What Are the Functions of a Metal Supplier?


Any company in industries that rely heavily on metal for operations, such as space, commercial aero, naval, or medical, needs an on-hand metal supplier to ensure they have access to the materials needed to get the job done. While it’s important to prioritize the cost-effectiveness of a metal supply, that cannot be the only consideration.

This article outlines the ideal functions of a metal supplier to best understand how they can serve you and help complete projects within the ideal time and budget constraints.

4 Metal Supplier Must-Have Functions

1. Large Inventory

Supply chain disruptions continue to affect the metal supply market, with backlogs of up to six months across certain industries. The best way to ensure that metal supply remains constant and accessible whenever needed, is to work with a local U.S. supplier that maintains a large inventory on hand. This guarantees that companies will be able to purchase the metals needed without hoarding large quantities in their own warehouses.

2. Variety of Metal Supply

It’s not enough for a metal supplier to have a large inventory - they must also ensure enough diversity in stock to meet needs across a number of industries. Take Fry Steel; with over 9,000 types and conditions of metal in their supply and no order minimums, clients can obtain the metal needed to move projects forward.

Be sure to look for a diversified metal supply, including essential materials such as:

  • Stainless Steel: Made of iron alloyed with chromium, carbon-manganese, silicon, and nickel, stainless steel is strong and resistant to corrosion and water damage.
  • Carbon Steel: Commonly used for consumer-grade products, look for varieties such as low carbon grades for fast matching, and high strength carbon alloys for superior part life.
  • Aircraft Alloys: Composed of zinc, magnesium, and other trace metals, aircraft alloys are heat-treated for high-strength, and feature impact resistance and shock protection.
  • Super Alloys: Made of iron alloyed with nickel, cobalt, and chromium, superalloys are capable of withstanding very high temperatures, often used in demanding chemical and electrical applications, as well as gas turbine and rocket engines.
  • Electrical Steel: Alloyed with silicon to impart electromagnetic properties necessary for transformers, generators, solenoids, and motors. Available in grain-oriented and non-grain-oriented steel varieties.
  • Aluminum: Depending on the metal alloy, aluminum offers properties such as strength, corrosion resistance, malleability, and/or electrical conductivity.
  • Brass: Corrosion resistance in seawater makes this copper/zinc alloy the obvious choice for locks, fasteners, pump fittings, and marine propellers.
  • Bronze: Essentially brass with the addition of tin, bronze is harder so it does a better job for bearings, valves, and chemical applications.

3. High-Precision Saw Cutting

Ordering the metal is only the first step of any project. The materials then must be cut to meet the proper specifications. Any reputable metal supplier should include high-precision saw cutting as an included service. This means that the metal supply needed can be delivered to the company’s door ready to use, saving time and money for the project life-cycle.

That’s why Fry Steel has equipped its warehouses with over 50 saws to customize orders to the exact specifications needed. And it’s not just for single cuts—Fry can handle large production quantities at fast speeds to meet or exceed delivery expectations.

4. Next-Day Shipping

Even the best project schedules can be upended by a delivery delay. Guarantee that projects will stay on time - and consequently, on budget - with next-day shipping of in-stock materials from Fry Steel. That means that when an order is placed, it’s shipped the next day, not two weeks after. A metal supplier should support a growing business, not be a source of frustration and setbacks.

Trust Fry Steel With Your Metal Supply Needs

Fry Steel is one of the most reliable metal suppliers across the United States, with more than 75 years of experience. We offer every service outlined in this article and more, and recently opened a second location in Middleton, Ohio to better serve our east-coast customers. Improve the reliability of your metal supply and call a knowledgeable Fry Steel sales rep today to learn more.

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