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steelXML: Enabling eCommerce for Structural Steel
The American Institute of Steel Construction has developed steelXML; a better way to buy steel. As we currently stand, more than 90% of structural steel in the U.S. is purchased via a fax, or email attachment. Both of these require large amounts of human interaction in the form of manual re-entry of line items. Using steelXML will enable direct, automated communication between buyer and seller across the entire spectrum of procurement.
If you Purchase Steel:
For those that purchase structural steel, the steelXML schema allows you and your software seller to exchange procurement information electronically. With inquiries and orders conducted electronically, the errors and time associated with manual re-entry are reduced or eliminated. If you’ve spent too much time pouring over quotes, identifying errors, or waiting for a response steelXML could be your solution.
If You Sell Steel:
steelXML will allow you to process orders and inquiries more quickly, and accurately, better serving your customers. steelXML is a free, light-weight, format to convey alpha-numeric information (such as that in order and inquireis) which can be used with virtually any inventory system.
The schema is a free, open document; there is no cost to use it. The costs associated with steelXML are in implementing
It depends how quickly it's adopted: Several participating companies have already implemented part of the schema, but to be successful, we need participation not just from software vendors, but from steel suppliers as well
If you don’t see your steel supplier or software provider listed, you’re encouraged to contact them and ask why when you can expect to see an implementation. We have provided a form letter for you to download and fill in. We need your help to make eCommerce a reality, without pressure from customers, suppliers have no motivation to implement steelXML.
In order to be successful, steel service centers, producers and software developers of MIS systems need to find time and reason to implement and support it within their systems: This is the single issue that is out of AISC's control.
If, as a fabricator you want to spend less time making better decisions in a shorter amount of time then be sure to let your software supplier and steel suppliers know. We've prepared sample letters to send them.