The sharp price increases in commodities and fuel will have some hidden benefits. With steel passing $900 per ton we invested in software to minimize scrap. It was very successful and will pay for itself in only a few months. The benefits will accrue even when prices fall.

Higher fuel prices have forced us to examine more efficient trucking options. We now focus on fuel costs per ton, forcing us to find ways to get more on a truck when it leaves. It is the equivalent of carpooling.

And our office workers are actively pursuing carpooling options; the inconvenience and independence is being offset by the consciousness of the weekly gasoline bill.

All of these efficiency improvements will last regardles of what happens to prices moving forward.