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TW Metals is a primary and secondary distributor of specialty metals and materials in stainless, aluminum, nickel, titanium, alloy, and carbon steel. Sixty percent of the company’s business stems from its role as a subcontractor to the aerospace industry. TW Metals also provides products to a wide range of customers such as machine shops, race car designers, track manufacturers, and retail organizations. Headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama, the company was formed in 1998 through the merger of Tubesales and Williams & Company.


At the heart of TW Metals’ business is a proprietary inventory management system that runs on the IBM i platform. Used daily by more than 600 employees, the system is central to managing thousands of TW Metals product SKUs. In 2010, the company’s CIO recognized the need to optimize employee interactions with this system, based on the amount of time it took to complete necessary tasks using its green screen-based user interface. The management team at TW Metals also noted that it had become difficult to hire and retain new employees who were accustomed to working with more modern technology. In fact, given the wide age range of TW Metals employees, some had never even seen a green screen before, let alone used one.

According to Aldo Miceli, Vice President and CIO of TW Metals, the company values longevity, not only regarding its employees, but also its systems and processes. “TW Metals’ proprietary inventory management and direct sales systems have been a fixture within the company. They have received numerous customizations and investments,” Miceli explained. “For that reason, we want to make the most out of what we have in place already. A replacement is too disruptive and too expensive in terms of capital investment and man hours needed to manage such a project. We would also have no guarantee of success.”

The Rocket Software team knew exactly what our challenge was, both from a business and a technical perspective.
Aldo Miceli
Vice President and CIO
TW Metals

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