Steel & Tube CEO, Mark Malpass, acknowledges that the industry has lagged behind when it comes to digitalisation but says Covid-19 has accelerated Steel & Tube’s own technology strategy which the company commenced 18 months ago.
“It’s all about looking at how we meet and exceed our customers’ expectations, with better delivery performance, customer service and ease of doing business. With the launch of this new platform, as well as other initiatives, we can now provide our customers with multiple channels to communicate and buy from us, anytime and anywhere,” he says.
“The construction industry is probably one of the most untouched when it comes to digitalisation but we are now starting to see a new generation of increasingly sophisticated business operators coming through and seeking better service. In addition, construction businesses are preparing for the rapid commencement of ‘shovel ready’ projects. To do this quickly and successfully will require construction materials suppliers to be agile, more efficient and more cost-effective.
“Steel & Tube’s rapid deployment of our webshops and e-commerce platform has been a massive project, with more than 7,000 individual products and variants, encompassing our wide product range, now available online. Processes are also in place which will simplify the ‘quotation to sales’ process for customised steel solutions for our customers and make it easier and faster for them to order and buy from us, at a time and in a way that suits them.”
The launch of Steel & Tube’s new webshops and e-commerce platform follows on from the earlier launches of Stanley the Chatbot, which allows customers to query and receive answers about orders and shipments; and BIM-spec, an online portal that provides technical information on Steel & Tube’s products and makes it easier for construction and design professionals.
Access to Steel & Tube’s webshops and e-commerce platform is initially being offered to existing business customers, who will be able to purchase products online from across the Steel & Tube and Fortress Fasteners ranges, view quotes and invoices, check on order status and track deliveries. New customers are invited to contact the company to easily establish a new account and gain access to the webshops. Further down the track, credit card facilities will be available for non-account customers to buy online.
Steel & Tube is one of New Zealand’s leading steel businesses, offering a wide range of products and solutions from floors to roofing, steel beams and custom made infrastructure items, through to an extensive range of nuts, bolts, screws and other items. The company provides steel products to thousands of customers every year and also partners with clients on some of New Zealand’s largest infrastructure projects.
Says Mark Malpass: “Our vision is to be the leading steel products supplier to New Zealand’s trade, fabrication, construction and manufacturing businesses by offering an easy and convenient way of doing business with us. We are leading the digital charge in the industry to make life even easier for our customers."
“As one of New Zealand’s largest and leading steel distributors, the quality of the products we provide is paramount. We have multiple quality initiatives in place, including auditing of independent steel mills by Lloyd’s Register, our barcoding and traceability programme, and random product sampling and independent testing. As part of the new online platform, customers will also be able to access Test Certificates, certifying the specifications of products they have purchased.”