metal distribution news

[ top ] Industrial Metal Supply to Carry Range of Premium Shooting Targets, April, 2015

Industrial Metal Supply will now carry premium steel shooting targets in a variety of shapes, sizes, and price points. The targets are designed to be incredibly durable and safer than other designs on the market today.
Industrial Metal Supply announces the arrival of abrasion resistant steel shooting targets at all six retail locations as well as online. The AR500 targets are fashioned from premium steel designed to be incredibly durable and more safe than many other models on the target. The steel carries a brindell hardness rating of 500. This superior hardness deflects bullets, greatly discouraging target denting or deforming that could create safety hazards. Mild steel (hardness rating of 120) will be easily pierced while mid-grade steel (including T-1 steel) can also be easily damaged.
Additionally, the AR500 is cut from one solid metal piece with holes drilled directly into the product for hanging. Many other targets are designed to hang from brackets, clamps, or bolts. This one-piece construction eliminates safety concerns from bullets breaking or bending additional elements on the targets.

The AR500 is precision cut with Industrial Metal Supply’s Hi Def Plasma machine. This further enhances the durability and safety of the product as the targets are cut in a random fashion to spread the heat distribution in a way that does not compromise the hardness of the target.
The AR500 comes in both gong and ISPC (International Shooting Practice Consideration) styles. Gong style targets are available in six sizes ranging from four to ten inches in diameter and 3/8” and ½” thicknesses. Prices range from $10.99-$46.99. The ISPC shaped targets come in just one size, ½” x 18” x 26, and are priced at $111.99.
The targets are currently available at all six IMS locations across southern California and Arizona. The AR500 is also available for purchase online with shipping available anywhere in the United States.
About Industrial Metal Supply
A true family business, IMS opened for business in 1947 when founder Norman Sherman and wife Sally began making deliveries out of the backseat of their Pontiac station wagon. Since the late 1940s the company has expanded into multiple locations, boasts more than 400,000 square feet of warehouse space, and has become one of the most respected metal suppliers on the west coast. IMS provides rapid turnaround through next day delivery of processed metals, same day pick up in any one of the six stores or Will-Call. After almost 70 years there are still no minimum purchase requirements and the company continues to focus on offering

[ top ] Industrial Metal Supply Promotes 4130 Tube And Other Products at SoCal Off-Road Tradeshows, September, 2012

Sun Valley, CA – September 12, 2012 - Industrial Metal Supply (IMS) is slated to attend Sand Sports Super Show and the Lucas Oil Off-road Expo this fall, providing metals product and service information for Off-road vehicles. IMS, a well-known metals distributer, will highlight a wide range of products including 4130 tube and square tube, along with hosting special guests, Strong Hand Tools and ProtoFab.

Industrial Metal Supply (IMS), a full line metal distributer for the Off-road industry and others, announced today their upcoming participation in two tradeshows held in Southern California this fall. Their first, Sand Sports Super Show, will be held in Costa Mesa September 14th through the 16th at the Orange County Fair & Event Center. Industrial Metal Supply provides industrial steel, 4130 (CHROMOLY) tube and square tube, both essential items used in Sand and Dune buggies, Sand rails, ATV’s, Off-road ATV’s and trucks, Trophy trucks, 4 X 4’s, Rock Crawlers, Motorcross/Enduro racing vehicles and more.

Their second tradeshow presence will be at the Lucas Oil Off-road Expo held October 6th and 7th at the Pomona Fairplex, in Pomona, CA. Industrial Metal Supply will also host as special guests two of their prominent suppliers for the industry at both shows: Strong Hand Tools, manufacturer for welding magnets, tables, clamps, etc., and ProtoFab, maker of popular welding tabs.

IMS’s presence at each show will provide information about their extensive product line that supports the Off-road vehicle industry. Vital products include 4130 tube (CHROMOLY tubing), DOM tubing, treadplate, perforated and expanded sheet metal, aluminum sheet metal, aluminum tube and bar, race car tabs, cold rolled sheet metal, pre-cut steel gussets, Ancra strapping and E-track, aluminum ramps, trailer hitch tubing, NOMEX honeycomb sheet metal, as well as stainless, copper, brass, bronze and lead products.

At both the Orange County and Pomona tradeshows, IMS will raffle off a Hotmax Mig Welder Kit and Strong Hand Weld Table, as well as give away T-shirts and 30% off coupons, and more to attendees stopping at their display.
[ top ] Industrial Metal Supply Co. to Open Sixth Store in Tucson, July, 2012

Supplier that ‘made metal easy’ seeks to meet same day metal needs for Tucson customer base
Tucson, AZ – July 24, 2012 – Industrial Metal Supply Company (IMS), the Southwest’s largest metal service center, announced today that it will open its sixth store in Tucson in September of this year. The store, a retail center offering same day access to a broad variety of metals and sizes – continues a tradition of more than 60 years of service and growth. A broad range of businesses, including machine shops and sheet metal fabricators,
after-market and off-road automotive product manufacturers, government contractors, and individual consumers from artists to engineers, have learned to rely on IMS through the years. The Grand Opening event open to the public will be held at the store in October.

The new Tucson store is located at 3757 E. Columbia Street, near the intersection of Ajo Parkway and Alvernon Way in the Butterfield Business Center. The fully stocked store will serve the large number of Tucson and Nogales businesses that utilize metal, as well as the metal hobbyists including off-roaders, artists and do-it-yourselfers. This will be the area’s largest local distributor for metals, making it a perfect same day solution for industries that thrive in Tucson including aerospace & defense manufacturing, optics, mining, solar and the military.

“Our Phoenix branch has been delivering to customers in Tucson for many years,” said Eric Steinhauer, the company’s president. “Arizona has become the number one entrepreneurial state in the country and the aggressive pro-business agenda of the local government in Tucson has incentivized major players in industries we serve every day including manufacturing, aerospace, optics, and solar to make Tucson their home, so opening a store in Tucson is a natural move for us,” Steinhauer added, “This facility will enable us to give those customers even faster service and quality materials needed to give them the competitive edge in their markets.“

To fulfill the diverse needs of its customers, Industrial Metal Supply stocks steel, aluminum, stainless, tool steel, brass, copper, silicon-bronze, and lead in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The IMS stores stock thousands of metal products and accessories and orders can be cut to size for same day pickup. Its range of services include precision non-ferrous sawing, production cutting, and shearing, as well as laser & plasma cutting. In an effort to meet the timely needs of its customers the store is open six days a week and will-call service is available for same day pick-up. Lastly, there is no minimum order at IMS.

[ top ] Industrial Metal Supply Co. Expands Selection, Services with New Irvine Location, September, 2010

Sept 8, 2010 — Irvine, CA — Bringing a unique shopping experience to Orange County consumers, Industrial Metal Supply Co. ( — a full-line metals service center— is launching a new walk-in center in Irvine, with an interior design and operational flow created specifically to accommodate small-purchase customers and to make the buying process a pleasant experience. This flagship store represents IMS’s commitment to “metal made easy,” encompassing 12,000 square feet of dedicated sales space, 18,000 square feet of warehouse space that will hold the company’s expansive selection of metals, a new Will-Call express counter, as well as complementary product lines.
“We are committed to making metal shopping a fun and easy experience, offering the wide product choices of large home-improvement stores and the dedication and personal service of a specialty metal shop,” said IMS General Manager Tim Denges. “With the broadest in-stock selection of metals and related supplies, IMS is unlike any other metal supplier in the U.S. — and this new location perfectly meets the unique needs of our Orange County customers.

The company’s breadth of product and its ability to fill any size order — from one pound to 100,000 pounds — combined with personal guidance from onsite metal experts, make it easy for customers to walk in and get what they need. Shoppers can select from a broad range of specialty items, including decorative brass and stainless-steel railing systems, imported ornamental iron, textured sheet in copper, brass and stainless and several patterns of treadplate. In addition, the store stocks a large selection of metalworking tools and supplies, including patinas, how-to books and videos, and provides metal cut-to-size, which saves customers time and money.

“Our customers consistently tell us that the personal, responsive service IMS offers is unlike any other in the business, and it’s what keeps them coming back,” Denges said.

The new Irvine store is at 2481 Alton Parkway, Irvine, CA 92606, two blocks north of Jamboree. Hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information, call the Irvine location at 949-250-3343 or visit

About Industrial Metal Supply
For more than 60 years, Industrial Metal Supply, the company that makes buying metal easy, has been fulfilling the metal needs of consumers and businesses throughout Southern California and Arizona. IMS stocks a large variety of mill-direct metals and related accessories, including materials such as steel, aluminum, stainless, tool steel, brass, copper, lead and silicon-bronze in a wide selection of shapes and sizes. IMS boasts five locations that provide Will-Call service, large retail showrooms for same-day service, as well as a fleet of 50 trucks that offer next-day delivery.

[ top ] Industrial Metal Supply Company Launches its First Retail Storefront Facility in Irvine, April, 2009
Southwest’s largest metal supplier streamlines distribution system to improve service and facilitate projected growth.

Irvine, CA - Industrial Metal Supply Company (IMS) announced today that the company’s Irvine branch is being reconfigured as its first full-service retail storefront facility. This change is the first in a series of initiatives to ensure that the company retains its long established priority of saving customers’ time and money via optimal location, customer service and maximum efficiency. Once the conversion of the Irvine facility is complete, all commercial and industrial deliveries for Orange County customers will be handled by the IMS Riverside facility, which will expand its staff to meet the increased demand.

With these changes, IMS is positioning itself for future expansion that includes additional retail storefront facilities throughout the region while allowing the company to maintain unparalleled service times, the largest variety of industrial and commercial metal products in the industry, and a one-stop-shopping experience loaded with unique metal products and services for do-it yourself consumers, commercial fabricators and machine shops.

“No other metals distributor offers the array, quality and speed of services we do, and this new approach to distribution not only improves our service, but helps us maintain better control over our operational costs,” said Eric Steinhauer, president of Industrial Metal Supply. “This new approach allows us to deliver our services to a wider geographical area without sacrificing any of the personal touches that we’ve worked so hard to offer over the years.”

For decades, the IMS motto has been, “We save our customers time.” This new distribution model is designed to reinforce that concept, and continues to provide customers with three delivery or pickup options. Those who call by 5 p.m. receive delivery the following day. Customers needing products sooner can arrange to pick up their orders at our “will call” desk in as little as two hours and those who need material even sooner may visit an IMS retail location where employees prepare the orders immediately.

To fulfill the diverse needs of its customers, Industrial Metal Supply stocks steel, aluminum, stainless, tool steel, brass, copper, silicon-bronze in bar, sheet, plate, tubing and shapes. The company is widely known for its next day processing of materials, as well as well-stocked showrooms that carry everything from imported hand-forged ornamental iron for architectural and ornamental use to stainless steel railing systems, patinas, welding supplies, decorative sheet and much more.
[ top ] IMS Celebrates 60 years of Customer Service

San Diego Source / The Daily Transcript
By: Jen Lebron
April, 2009
It has helped hobbyist jewelry makers and the Navy. It has supplied parts for Old Globe sets and fishing boats. Its customer list includes Jay Leno, prop makers for "The Pirates of the Caribbean" and a balding man with a long ponytail who walks around with a cockatoo on his shoulder and has nothing to do with the previously mentioned movie.

Industrial Metal Supply Co., a metal distributor, has been serving Southern California for 60 years with its wide array of metals for all types of people and its family atmosphere.

While some larger companies will only sell metal in large quantities, the niche market of IMS is made up of small to medium sized business and projects. However, it will sell metal as tiny as tracks for a model train -- and it has. It's something the company says sets it apart from tiny scrap metal shops and larger firms, which supply metal for projects like skyscrapers and freeways.

"We combine the best of both worlds," said Megan Humpal, the company's marketing director who is based in San Diego. "We will sell one piece to one person who is a hobbyist -- who maybe works on their off-road car on the weekend, or does metal sculptures, jewelry, trying to build an invention at home -- to a lot of customers who are what we term small to medium sized businesses."

The minimum purchase at IMS is $1, an amount that encourages individuals to turn to what Humpal has heard described as the Nordstrom of metal supply companies.

"All of our branches have this retail showroom, and people can come in and shop like they're at a department store almost," Humpal said. "Other companies don't have showrooms of this size or this clean ... (New) customers usually picture it being outdoors, with rusty materials, dirty and a lot of time (at other metal companies) you have to go through big scrap bins to find what you want."

While most metal companies store their goods in giant warehouses with metal coming in sizes too big to fit in an average sedan, IMS has a retail area upfront where metals of all shapes and sizes are displayed.

Over the years, the company has gone from having standard-sized pieces of metal to having pre-cut shapes and sizes it has learned customers need frequently. Russell Sykes, the general manager of the San Diego branch, said the store contains precut pieces that are frequently used for lamp bases or twisted metals used in cast-iron gates imported from Europe.

"Over the years the company started with just having remnants of things and the customers just picked and plucked," Sykes said. "It's really the history that goes back with the company that gets a feel for what the customers want and we know what they need."

IMS started as a metal scrap company current that owner Neil Sherman's parents, Norman and Sally Sherman, began in Burbank in 1948.

At the company's inception, the pair would haul former set pieces from Hollywood studios and leftover airplane parts in their 1947 Pontiac station wagon to their scrap shop where they would turn around and sell it to whoever wanted it. Norman Sherman would buy surplus metal from companies like Lockheed that would order more metal than it needed at a price slightly higher than what was common for scrap metal, and then sell it to customers for less than what they would pay for the metal new.

"The customer was thrilled because they saved money," recalled Neil Sherman, "and the people from Lockheed my father would buy the metal from (were) thrilled because they'd get double the amount of money they would get if they sold it as scrap and my father was thrilled because he made money on it as well, so it was a win-win-win situation."

However, as the industrial climate of Los Angeles evolved, airplane manufacturers left and metal-selling standards tightened up, the Shermans could no longer obtain the scrap metal they once had -- and business got tough.

Though the company tried to purchase metal from companies larger than itself, Neil Sherman said IMS could not sustain its business that way.

It began purchasing the metal mill-direct, ensuring its customers got high quality metal at affordable prices. IMS grew over the years and by the 1980s, Norman Sherman and his then-adult son Neil Sherman, began to realize the need to have a second location south of Los Angeles -- while Sally, who kept the books, said this plan was going to be a disaster. Norman, encouraged by Neil, opened the company's first remote branch in Orange County in 1989.

"My mom was in the background, saying 'Don't do it. You're going to drive the company into the ground. You don't need to grow. You don't need to expand. Don't try to be a big shot,'" Neil Sherman said. "And my dad said, 'Let's try it, I think it would be fun.'"

The first few weeks were "scary" for the Shermans with only a few customers trickling in every day, but eventually business started to pick up and within a few years, the Orange County center began making deliveries on a very frequent basis to companies in San Diego.

Then in 1995, Neil Sherman opened the doors of the San Diego branch. In the following years, IMS would open two more stores in Riverside County and Phoenix, as well as move its headquarters from Burbank to a state-of-the-art, 140,000-square-foot warehouse and retail space in Sun Valley. The company now has nearly 400,000 square feet of retail space, employs 300 people and upgraded from the one station wagon to 45 trucks.

Despite all of the growth, Neil Sherman said he strove to maintain the family atmosphere of IMS he grew up with. "I don't have a specific reason why it's important," said Neil Sherman about the homey feeling of IMS culture. "I just like the idea."

To encourage feelings of camaraderie and family, the company has implemented a variety of programs to help its employees. These include providing child care services for employees whose children have to stay home from school ill, a $40 gas stipend for most employees and a comment system that allows employees to receive monetary rewards if they make suggestions the company utilizes.

Neil Sherman, a Harvard graduate, said he thinks it's important that his employees continue their education. IMS will subsidize employees for ongoing education even if the classes they're taking do not directly relate to their job. This causes the risk that employees may leave IMS after they learn new skills, but Neil Sherman said that's a risk he is willing to

"I like the idea that (people) can improve themselves," he said. "It may not be the smartest thing, but we do it." The perks don't stop at the employees. Despite gas prices increasing, IMS still offers free delivery.

"I know the reason we're so service oriented and we always put the customer first is because it stems from the owner, Neil Sherman. It's his philosophy," said Humpal. "He will walk in to our branches and start talking to the customer first. And it permeates down through the organization."

Neil Sherman said he isn't "above doing anything," including helping customers pull large pieces of metal from racks, watering plants or scrubbing toilets and he usually avoids saying he's the owner.

Neil Sherman has two children, a son and a daughter, ages 15 and 14, respectively. Though his son has expressed some interest in the company, he said his son's too young to decide what he really wants to do.

"I'd like to encourage him to go into the business, but I don't want to force it on him. I think he's awfully young to figure out what he wants to do," Neil Sherman said. "I don't know what I'm going to do (when I retire). I may eventually sell the business, but I'm not an old man yet. I don't know if I want to do it until I'm 90 years old like my father did, but I enjoy it. I don't know what else I'd do with myself."
[ top ] As Customer Base Grows, IMS Gets Larger Cut of Metal Supply Biz

San Diego Business Journal
By: Mike Allen
San Diego Business Journal Staff

August, 2008
There isn’t a customer or project too small for Industrial Metal Supply Co., a supplier of just about every type of metal.

“We carry about 4,000 to 5,000 items here, everything from hobby stuff that is small enough to see with a magnifying glass to structural beams used in the construction of down-town buildings,” said Russ Sykes, general manager of IMS’ Kearny Mesa office.

Based in Sun Valley near Burbank, IMS has had a San Diego office since 1995. The company recently invested $2 million in a 3-D laser cutter that it says is the only one of its kind in the Southwest.

“Although laser cutting has been around about 20 years, this machine is something new and allows the cutting to occur in 3-D, using a tilt and swiveling mechanism that is far more efficient,” said President Eric Steinhauer, who is based in IMS’ main office.

While IMS is well-known to small machine shops, metal fabricators and small manufacturers, it’s the people seeking metal pieces for trailers or homeowners looking for swirled iron bars for banisters who find their way to its retail section and come away amazed, says Megan Humpal, IMS’ marketing director.

More and more customers are finding their way to IMS for their metal needs. This year, the company is on target to break about $148 million in sales, up from $127 million last year.

Among the items in the company’s retail outlet are circular bars of steel and aluminum at various sizes; sheets of steel, copper and other alloys; bolts, screws and even fashioned imported Italian iron pieces for home use.

Customers often put their orders in one day and have it delivered the next, but if necessary, the company can fill the order that same day, Sykes says.

Steinhauer says the metal supply business has seen changes in recent years that mirror regional trends in manufacturing.

The business boomed in the late 1990s when the regional telecommunications industry was spending like crazy and the aerospace industry was still doing OK, but a lot of that has “shriveled away,” Steinhauer said.

The San Diego office is picking up new customers within the area’s biotech industry, and other high-tech R&D activity. Because of the skyrocketing prices for steel, copper and other metals, many of IMS’ customers are hurting, so it’s imperative that the firm find more cost-effective ways of operating. The new laser machine will make the custom cutting work much quicker and easier, saving money for the customers, and possibly jobs, Steinhauer says.

At the Kearny Mesa office, the company also invested some $1.5 million in a new racking system that holds long bars of steel and other metals.

[ top ] IMS Launches 3D Laser Cutter, August, 2008

Sun Valley, CA, - Industrial Metal Supply Co., distributor of the largest variety of metals in the southwestern states, has announced the creation of a new business unit to provide unique six-Axis, 3D laser cutting and fabrication services to the company’s large customer base of design and manufacturing firms, metal fabricators, welders, machine shops and other businesses throughout Southern California and Arizona.

“We’re investing roughly two million dollars in equipment, facilities and people to create a new business unit that will deliver innovative new services that have not been available to our customers before now,” said Eric Steinhauer, president of IMS. “Our Laser Services Group will focus on providing fabrication and production services enabled by a sophisticated new device from Mazak Optonics Corporation called the FabriGear™ 300.

FabriGear employs a six-axis laser that cuts large sizes of tubes and pipes – round, square, rectangular or triangular up to 26 feet in length. It also processes I-beams, H-beams, Channel, angle iron and other shapes as defined by the operator. Cuts can be made at any desired angle with the highest accuracy and quality for easy fitting of assemblies.

Martin J. “Marty” Mechsner, president and CEO of the Small Manufacturers’ Institute (SMI), president of Schober’s Machine and Engineering (SME), and adjunct professor of Technology and Mechanical Engineering at Cal State University, has been appointed General Manager and Chief Engineer of the new Laser Services Group at IMS.