Helping a Leading Aluminum Company Out of a Tight Spot Delivers Convenience, Savings

Customer: Industrial Equipment and Supplies

WSI Services: Warehousing / Distribution, Transportation

Challenges: Store product quickly, streamline outbound and transportation logistics

Solution: In September 2013, a major metal and mineral supplier faced losing their warehousing space, close to our Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, facilities. The leading metals and minerals company approached WSI looking for space to store its billet and ingot product, on a tight timeline. With one storage center in the Fond du Lac area, two Wisconsin converting manufacturer customers, and a rapidly expiring lease on its current space in Fond du Lac, they identified a need for immediate storage and handling space. After rapid, but thorough, analysis of the customer’s warehousing space and transportation needs, WSI presented a proposal for maintaining their Fond du Lac location – in our WSI facility – and optimizing their transportation times by insourcing outbound deliveries, using WSI’s own fleet of WSI Transportation, LLC trucks. Then, WSI did what it took, per its consistently tenacious “can-do” attitude, to get the client out of the old space and into the WSI facility in less than 30 days.

After a brief consultation with the metals and minerals company’s customer, a local aluminum extrusion design plant, WSI determined the dedicated space needed for the product and worked with the company to arrange the billets into neat storage towers, optimizing warehouse floor space usage.

"Having a local warehouse has helped us maintain a high level of support for our customer needs," said the materials team leader for the Fond du Lac-area aluminum converting manufacturer. "This allows us the flexibility needed in today’s demanding environment."

Now, WSI uses high-tech RFgen to scan and streamline both inbound and outbound shipments, eliminating some of the manual work associated with the account and thus realizing even more cost savings for the customer. Similarly, WSI employs directed put-away techniques to handle incoming aluminum product, saving time for the material handler and optimizing the outbound shipment process.

"Partnering with WSI has strengthened our relationships with our own customers,” said the metal company’s territory sales manager. “We are grateful to the quick-acting folks at WSI, who prioritized our need for space. Then, they went one step beyond that to devise a more effective transportation solution for our outbound product. We see our relationship with WSI to be a fruitful and long-lasting partnership.”

Before, the company’s distribution system shuttled product between its two manufacturing customers, with the geographically closest customer receiving product nearly instantaneously. However, the farther away customer often did not receive product in time for converting, due to some timing issues with a dedicated carrier. WSI offered its fleet of trucks as part of a customized transportation option, which saved the company valuable time shipping product to the more distant customer.

“Since we are using our own transportation, the shipments have been flawless,” said Mike Peters, Fond du Lac facility manager and special projects coordinator. Peters added that WSI worked to overcome other challenges in transporting the aluminum by pre-loading Monday morning shipments on Friday evenings. Being quick to react to preliminary criteria—the tight turnaround of product on a Monday morning and potential detention fees should it not arrive on time—further bolstered WSI’s relationship with the client and the client’s customers.

WSI continues to improve the metal and mineral supplier’s storage system and help reduce its transportation costs. The relationship is deepening, as the customer looks for additional ways to partner with WSI. To learn more, give us a call at 920.831.3700 or email us

Download a pdf of this Success Story