Ironmakers’ trade shows are more profitable than ever before
It’s a bit of a mystery why ironmakers’ annual trade show has been such a lucrative one for the company in recent years.
It’s probably because of the demand from clients.
But it also might be because of ironmaking itself.
For ironmakers, this year’s event is the biggest in years, and its attendance has been growing steadily since 2014.
In fact, last year was the first time the annual trade shows were sold out.
This year, the annual event was sold out for the first day of the trade show, a record that the company says will likely increase.
It has seen an increase in iron sales since its last annual event in 2007, according to the company.
“This is not an event that we can sit back and just go with,” says Jeff Tamblyn, vice president of sales and marketing at the company, which manufactures a variety of products including iron tools and molds for steel.
“The demand is out there.
We’re going to do our best to get the most out of it.”
Ironmaking has always been a tough industry to crack.
It employs about 40,000 people in Canada, according the Ironworkers Union of Canada.
Tambys company was the only one of the eight companies that participated in the last annual trade-show to win a spot on the top Canadian list.
The group, which represents about 3,000 workers, was invited to bid on the next trade show but was rejected because it didn’t have a solid track record.
That decision prompted the group to boycott the annual shows.
“It’s not a decision that is made lightly,” says Tambies co-president Michael Hickey, who was a founding member of the group.
“Our members are tired of the lack of leadership from this company.”
The group also says the lack a solid product base makes it hard to get a fair return for its members.
But for Tambylins company, the lack is more than a lack of marketability.
“We’ve been looking at our business model and our product line and we are not getting the value we want,” he says.
The ironmaker has also been struggling with the rise in iron prices.
A lot of iron has been produced for a very low price in China and other Asian countries and that has kept iron prices low.
But in recent months, the price of iron in Canada has skyrocketed, to more than $10 per kilogram in some parts of the country.
That is a huge amount of money for a product that is often used in the construction industry.
But many of those ironworkers are also the hardest working in the industry, says Hickey.
And when the prices of their products start to go up, the whole company has to cut back on production and equipment.
“That’s why you have to reduce your workforce,” he adds.
“And that’s why we are having trouble getting people to come and work.”
Some ironworkers, like Jason Sainz, a 40-year-old steelworker from Ottawa, have been left out of the company’s latest trade show bid because they can’t afford to be in a location where the iron prices are high.
The company says that it can’t find qualified workers, even in the most competitive areas.
Sainys co-founder and CEO John Pomeranz says the ironmaker’s current workforce is around 25 people.
That number has grown by almost 100 people since the last trade show in 2017.
And it has to be a tight knit team.
“There is a real disconnect between the workers that we have and the workforce that we need to be able to support,” he said.
“A lot of the members don’t feel like they’re getting a fair price for their work.”
The company is hoping to raise that number further, says Pomerans team.
But so far, the plan hasn’t worked.
“If you want to know the truth, it’s that our members are the ones that have been hardest hit by this,” says Pymannis co-CEO John Pomeca.
“They’ve been hurt the most.”
And that has to change.
“People have been doing the best they can to try to support the business.
And then it’s just not working,” says Hems.
“Iron is our lifeblood.
We have to find a way to change that.
And I think we’ve found that way.”
With files from the Canadian Press