Start a Steel Roof Sheeting Manufacturing Company

A roof sheet manufacturing business manufactures roof sheets in various configurations (corrugated, inverted box rib, concealed fix etc.). This business involves buying the rolls of flat sheet metal from a manufacturer such as Mittal and then fabricating, cutting it to size and then reselling it to a building supply company, hardware stores or even directly to the trade.

Getting Started
This business requires a roll forming machine and a metal guillotine to get started, and of course the premises to house the machines. A lot of these machines has a guillotine attached. Here is a short video on how this process works:

You can also read up on roll forming to get more acquainted with the process of turning the rolled flat sheet of metal into a fabricated roof sheet.

Then you need a supply of sheet metal or steel coils. There are some local manufacturers, steel coil can also be imported, but there are some factors to consider when importing such as duties and tariffs and obviously the exchange rate.

Business Model
This is a manufacturing business, the steel coil sheet is the raw material which is then fabricated to create an end product which is sold into the building industry. This is part of a larger industry called sheet metal fabrication, by focusing on a mass-produced product instead of more custom steel fabrication work your profit margin will be lower than manufacturing custom steel products such as say chimneys and flues and that is why you need to get your position and marketing right.

This business can manufacture roof sheets in various configurations:
Corrugated also known as Victorian Profile sheeting, this is your common roof sheet, you see this a lot in poor areas in SA or in older buildings.
Inverted box rib also known as IBR – a trapezoidal-fluted sheet.
Concealed fix – also known as secret fix – designed to provide a roof covering without end laps

Target Market & Marketing
The target market is the building trade, but the main thing is how to take your product to market when you have existing competition. Can you produce a comparable product for cheaper so that retail outlets (building supplier, hardware) will carry your product or do you cut out the middleman (retail outlet) and sell direct to the trade, then your location has to be just right.

An often overlooked market, the lower end township market – which is where the majority of South Africans live is something to look at. In various provinces you have building supply companies that cater to this market they supply various home improvement things: building materials, Wendy houses, aluminum windows and doors and they often supply finance (via third parties like Real People Finance)to get product off the floor. These are the places you can also sell to.

Image credits: Guangzhou PT Roof Construction Material