Working with the Right Metal Fabrication Partner is Critical
When you decide to outsource metal fabrication, there are many companies to choose from that have various in-house capabilities and commitments to customer satisfaction. The right fabricator will meet your needs, keep projects running smoothly, and, most importantly, act as an extension of your company. The goal should be to establish a long-term relationship with your metal fabricator with open communication to reinforce that you made the right choice.
The cost of choosing the wrong fabricator can be very high and can result in poor quality, late orders, and unhappy customers. Consider these critical factors when choosing a metal fabrication partner to lessen the chance of encountering these issues.
Capabilities and Equipment
The obvious starting point is ensuring the contract fabricator has the equipment and capabilities needed to complete your project. Whether you need full-service design through installation or have a build-to-print part, look at the full scope of capabilities that the company offers to ensure the company can provide the services you need.
As a starting point, you can ask the contract metal fabricator the following:
- What equipment do you have?
- What value-added services do you offer?
- Do you have the capacity to handle my project?
- Do you have the experience and capabilities to work with my project’s specific metal and thicknesses?
- Can you help me identify design challenges that will impact manufacturability?
A product is considered a quality product if its inherent characteristics meet specific requirements. The requirements, such as tolerance, functionality, and aesthetic specifications, can come from the customer, an industry standard, or in some cases, a regulatory requirement. Products that meet all the requirements are considered high quality. Not all products will have tight tolerances or aesthetic requirements, but when a manufacturer has a quality process in place, you can be assured your product will be manufactured to a consistent standard.
To produce a high-quality product, the fabricator must have a systemic quality process that covers all areas of the company, from incoming raw materials to delivery of the final product. The current supply chain issues and push for shortened turn-around times make having a robust quality system even more critical because there is no time to make corrections without a late delivery.
Questions to ask:
- How do you control product quality?
- What metrics do you use to track quality?
- What is the process for correction if my product doesn’t meet my quality expectations?
- Do you have a continuous improvement process?
How well a company handles on-time delivery can tell you a lot about them. Late orders can have an enormous impact on you and your business. They can leave you scrambling to adjust your own production schedule and cause your products to be late, reflecting poorly on your company. Beware of companies that trade quality for on-time delivery.
Questions to ask the metal fabricator include:
- How do you measure on-time delivery?
- What is your on-time delivery rate?
- Do you have other delivery metrics (e.g., order accuracy)?
- If an order will be late, how is it handled?
Trust Cameron For Your Metal Fabrication Needs
Cameron Manufacturing and Design is a leading producer of custom metal fabrications, machining, welding, engineering, and installation services. We understand that quality, costs, service, and time are essential to our customers, and we strive to meet or exceed their expectations. Thoughtful planning, careful and punctual project execution, and thorough inspection are part of every job we do.