About a year ago, I could tell that my business was starting to struggle. We were having a tough time meeting deadlines and working with manufacturers, and it seemed like we were starting to sink. I knew that we had to do something, so we started looking for easier ways to manufacture our products. We decided to update our equipment and retrain all of our employees. It was amazing to see how much of a difference it made. This blog is all about finding different ways to stay on top of your business manufacturing, so that you can keep your customers happy and satisfied.
Sheet metal fabrication has long been an extraordinarily important part of the manufacturing process, but it's also a unique activity that is equal parts art and skill. It's no surprise, then, that many manufacturing firms rely on outside sheet metal fabricators, but those relationships can be difficult without a proper understanding of some of the nuanced parts of the process.
Below, you'll find a guide to some questions that you should be sure to ask of your sheet metal fabrication firm. Having the answers to these questions will not only help pull back the curtain on the process, but will also make sure that confusion is eliminated and you develop a solid working relationship for many years to come.
Ask About Lead Times
Whether you're making boutique products for a small business or you're responsible for generating large inventory for a massive firm, everyone wants their production line to be completed as soon as possible. As such, delays from your sheet metal fabricator can be extremely frustrating, but those delays shouldn't get in the way of a positive relationship.
Indeed, many cases of delays are simply a result of poor communication. Asking your fabricator about their time requirements and comparing it to your orders can make the relationship function much more smoothly, and can also allow you to develop a better understanding of the constraints they may be under.
Ask About Environmental Impact
Not only are environmental concerns an important part of being a responsible corporate citizen, but they also may contribute to the perception of the public. Whether positive or negative, the view of your company can be reflected in the impact you have on the world around you, and sheet metal fabrication is tied closely to that.
Be sure that you have a complete understanding of the processes and waste disposal used by your fabricator. You may also want to inquire as to the availability of recycled materials, both for sake of public relations and fiscal responsibility.
Ask About Bulk Pricing
Ultimately, the primary reason to outsource a task like sheet metal fabrication is to make your operation more streamlined and economically efficient. As such, looking for deals should be a part of that outsourcing. If you expect to order the same parts on a regular basis or if your need is about to expand, small orders as needed are more expensive than they have to be. Your fabricator may offer you an excellent bulk discount, building a strong relationship based on economic advantage.