Case Study: McNeilus Steel

McNeilus Steel enjoys the benefits of business-to-business e-commerce with Paragon B2B as its EDI department


The Customer

McNeilus Steel is a family-owned full line steel distributor and processor dedicated to providing the best in material quality, responsive customer service, and on-time delivery. Serving the upper Midwest region since 1948, McNeilus Steel is comprised of over 450 employees and three warehouses located in Dodge Center, Minnesota, Fargo, North Dakota, and Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Each location sells and delivers hot roll and cold finish bar, tube, pipe, sheet, plate, flooring, grating, stainless, aluminum, rebar, and other miscellaneous ferrous and nonferrous metal products. McNeilus Steel also offers metal fabrication services, including shot blasting, laser and plasma cutting, bending, rolling, machining, rebar fabrication, sawing, and robotic beveling.


Customer Challenges

McNeilus had been a long time satisfied user of Paragon’s Metalware ERP system.  This system was chosen because it addresses the needs and challenges that are unique to the steel processing.  One of these challenges is EDI, or electronic data interchange.  McNeilus intergrated Metalware with the help of outside consultants and an EDI translator software application. While this solution enabled the Metalware application to effectively communicate with McNeilus’s trading partners, the cost of maintenance and manpower to manage the system was significant.  It was difficult to cost justify expansion of the EDI system, resulting in an implementation that was limited to only the highest volume trading partners.


The Paragon Solution

Over time Paragon saw the benefits of a seamless integration of Metalware with EDI, and decided to create an extremely cost effective and easy to implement Managed EDI Service.  This service was designed to integrate seamlessly with Metalware—or any ERP system.  Essentially, Paragon B2B acts as your EDI department.  This Managed EDI Service was the perfect complement to Metalware and was soon adopted by McNeilus.  Paragon’s expertise in the industry, paired with their expertise in EDI resulted in a system that enabled McNeilus to expand the scope of their EDI implementation and enjoy widespread benefits.   Now Metalware is able to seamlessly communicate with any EDI enabled trading partner —and for a fraction of the price of traditional EDI.


Measurable Results

Due to the extremely cost effective nature and seamless integration of Paragon’s Managed EDI Service, McNeilus was able to expand the scope of their EDI implementation by 500%.  McNeilus cites various areas where the Managed EDI Service and its powerful integration with Metalware have made a positive impact on the business.


  • Material purchasing – prior to working with Paragon , McNeilus staff had to physically count and track down inventory in the warehouses, then create a “buy report

IBM Business Partner