Ecommerce or Bust? Part 3: Improving Speed to Market and Exceptional Customer Service

Our mission at Western Steel & Wire is to provide our customers with a competitive advantage by utilizing our wire products and services. While quality is the number one way we can fulfill that mission, speed to market and exceptional customer experience play a major role in that as well. To make improvements to those, we are able to leverage different sales channels to create strategies targeted at our priority fulfillment channels (B2B and D2C).

Improving Speed to Market

Everyone is dealing with supply chain issues – high costs, long lead times, port backlogs. Though we can’t control upstream, we can help our customers improve their speed to market by giving them the best sales channel. Traditionally, we have operated via phone and email for all purchase orders, This has given us the ability to ensure customers are receiving the right products for their projects, especially when custom orders are involved. This helps to reduce the need for returns or replacements, delaying completion of projects.

Whether they are a B2B or D2C customer, we know that it’s not always ideal to place orders through phone or email. In recent years, we’ve added ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba (in process) to meet the needs of customers purchasing standard products and desire the convenience of an online experience. This can greatly increase speed to market as it let’s them place orders any time of the day backed by delivery guaranteed by online marketplaces with powerful supply chain networks.

Creating Exceptional Customer Experiences

We’ve been around for 80 years, and a vast percent of our customers are repeat customers. We know a thing or two about exceptional customer experiences. We also know that our customers often have their own customers to which they also strive to deliver exceptional experiences. Things like reliability and value can help create that competitive advantage when it comes to experiences. Our customers need a wire supplier who they can trust and who can give them the best product with the highest value, maintaining low costs for maximum profitability.

For repeat customers who know what they want and when they want it, direct touch and marketplace channels are a great way to achieve that. It enables them to price compare, know their lead times, and get what they want when they want. 

For customers who are new to purchasing wire, or working with Western Steel & Wire, it’s important for us to educate them on their options. We do a lot of that today through our blog – covering topics and questions that we hear often. But more and more we see value for us and for our customers when it comes to online stores which can provide both education and ordering all in one place. Something that can’t be obtained through ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon and Alibaba.

The Future is Bright for Ecommerce

The world knows it, ecommerce is here to stay and it’s up to businesses to decide how much to invest and what type of strategy to adopt. To continue serving our repeat customers and expand our business, the value of an ecommerce strategy is apparent. We will continue to leverage marketplaces so that we can help customers improve their speed to market and deliver exceptional customer experiences. When it comes to an online store, it is certainly not out of the question!

For now, we would love to help you navigate your options and recommend the best products for the job. Give us a call at (415)-822-5490 or email us at

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