Straightline Expands Services and Enhances Web Site
Straightline Source, the technology-enabled steel distribution division of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), today added significant new services and Web site enhancements making it more comprehensive and easier than ever for customers to manage inventory, obtain quotes and buy steel.
To improve the overall customer experience, Straightline has enhanced the online functionality of StraightEdge for the contract customer and StraightQuote for the spot buyer. A new service has been added, SteelOutlet, to offer excess prime product in a catalog format. In addition, a new look to Straightline.com makes site navigation easier and reflects Straightline's emphasis on delivering supply chain solutions for steel buyers and material managers.
"We've listened to our customers' needs, and these new enhancements echo their input as well as what we've learned about the habits and experiences of steel buyers over the past year and a half," said Straightline President Bob Dryburgh.
Greater Detail for Managing Contract Inventory
StraightEdge, a suite of online contract and inventory management tools launched in 2002, is now more comprehensive and robust. It provides more detailed information allowing a customer to better manage its inventory across the steel supply chain. It now includes a more complete view of a customer's inventory position, as situated at any point during the various stages of order fulfillment. Inventory will continue to be displayed at the contract level and by individual part. Customers can also view open orders and month-to-date activity regarding forecasts and deliveries.
The enhanced version of StraightEdge is designed to expand the visibility of inventory supporting pre-production processes. For example, customers are able to view their steel supply at the individual part level for "work-in- process," "on-hand" and material "scheduled-to-ship." Customers also have the ability to conveniently release available product online using a secure Internet connection any time of the day or night. This view gives a buyer or material manager the confidence and control that their inventory will be available as needed to support their production schedule.
"StraightEdge now offers customers unprecedented visibility into their inventory position on a real-time basis -- that's something no other distributor can offer," said George Thompson, Straightline's director of commercial.
More Delivery Options for Spot Buyers
StraightQuote, the online quoting and ordering service for spot buyers, now has an improved interface that provides more delivery options to suit a customer's particular requirements. The original 16-price matrix has been transformed into an easy-to-view "buy steel" calendar that provides delivery date options over a 90-day period for customer-specified quantities. "By studying our spot customers' behavior we have learned that they desire efficient delivery planning options supported by guaranteed product availability," commented Thompson. Where there is interest in quantity-based pricing, StraightQuote now offers "Straightline Suggests," a chart of price breaks based on truckload quantities, which can be easily matched to the 90- day "buy steel" calendar options.
SteelOutlet Added for Excess Prime
Straightline also introduced SteelOutlet, a new service designed to efficiently promote excess prime product when it becomes available. With SteelOutlet, customers can quickly scan excess prime steel offerings in master coil and processed sheet or coil form in various sizes and dimensions for a preset price. Product specifications and prices are listed in an online catalog format. Orders are completed offline, through Straightline Direct, at 1-866-252-0488. In addition to new capabilities, Straightline.com has a fresh new look that is intuitive, easy-to-use and responsive to customer needs. Navigation has been made easier, with the StraightEdge and StraightQuote services more prominently displayed on the top section of the homepage. Content in the bottom section of the homepage will rotate monthly with an emphasis on customer solutions and industry applications. An online tutorial is available on the Web site or by calling Straightline Direct.
SOURCE: Straightline Source
CONTACT: Maggie Bray of Magnet Communications, +1-412-456-4308,