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New Steel Distribution Service Comes to Arkansas; Straightline Provides Instant Price Quotes and Competitive Pricing on Steel Products

PRNewswire
LITTLE ROCK, Ark.
06.03.2002

Manufacturers in Arkansas and northwestern Mississippi have a new option for purchasing steel -- Straightline Source, a technology-based steel distribution division of United States Steel Corporation (NYSE: X), America's largest integrated steelmaker.

Straightline offers instant price quotations and competitive prices for a wide range of carbon flat-rolled steel products.

"We are pleased to extend our product and service offerings to the industries of this area and to support them through local representatives and 24/7 support," said Robert H. Dryburgh, Straightline president. "Having launched last fall, Straightline now serves customers in 19 states from the Southeast to the North Central region of the country."

Straightline uses advanced supply chain management technologies to optimize distribution of processed steel products such as hot-rolled, cold- rolled, galvanized and strip mill plate products. Using telephone, fax or the Internet, customers can order custom-processed products or select from a catalog of finished goods. Purchases can be made on a spot or contract basis.

Straightline's Customer Advantage

With headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa., Straightline serves manufacturers of all sizes that typically do not buy directly from steel producers. By leveraging information technology, Straightline provides a direct steel buying experience, allowing customers to have greater control over their transactions.

More than 65 percent of customers who make spot purchases do so via http://www.straightline.com/; however, orders can also be placed by phone with the assistance of customer account managers available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Straightline has also established sales support within each district. In Arkansas, sales support is provided by District Manager Russ Weidner and Sales Representative Scott Paden, two industry veterans with extensive experience in carbon flat-rolled and processed steel products. Metallurgical support is also provided.

All manufacturers visiting http://www.straightline.com/ have access to StraightQuote™, a service that provides instant price quotations arranged in a matrix based on varying combinations of quantity and delivery dates. StraightQuote now handles more than 2,000 price inquiries per week, enhancing customer service and response time.

"Beyond instant price quotes, customers have many reasons to find Straightline appealing," said Weidner. "First, our ability to maximize efficiencies associated with material purchase, inventory, logistics, planning and order processing results in regular cost savings for the customer. We also provide inventory forecasting and planning tools that help to improve a customer's inventory turns and reduce their own capital investment. In many respects it's about putting the buyer in control."

A Growing Enterprise

Straightline takes ownership of all phases of the transaction, from the purchase of steel through order fulfillment. It does this by partnering with a growing network of strategically located steel processors that hold inventory and perform custom processing. Straightline sources the steel through multiple suppliers, with finished goods shipped from processors to customers by carriers coordinated through Straightline's logistics partner.

Processing partners are selected based on rigorous criteria, including ISO certification. By partnering with Straightline, processors benefit by increasing utilization of their equipment and facilities without the added costs of sales, marketing or inventory, thus improving their overall profitability.

To date, more than 1,800 companies have registered with Straightline. Additional rollouts are scheduled throughout the year to highly concentrated areas of steel customers across the United States.

Steel buyers who want to learn more, obtain free no-obligation quotes or place orders with Straightline can do so by visiting http://www.straightline.com/ or by calling Straightline Customer Care toll-free at 1-866-252-0488.

Straightline Source is a division of United States Steel Corporation and specializes in an online distribution business for carbon flat-roll steel to customers of all sizes that do not typically buy steel goods directly from steel producers. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Straightline has a growing staff of 140 employees. Visit Straightline at http://www.straightline.com/.

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SOURCE: Straightline Source

CONTACT: Maggie Bray of Magnet Communications, +1-412-456-4308, or
mbray@magnetcom.com, for Straightline Source; or Judy Sapos of Straightline
Source, +1-412-433-7833, or jmsapos@straightline.com

Web site: http://www.ussteel.com/

Web site: http://www.straightline.com/

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