Steel is one of the most common building materials worldwide for its strength and lasting durability. It effectively serves as the framework for tall structures, can achieve virtually any interior design shape, and functions as a reliable foundation while saving on space. If you’re a fabrication shop looking for a quality steel supplier for your construction customers’ project needs, it’s important to evaluate not just the supplier’s stock but also the services they offer. Learn more about what to keep in mind when choosing the optimal structural steel service center for your business.

Key Points to Consider in Choosing a Structural Steel Supplier

When evaluating your options, consider your supplier expectations for timeframe, material selection, capabilities, budget, and customer service.

Just-in-Time Delivery

Just-in-time delivery allows fabrication shops to fulfill contractors’ orders for steel products smoothly and efficiently. Steel service centers can offer timely order fulfillment with the materials to bolster your inventory. Just-in-time delivery leads to optimal inventory management, ensuring you always have what you need without having to set aside significant warehousing space in your facility. When steel arrives at your fabrication shop as planned, contractor customers can maintain their structural projects’ momentum.

Selection of Domestic Products

Year over year, countries like China, Canada, and Mexico have been increasing their U.S. steel exports, creating a greater dependence on international sources for our steel infrastructure needs and negatively impacting our economy. Service centers typically offer a wide selection of materials, and domestic products help reduce turn times. More importantly, however, choosing domestic products supports the local economy by creating jobs, assisting U.S. companies, and generally fostering economic growth.

Domestic materials are beneficial per certain U.S. government requirements, as well. Under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, companies using 100% American-produced materials like U.S. steel are eligible to work on infrastructure projects that the law’s package funds.

Lastly, opting for domestic steel can help minimize your environmental impact. Domestic products don’t generate the emissions associated with long-distance transportation. American-made steel consists almost entirely of recycled, end-of-life U.S. structural steel for maximized sustainability.

Value-Added Processes

Value-added processes are any additional services the supplier offers that go beyond the basic supply of steel. These might include:

  • Milling
  • Forming
  • Drilling
  • Saw cutting
  • T-Splitting
  • Plate burning
  • Blasting and priming
  • Cambering

Also, suppliers often utilize technological advancements that add value. Examples include computer software and systems for added efficiency and operational transparency as well as customer portals for streamlined, real-time updates.

Cash Flow Management

Understanding the payment terms and credit options the supplier offers is essential. A financially stable supplier is more likely to have robust cash flow management practices in place. Steel service centers with flexible payment terms can help manage cash flow in your operation, and you can typically work with their credit department on your financial needs. Service centers may also offer steel at mill prices without a mandatory minimum order quantity (MOQ).

Customer Service and Communication

Reliable suppliers tend to respond promptly to queries and provide all necessary information in a timely manner. Responsiveness is crucial for smooth order execution and addressing any issues or concerns that may arise. They should also offer multiple communication channels, such as phone, email, or a customer self-service portal, providing convenience and flexibility in reaching out to them.

Given their expertise in steel materials and applications, the supplier may also be able to offer substitutions based on your material inquiry or offer another size that will work best, providing efficient and cost-effective steel solutions for optimal customer support.

Delta Steel: Your Best Choice for Structural Steel Needs

As one of the leading structural steel service centers in the United States, Delta Steel is committed to providing our clients with high-quality, timely, and cost-effective products and services. Our goal is to be your one-stop shop for structural carbon steel, and our team offers steel products such as structural tubing and beams, piping, sheet and plate products, flats, squares, rounds, angles, and much more. We operate as the intermediary between steel mills and steel fabrication shops, providing a wide product selection and fast order fulfillment. We also offer JIT packages to assist with inventory management.

In addition to utilizing state-of-the-art equipment and providing an array of value-added processes to ensure you receive material in a form that’s immediately job-ready, we believe in offering technologically advanced solutions to our customers. Our team can take your DWG files and create the program necessary to burn parts out of full sheets of plate, optimizing a customer’s material usage. We’ve adopted AISC’s steelXML standard for processing inquiries and orders. Also, using our software, we can provide accurate information on how much material a customer will need for their project and then immediately check material availability in our inventory. To best empower our customers, Delta Steel also provides an innovative customer portal, giving you access to real-time tracking information, test reports, LEED documentation, and more.

Contact us to learn about Delta Steel’s offerings, or request a quote today to get started.