Filed under: The Elements & Total Plastics | Tags: alternative materials, chemical resistance, copper prices, plastics company, price of copper
Tracking the price of copper, like many other commodities, would inspire the world’s greatest rollercoaster design. In 2011, it hit 5-year record highs at more than $4.50/lb. Copper prices saw steady gains through much of 2011, consistent with previous years, until the cost finally dipped as 2011 came to a close [illustrated in the chart below]. Entering the year, investors tabbed copper as fundamentally one of the strongest commodities, something that isn’t likely to change in 2012. From various forecasts and projections, the price of copper is likely to rise up from approximately $3.50/lb to between $4-$4.50/lb. This is in stark contrast to the recession years when the price of copper bottomed out at less than $1.50 a pound.
I first stated that copper’s prices had more of a rollercoaster design appeal. This wouldn’t be true if your business relies heavily on the metal. It’d sooner inspire the world’s biggest headache. The price per ton has ranged from $3,000 to $9,400 in the last 3 years. The purchasing department’s cost allocation report for the quarter could simply be “?”.
I can look at prices, past and projected, stockpiles and mining outlooks all day on various commodities. I find it fascinating to track the ripple affect that leads to this-or-that gain and loss, whether it stockpiling by the Chinese, natural disasters impacting mining, or the advent of alternative materials . I typically zero in on copper since in a previous position, its price had the biggest impact on the company month-to-month.
As you may expect from someone sitting in a position with a plastics company, the “alternative material” is a popular subject matter when addressing metals, metal prices and properties. I recently stumbled upon a chart comparing the polymer PEEK to various metals. According to the research, PEEK has better chemical resistance when compared to bronze, aluminum or steel. It’s also harder than bronze or aluminum while maintaining a much lower density. That was just a snippet of the information this research revealed.
This post is just an initial entry, an introduction of sorts, into a series we’ll publish of the course of the year that will measure plastic material against certain metals. There are applications and where metal, such as copper, has long been the standard. We mean to demonstrate that plastics can be used as a suitable, if not better, alternative material.
Filed under: The Elements & Total Plastics
If you’re a follower of TPI’s blog, here’s a little update of what’s in the hopper. Currently in the works and should be published over the next few days:
• Alternative material mindset
• Business in spite of weather
• The wonderful world of SWAG
• Oregon’s exploding whale
Filed under: B2B, The Elements & Total Plastics | Tags: Advertising, Apps, B2B, business, CES 2012, Marketing, movie trailer, Smartphones, Technology
The Consumer Electronic Show (CES 2012), which concluded Jan. 13, is typically the launching ground of some of the newest, coolest technology. Browsing through some of the highlights I came across this video, presented by Aurasma, which absolutely blew me away.
The most basic explanation of how this is possible is the app recognizes the imagine of the $20 bill, which acts as a trigger. The subsequent 3D rendering and video is overlaid, making it appear as if your imagine has come to life.
Imagine reading through a magazine and coming across an ad for a upcoming movie that piques your interest. You grab your phone, snap a picture of the ad and the movie trailer plays as if it were on the page. Basically, this technology allows printed advertisements to come to life. Static ads, posters, newsletters, logos, and so on, will reveal a much greater, deeper message.
You can probably say goodbye to QR codes.
There’s much more about this software to learn and understand, which I am still doing. I’ll keep you posted. From an marketing and advertising standpoint, this opens up a world of possibility.
Filed under: The Elements & Total Plastics | Tags: job openings, knoxville area, plastics, sales representative
Join the Total Plastics Team!
TPI currently has an opening for an Account Manager/Outside Sales Representative serving the Knoxville-area market. Below is a link to the full job description contained in LinkedIn:
Details to apply for the position are contained on the LinkedIn page (a LinkedIn account is required to apply). For more job openings at TPI, please click here.
I learned of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il’s death via Twitter. It was a surreal moment as the echo of me saying “Twitter’s useless” still resonates. But I said that before I became a Tweeter myself. In fact, I said that without any real immersion into the site. I now find a lot of value with Twitter, as do millions of others. With that said, I knew Twitters value to me personally, but could Total Plastics benefit from Twitter?
Personally, I follow a lot of sports writers, athletes and various sports-related personalities. Their presence on Twitter first convinced me of its value. For instance, multiple sports writers break news via their Twitter feed. More so than on your standard sports website. They also share story links, excerpts from stories, and interesting personal observations. For me, Twitter is a single platform to access ESPN, Yahoo, The Sporting News, CBS Sports, Sports Illustrated, and on and on. I’ve shaped my own sports news community. I’m tapped in to what interests me and I disregard what doesn’t. NFL, college football, college basketball and MLB … Yes, yes, yes, and yes. NBA, NHL, NASCAR, MMA … No, no, no and no.
With Total Plastics’ Twitter feed, our goal is to shape an industry-related community where we’re tapped into the news and events that affect us. Additionally, as an industry-leading distributor of plastic sheet, rod, tube, film and tape, Total Plastics aims to significantly contribute to that community. Much in the way I rely on trusted sports writers for news, we want others tapping into the industry news to follow and rely on us.
We hope that community grows. We’re a part of it now, following others in it and contributing to it. We hope to connect to professionals in various industries that rely on plastics material.
Total Plastics can be found on Twitter @plasticssource.
I received an invoice today from an advertising company based in Illinois for an ad we apparently ran with an Indianapolis-based high school in their spring sports calendar. This was the first I’d heard of any ad, but we have 16 branches, so it isn’t unheard of that someone local agreed to a small sponsorship listing supporting a local high school. The invoice was for $109, so it didn’t raise huge red flags. I got in touch with our Indy branch and no one there was aware of any ad. Further digging suggested that this was likely a scam. The business’s website was sketchy, no contact name or direct email, other businesses had posted similar concerns and the general vagueness of the invoice all alerted me that this was a scam.
There’s a whole criminal enterprise that operates by simply sending out these fake invoices. It isn’t uncommon, unfortunately. Many use scare tactics.
LEGAL ACTION WILL BE TAKEN!
PAYMENT PAST DUE!
ACCOUNT SUSPENDED! IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED!
Many pose as a yellow-pages style telephone directory and claim: Your listing is in jeopardy. Your listing will be removed. Your listing has expired.
How many people end up submitting payments, providing sensitive account and personal information, on these fake invoices. The invoice amounts themselves are often reasonable and seemingly for a vital business component. “$239 to keep our local telephone listing. Sounds right.” “$350 to renew our trademark. Absolutely.” “$150 to renew our domain name. OK.”
In the tradeshow world, there exists several pirate housing agencies that will claim to be the official housing agency of this-or-that tradeshow. They are not a scam, in the traditional sense, as they do offer a service and will book rooms. However, they represent themselves as something they are not, mislead individuals about fees and availabilities, they are not transparent about policies and penalties, and finally, make it near impossible to get in contact with them. This makes them a scam in my book.
Several years ago, I fell for another type of scam involving printing supplies. It was extremely well conceived, as scams go, and organized. One morning I received a call from a individual, posing as a sales rep for a printing supply company, asking about our printers and suppliers. “What kind of printer does your office use? I can put together a quote on ink and cartridges and you can compare it to your current supplier.” Harmless right? I’m never opposed to finding a better, less expensive source. I listed a few of our larger printers and the conversation ended there. A few days later, after that brief conversation completely faded from memory, I received a call from another individual who never really identified himself, but acted as if we’d known each other for years.
“Zack, I’m in the warehouse right now and we have your printer cartridges packed up and ready to ship out. I just wanted to verify that they should go to your attention.”
He listed off our printers as if he had walked through our office himself to check them out. I made the assumption that this was our regular supplier and without thinking, I said yes, “Put them to my attention.” Several days later we received a shipment of cartridges, to my attention, at nearly 5 times the cost of what we normally pay. I returned the cartridges immediately. A week later I received an invoice for a 25% restocking fee. I was livid, in part with the company and in part with himself. I didn’t pay the restocking fee despite some push back by the supply company. I pushed back and they “waived” all charges. I asked them to place us on their “Do Not Call” list and I reported them to the BBB.
Scammers will threaten, but in the end the last thing they want is to bring attention to themselves. They’re hoping for the easy money and as little interaction as possible. Never assume and if need be, push back. More importantly, when it comes to providing sensitive material to potential vendors and third party companies, question everything.