The Other End of the Spectrum

Specialty metals site shuts down operations

Atlanta  June 14, 2001  Scarcely nine months after it began operations, online specialty metals marketplace MetalSpectrum LLC, announced yesterday that it has ceased operating effective immediately. The site, which was constructed with an emphasis on neutrality, joined the well-established list of marketplaces that failed to gain enough market share to remain viable. A statement issued by the company said, Although an aggressive vision for the business resulted in the development of software with features to support online selling and procurement activity, user acceptance necessary to support the cost of operation was less than anticipated.

MetalSpectrum was launched in May 2000, with the financial backing and participation of several leading metals industry companies. The business was chartered as the online, neutral marketplace for aluminum, stainless and carbon steel, copper, brass and other specialty metals.

Alan Turfe, former CEO of MetalSpectrum, said, MetalSpectrum's strength was in the technology it developed and the people who developed it. However, a combination of poor market conditions and slow user adoption has prevented most public marketplaces from becoming a commercial success. We have not been an exception, and it was important to recognize the realities that led to this difficult decision. Metalspectrum employed more than 80 people at its peak.