The right fit: How to find your ideal service center, the first time

When you’re sourcing a new service center, differentiating between the good and the suboptimal is often easier said than done.

After all, you usually aren’t privy to a service center’s shortcomings until you’re actually working with them.


While that’s often true, the introductory meeting can offer a lot of clues into which way a particular service center swings. You simply have to know what to look for.


Below are a few things we recommend paying attention to before engaging a new service center:


  1. How do they communicate? In that initial meeting, a good service center will take the time to properly set your expectations and explain how their process works. For instance, given that the metal industry is rather volatile, they should have a plan in place to deal with issues involving price, supply, disruptions and quality concerns—and they should communicate their approach upfront.


  1. Do they ask about your business? While talking about their business approach is obviously important, a good service center will also ask you about yours. By gathering this information, this indicates they’re interested in being more than just a supplier, but a consultant as well—someone who views their role as an external partner and who is committed to helping you achieve your business goals.


  1. Are they willing to explain the pros and cons of your decisions? A good service center employs experts in their fields—experts who aren’t afraid to speak up if they think you’re making a decision that could hurt your business. If you’re looking to make a change, they should clearly explain the pros and cons of that change, and offer recommendations to help you achieve your end goal.


  1. Do they clearly explain their systems to you? The more information a service center tells you about their internal workings—including their inventory management processes and supply chain—the better you’ll understand the associated risks. This, in turn, allows you to find a service center that works best with your organization.


At Samuel, our strength is helping you make decisions that make sense for your business. With this as our guiding principal, we’ll first aim to understand your core goals, and then try to help you find the best solutions to meet them.


So whether you’re looking for a lower cost product regardless of the delivery time—or a specific, high-quality metal where cost is not as much of an issue—our aim is clarify those priorities so we can meet your unique expectations.