Strategic planning is a process in which a firm attempts to clearly define what it is trying to achieve and to identify the optimal paths for achieving these objectives. Materials firms recently have come to place more attention on strategic planning. Foreign competition has increased significantly. For most of the major metals, a slow growth future seems to be in the offing. Strategic planning can provide materials firms with a better understanding of the change that is occurring so rapidly. It can enable a firm to better control as it maneuvers towards the most profitable directions.