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Episode 6 | Our Transformation to Materials-As-A-Service



Quick Episode Summary

In Episode 6 of the Metalpress Podcast, Greg and Michelle introduce the Digital Transformation Officer of Material Services with thyssenkrupp, Ilse Henne, to provide insights on how the coronavirus is accelerating the everchanging landscape of the materials industry.

How do managers and organizations deal with the added digital complexity into today’s supply chain? Are companies finding more success in building their supply chain through scaling or working with a more diverse supply chain?

Listen in on Greg, Michelle, and Ilse as they talk about the biggest industry changes, what makes them so essential for resilience and longevity, and why those transformations are now more urgent than ever.


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Full Episode Details

Shifting from a supply chain participant to a supply chain integrator

  • 0:14 – Introduction to Ilse Henne, the Chief Transformation Officer of Material Services at thyssenkrupp
  • 0:55 – Ilse’s take on the biggest changes in the metals industry this year
  • 3:04 – What is Materials-as-a-Service and how has the supply chain adapted?
  • 7:20 – Barriers and change leadership explained through the Arc de Triomphe
  • 14:37 – Why we must embrace complexity and change even when we don’t fully understand it
  • 17:46 – How is a smaller organization like Online Metals impacted in comparison to large corporations like thyssenkrupp?
  • 19:05 – Digitizing your supply chain allows you to set up based on customer needs, not production needs
  • 26:04 – The core of Materials-as-a-Service is moving from a supply chain participator to a supply chain integrator
  • 28:43 – The three E’s of Eccommerce (entertainment, everywhere, experience)

Quotes From This Episode

“We started moving to large-scale production in order to increase our competitiveness. Now, competitiveness will derive from a much more modular approach. And there is this kind of paradox in it because you might think, “Oh, if I start producing smaller lots all over the world, it’s going to be much more expensive.” It isn’t when we make good use of digital solutions, yeah.”
– Ilse Henne


“And I always like to share this very European example of the Arc de Triomphe, which is this huge roundabout in the middle of Paris…If I have 12 streets coming together, I cannot manage that with rules. I can only manage it with the intelligence of each individual…And that is exactly what we will have also in our businesses when we need to deal with increased complexity and more technology.”
– Ilse Henne


“That’s the beauty about digitizing your supply chain that you can at the end build a supply chain, which is actually oriented towards customer needs. Until recently, supply chains were built according to production needs, yeah? Whatever was being produced was actually determining how your supply chain was set up. And now what you see if you increase supply chain transparency through digital, if you can be more predictive, you can start modeling more your supply chain.”
– Ilse Henne


“That is really the core of what is in materials-as-a-service is this moving away from simply being a network or a supply chain participator towards a supply chain integrator. Where you are really the one who is integrating new kinds of supply chains, not because supply chains will constantly change.”
– Ilse Henne


“I think that in the next years, and I’m really excited to see how you, again, as front runners will deal with that, that this E will no longer only stand for electronic commerce, but also for everywhere commerce. Now, this idea that people are going to start buying everywhere digitally like Walmart buying TikTok, because they know that people are not even going to leave TikTok anymore as a platform when they want to buy.”
– Ilse Henne



In This Episode

Greg Raece

President, Online Metals

Michelle Edwards-Lanham

Ecommerce Marketing Director, Online Metals

Ilse Henne

Chief Transformation Officer, thyssenkrupp






About Online Metals

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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

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