace which material was in the truck, whether the capacity utilisation was right and whether the quality was right. These are all topics that are of great interest to us as scrap dealers and which are of great concern to us.”

At AMCS we are ready to help metal recyclers move forward through uncertainty and strengthen their businesses to take advantage of the world of opportunities that is open to scrap metal.

Information on how AMCS can help metal recyclers to optimise their business operations can be found on the AMCS metal recycling microsite, which provides case studies, videos and other useful resources explaining what AMCS can provide metal recycling businesses.

AMCS has produced a whitepaper on metal recycling, which you can view on the AMCS website.