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Offering the Widest Selection of Materials Online Since '98

Episode 3 | How Industrial B2B Can Thrive In Uncertainty





Quick Episode Summary

In Episode 3 of the Metalpress Podcast, two of our own Michelle Edwards-Lanham and Travis Schultz, talk about the initial impact of COVID and how Online Metals was able to weather the storm.

Our customer focus, quick decision making, and years of experience allowed us to manage the world-wide supply chain impact. Each of these factors has allowed Online Metals to expand our product and service portfolio, discover new channels to reach customers, and push our brand above the material distributor copy cats out there.

Listen in on how Online Metals remained agile and forward-thinking in the initial impact of COVID 19 and continues to grow through 2021!


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Full Episode Details

Why flexibility, experience, and nimble decision making is key to longevity in B2B

  • 0:29 - Intro to Travis Schultz and his role with Online Metals
  • 1:06 - Reaction to the initial impact of COVID 19 on B2B
  • 3:55 - Having the proper foresight prepared Online Metals for supply chain disruption
  • 5:42 - Fast decision making in the everchanging workplace environment aided resilience
  • 6:25 - Lower ad spend from competitors opened the digital door to more traffic
  • 7:20 - We’ve seen emerging competitors online after the initial pandemic impact
  • 9:08 - How has the pandemic impacted forecasting and long-term competitors?
  • 12:57 - 20 years of data and metrics have allowed Online Metals to weather the storm
  • 14:50 - Reducing the barriers and great communication has eased new customers concerns
  • 18:07 - Investments in technology and resources has allowed us to diversify our catalog
  • 21:15 - Competing with Amazon and the instant gratification mentality of the modern age
  • 22:58 - The importance of flexibility and nimble decision making cannot be understated

Quotes From This Episode

“I think that what we were seeing on our website is that there was more traffic actually from new visitors, people who were going online potentially for the first time, looking for resources to replace other resources that they might have had offline, business suppliers, business partners, those resources that weren’t able to continue operating because of the COVID restrictions.”
- Michelle Edwards-Lanham


“We are very fortunate in the ability for us to not only maintain, but be owned by one of the strongest supply chains in North America to thyssenkrupp allows us to have that steady, consistent supply chain internally. “
- Travis Schultz


“There was less competition online for advertising. And so for us, we were able to get more traffic to our website at a better price, which in turn gave us a much better return on our ad spend. ”
- Michelle Edwards-Lanham


“So our industry is really no different than the restaurant industry and other local businesses that suddenly realized they need to find a way to get online and continue their business with e-commerce. So we’ve seen a lot of businesses get started during this pandemic online or move toward accelerating an e-commerce presence that they already had. So I think we’re looking at the year of e-commerce.”
- Michelle Edwards-Lanham


“Looking at my career here and going back and looking at forecasting in three and five-year chunks have become a significant difficulty looking and analyzing the historic trends because really we’ve moved from an, I guess the 30-day plan, to almost a one or two day plan based on the volatile swings that we’re seeing in the economy and the day-to-day”
- Travis Schultz


“One of the biggest challenges for any business in e-commerce is often bringing those customers from the conventional, “I want to talk to my salesperson” method to making that purchase strictly online and being satisfied with the process and having those core customers kind of force-fed to us this year has allowed us to really, again, prove ourselves and build that trust and really improve on the name Online Metals and grow that brand recognition in the market.”
- Travis Schultz


“We’re now in a position where we’re shipping out a number of packages a day and have less than a 0.5% reship rate. So that’s something that we definitely pride ourselves on, and it can be extremely challenging in this world of Amazon that we live in where everything comes fast and free.”
- Travis Schultz



In This Episode

Michelle Edwards-Lanham

Ecommerce Marketing Director, Online Metals

Travis Schultz

General Manager, Online Metals





About Online Metals

Online Metals round logo

Online Metals is the world’s leading eCommerce metal supplier, specializing in small quantity cut-to-size metals and plastics, delivered in a fast and reliable manner.

Since 1998, Online Metals has expanded our catalog to over 85,000 different cut sizes, grown our national footprint to seven pickup locations across the U.S., and continued to improve upon our best-in-class customer experience.

Check out our materials: Alloy Steel, Aluminum, Anodized Aluminum, Beryllium Copper, Brass, Bronze, Carbon Steel, Copper, Cast Iron, Nickel, Nickel Silver, Plastic, Stainless Steel, Titanium, Tool Steel, Unistrut®, Wrought Iron, & Zinc

Shop by shape: Bars, Tubes, Sheets, Plates, and More.

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