How Technology is Changing the Scrap Industry

Every day, new technology emerges that disrupts traditional practices and changes society forever. We live in a world where businesses can now process credit card transactions and run sales reports right from their smartphones.  It seems like every industry has been touched by the digital revolution, yet, there are still some who resist change. They have managed to dodge the implementation of social networking, internet visibility, mobile optimization, and technology as a whole, opting to stay offline entirely. Although it may seem primitive, this has been a seemingly conscious decision by most in the scrap metal industry.

The scrap recycling world is quite mysterious. To outsiders, not much is known about the industry aside from stereotypes about its members and culture. However, those familiar know that it’s a multi-billion dollar industry where you can turn a profit using a little know-how and some old fashioned hustle.  Over the years, the scrap business has generally been unaffected and continues to have an “old-school” approach. While this works, it is not necessarily the most efficient way of doing things.  An example of this is the emergence of inventory management software.

Since the beginning of time, many scrap yards have gotten by using nothing more than their eyes or handwritten records to keep track of their inventory. Eventually, many begrudgingly took the leap forward and started using Quickbooks or Microsoft Excel to try and keep accurate records.  Now, many scrap yards are resisting the inevitable change to inventory management software and systems.  This technology has already helped many scrap yards improve their bottom line by helping to fight shrinkage, accurately managing inventory, tracking buy/sell prices, and improving overall efficiency. Despite these obvious financial benefits, many still refuse to invest in this technology because they are used to doing things their way.

The truth is, technology is supposed to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. People put up with inferior technology because they have become accustomed to it.  We fear change because it’s new but we should embrace it because it’s inevitable.  If individuals in the scrap industry can learn to embrace technology and the positive changes it can bring, they will find themselves and their organizations in a much more advantageous position. The business of scrap doesn’t have to remain archaic; it just needs to start taking advantage of the technological advances already being put into place.