Nucor Steel Case Study

Topics: Steel, Mittal Steel Company, Iron Pages: 8 (3052 words) Published: May 2, 2010
There are many competitive forces that are affecting Nucor Corporation. Some of the primary ones are the market size, number of rivals, and pace of technological change.
The market size is shrinking because of the increase in competing international steel companies. The number of rivals in America is declining due to higher labor costs than in foreign countries. There is a very fast pace of technology in the steel industry and it seems that the company, that obtains the newest technology, flourishes. This is due to the difficulty in lower costs of steel production. Better technology is one of the only ways to decrease costs because labor is pretty much at a set cost and all that is left is the cost of iron and making the steel. If a company can get its hands on a new technology that allows it to under price its competitors then it has a big advantage in the steel industry. Nucor’s main rivals in the steel industry are AK Steel Holding Corporation, Mittal Steel Company, and U.S. Steel. The five forces for the steel industry are the buyers, substitutes, suppliers, threat of new entrants, and rivals. The buyers have a fairly strong power on the steel producers. This is because of the low switching cost between competitors. Unless a contract is signed between a steel company and its buyer, there is little cost to the buyer if it wants to switch to a different steel company. There are not very many substitutes for steel, as steel is a commodity, so the substitute power is weak. Steel is a one of a kind item in that it is very strong and very versatile in its use. It is used in buildings, automobiles, bridges, garage door openers, and many other everyday objects. Suppliers also have a weak power in the steel industry. The suppliers are supplying iron to steel companies. Iron is very common and many companies sell it. Also, steel companies frequently integrate backwards and provide their own iron to their steel mills. The threat of new entrants is very weak due to high entry barriers and the current struggling competitors. The rival power is moderate to strong because there are a fair number of steelmaking companies. Also steel dumping occurs, but I will be talking about that later. According to this analysis, Nucor is in a three star industry, so it seems to have an okay chance at surviving. It is not the best industry to be in, but Nucor still has been able to flourish due to its organizational philosophy and technological innovation. 2) The driving forces behind the steel industry are industry growth rate, globalization, technological change and manufacturing process innovation, exit of major firms, and frequent change in cost. The steel industry is falling. There is a declining demand for steel and many companies have already gone bankrupt or are on the verge of going bankrupt. Some of these companies are Bethlehem Steel and Ling-Temco-Vought. The steel industry is very difficult to compete in because more steel is being produced than there is demand for it. Globalization is also a problem for the steel industry in America. Due to globalization it is getting easier for competing companies to send their products to other countries. This causes a problem for companies like Nucor because America has strict labor laws. In other countries labor is exploited and workers are paid very little, while in America, companies must pay their workers a minimum wage. One good thing that America does do is provide tariffs on incoming steel products to help American companies better compete with the international companies. Some countries are subsidiaries to the steel companies in their countries. This means that the governments have a vested interest in the company and want it to succeed. The companies can then sell products, like steel, at a much lower price due to the incoming funding form the government. China has been accused of this and America has taken action to alert the World Trade Organization to settle the matter, but this is...
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