Well I have finally published my revamped website at http://www.steelstrip.co.uk/ , and whilst checking and verifying links I came across http://www.butlersheetmetal.com/tinbasherblog/. I had heard of Blogs, but never understood what they were and the discovery of the Tinbasher’s blog was a revelation to me. Anyway the net result was that I decided to use this medium as a convenient way to publish my thoughts on aspects of our industry as the days go by, and hopefully invite comment. Anyway, since it was raised by Paul on the tinbasher’s site, I will pick up on the points he raised regarding the cost attached to access to information in our industry.
The most popular searches on our website relate to steel specifications and any such search on the internet will invariably lead to either the steel standard body who will sell you their publications, or subscription only sites that charge “not insignificant” amounts of money to access the information you need. For large organisations this is unlikely to be a problem, but for a smaller independent fabricator or pressworker trying to identify a grade designated on a drawing that is unknown to them it can be a problem. How can a company prepare a quote if they are unfamiliar with the raw material, where to get it, and its price? In the past when we had the same grades and classifications for years upon years, a “new spec” might appear on the rare occasion, but now with the global nature of supply chains and rewriting of standards, to have all the information either involves the ownership of a technical library, or a subscription to a specialist site. Since standards are designed to ensure that products meet minimal criteria (which often involves safety), surely it would be beneficial to all to make that information more readily available!
Anyway it’s snowing and I need to get some supplies in from Asda.