Analysis of the Cement Industry in North America

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The cement industry in North America has been struggling through tough times in recent years. It is hard to believe that cement volumes have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1980s. The Portland Cement Association has predicted modest growth in the US cement industry during 2011 – 12, and expects that 2013 will mark a watershed for the industry in terms of a substantive and sustained recovery in volume and company decisions to re-open in the context of harsh EPA NESHAP regulations (Maxwell-Cook 2011). The manufacturing of portland cement requires large amounts of fuel, energy and maintenance of physical equipment which accrues massive production costs for the manufacturing companies. It is important for managers at Gray Portland Cement Company to begin assessing how the company can retain major customers to develop long term supply arrangements, learn ways to obtain and share operating statistics of other cement companies, and secure adequate supplies of fuel and energy at an acceptable cost to ensure uninterrupted operation at each of their cement plants. What action can Gray Portlands Cement Company (GPCC) take to retain their major customer and possibly develop a long-term supply arrangement beneficial to all parties? GPCC can first look at re-evaluating their existing strategies on customer service and create annual contracts with renewal benefits and a sales force team. By providing exceptional customer service to keep current companies happy, GPCC can hope to maintain customer relationships. By assessing the needs of their customers, GPCC will also be able to better anticipate their customers’ needs and forecast the economics of construction materials for when demand is high and when it declines. The company can focus on a market driven strategy supporting the needs of their customers (Ansoff & Antoniou, 2005). GPCC should also look at creating annual contracts with its clientele. GPCC can provide added benefits such as monthly...
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