Steel Service Centers & Other Metal Wholesalers
Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
Companies in the industry distribute steel and other primary metals and metal products, and may also provide sawing, shearing, bending, leveling, cleaning, and edging services. Major companies include Reliance Steel & Aluminum Co and Ryerson (both based in the US); as well as IMS France (France); Klöckner & Co (Germany); Russel Metals and Samuel, Son & Co (both based in Canada); and Stemcor (UK). Other companies include distribution arms of integrated manufacturers such as ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg) and ThyssenKrupp (Germany).
The health of the manufacturing and construction industries drives demand for steel. A distributor's sales volume determines profitability because many costs are fixed. Large distributors benefit from economies of scale in purchasing, processing, and distribution. Small companies can compete by specializing in particular products or offering special processing services. The US industry is concentrated: the 50 largest companies generate about 50% of revenue.
PRODUCTS, OPERATIONS & TECHNOLOGY
Steel products are made from carbon or alloy, stainless, or specialty steels, and come in the form of sheets, plates, bars, rods, tubes, and structural items like rails and I-beams. In addition to selling steel mill products, distributors sell various processing services that customize products for particular customers. Because of the large number of steel products, most distributors specialize in the types of steel they carry and types of processing operations they perform. Different grades of metal and the varying thicknesses and sizes of materials result in a large variety of...
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