Australia, like every other country, is still dealing with a supply shortage of just about everything. The country does have supplies, but it's taking longer to transport them, and companies are able to get fewer items compared to just a few years ago. This is actually not that new for Australia as travel and transport times were already long, even in excellent conditions, but the supply chain problems of the past few years have really emphasized just how tough it can be to get products, including steel. If your company works with steel materials and has had issues keeping things in stock, you're not alone. The changing market has made it difficult to find a sustainable purchasing pattern, especially with companies trying to stock up. Instead, try a few different tactics.
Smaller Orders, More Often
Instead of grabbing a huge bulk order, competing against many other companies and possibly missing out on purchases due to that competition, buy smaller orders, more often. Making frequent purchases may be difficult for tight budgets, but it may also be more helpful for keeping parts in stock. And if you become known as a company that always has the parts people need or the parts a project needs, you may end up with more customers, which is great for your budget.
Buying Bulk With Partners
If you know of other companies in your area that need steel supplies, too, you and they might consider teaming up to buy a large, bulk order of steel and then split it. While none of you may end up with the amount of steel you'd like to have, you'd all have some, rather than one company getting everything in that bulk order. Supplies aren't so bad that only one order would be available, of course; this is just an example. But if you do find that some steel has become available, you may want to form a group effort to keep all of your companies reasonably stocked up.
Collecting Cutting Waste
If you cut steel products on a work site, take extra care to collect any waste after the cutting is done. That's not only good for the environment, but you can recycle that steel, either through a scrap yard for money or by melting it to reform it into a new part that you can use. That helps financially and materially, even if you typically don't have a lot of steel waste.
Eventually, the supply chain backup should resolve. But until then, you'll have to keep a close eye on your steel supplies and order frequently to restock.
Contact a supplier for more information about maintaining steel supplies.