How do we Know When it is Time to Give up?

Posted on June 25, 2014 by Ewen Dobbie

This is, of course, an individual decision. There is no magic number of unprofitable months or years one must endure. Each person or Company has his or her own pain threshold. What might be bearable for some may be too much for others.

For those of us making our livelihood in the Steel Industry, we are faced with a constant downward price pressure for our services. I can argue that the steel detailing services industry has become commoditized and globalized with the ‘lowest’ bid usually winning. The question remains, how will the North American Steel Industry respond to these changing forces? Will offshore or overseas services become the norm? Can North American companies still be competitive? The answer to these questions will determine when enough is enough, and whether the industry as we know it is ready to throw in the towel.

For Dowco, some things have become clear. The world has changed. The market has changed. The role of the detailer has changed. To survive, we must change with the changing times! End-of-story.

People often ask what the secret to surviving 44 years in business is. The answer is simple: The things we found simple and easy to do, others found easy not to do. We set goals, invested in technology, ISO registration, and we learned to differentiate. Others found it easier not to. We found it prudent to participate in Industry associations and to listen and learn what successful companies were doing; we found it prudent to study trends and emerging markets. Others thought these things really didn't matter. To sum it up, I would say that what we chose to do (invest in technology and diversifying our services offering to meet the changing needs of the market), others chose not to do. Others may still blame the economy, globalization, and some even blame the government and policies, yet they fail to see the need to make basic adjustments.

We remain strong in our belief that we can, and will adapt. We believe we can compete with any company in the world to deliver quality steel detailing services, as well as delivering a wide variety of value added preconstruction services and innovative technology solutions for steel design, detailing, fabrication and construction.


Dowco Group - Ewen Dobbie

Business Strategist, Owner, President, CEO, Director, for technology companies serving the design & construction industry.


Dowco Group of Companies