Structural Steel Suppliers – What Makes A Great Vendor?


The fact that structural steel is such a specific industry product often leads businesses to a false sense of security when seeking vendors. They assume that as the UK isn’t littered with thousands of such suppliers, those in business must all be of pretty much the same caliber. Sadly, things aren’t quite this simple as the differences in quality between competing vendors are literally night and day.

Of course, it goes without saying that when you’re going about a major building project, the last thing you want is to compromise the safety and the success of the build as a result of inferior product choice. As such, it’s more than worth putting a little time and effort into the process of choosing a supplier before going ahead with an order, just to ascertain that they both know what they’re doing and have your best interests at heart.

Here’s a quick overview of the kinds of things to be on the lookout for when it comes to choosing a structural steel vendor:

Industry Experience

While there’s nothing to say that newcomers to the industry don’t have a great deal to offer, there’s also no denying that long-term experience speaks for itself. This is a highly competitive industry and one that takes a great many years to master and perfect – two very clear reasons why vendors with a wealth of experience make the safest choices to do business with every time. After all, if they’re still doing what they’ve been doing for several years or decades, chances are they’re doing something right.

Dedicated Specialism

Something else to factor into the decision you make is that of whether you’re looking at a wholly dedicated supplier of steel beams and RSJs, or a business that also sells these products alongside other items. Just as you’d go to a garage to repair your car or a plumber to repair a broken tap, you should only ever look to buy important building supplies from dedicated specialists that deal exclusively in these kinds of products. It may be fine to buy building supplies of less importance from job-lot wholesalers – steel beams are too crucial to risk any kind of compromise on.


Prior to going ahead with an order, it’s a good idea to make sure that the supplier will be able to fulfil it in the timescale it’s needed in. It’s one thing for a vendor to accept orders for pretty much any kind of structural steel supplies in any volume, but another entirely for large orders to be successfully fulfilled in a timely manner. As such, if you plan to place a large order or perhaps a complex order incorporating dozens of different products, it’s worth checking out beforehand whether or not they have the capacity to make it happen. If this isn’t immediately clear by looking over their website, get in touch with them directly and ask.

Solid Customer Service

It’s always tricky to ascertain exactly how a brand approaches customer service simply by consulting its website – this is after all nothing but words and pictures on virtual paper. They may claim to offer the fastest response time at all hours of the day and to provide the friendliest, most comprehensive support on the market, but how can you be sure this is in fact the case? This answer is of course simple – you put them to the test. If this is a large or important order, you owe it to yourself and your project as a whole to get in touch with the vendor directly and ask a few simple questions prior to going ahead. Why should you choose them? What guarantees can they offer? Do they offer discounts for bulk deals? Pretty much anything that comes to mind and could help evaluate how well they keep their customer service promises.


Speaking of guarantees, there’s only one reason why a steel beam vendor will refuse to offer a guarantee of the lowest prices on the market – their products are overpriced. It’s one of the simplest and most important checks of all to make as if there’s no sign of any kind of guarantee in place, chances are you’d be much better off heading elsewhere.

Success Stories

Last but not least, it should always be possible for any brand that’s been in business for some time to offer evidence of its successes in one form or another. This could be presented in the form of case studies, perhaps a visual portfolio of their work or even something as simple as customer feedback – anything that proves that their promises made on paper actually translate into results in the real world. If they can prove that they’re not all hot air and they do indeed deliver as promised, chances are you’re onto a winner.

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