Metal Machining – 10 Questions to ask a supplier

Don't let the selection of your metal machining supplier be stressful - read our expert guide to the 10 questions to ask your supplier.
metal machining

Metal Machining

Selecting a metal machining and materials supplier can be very stressful. If you are searching for a new vendor, you may have had a disappointing split with your existing supplier.  Perhaps you are in the process of taking on a new project. In either situation, you will want to be sure you are choosing the best company.  It is critical for your own operation’s success. Here are a few questions you should be asking before you select your metal machining, grinding and materials supplier.

What Are Your Certifications and How Do You Ensure You Meet Regulations?

Before considering a supplier, you want to be sure they have the proper certifications to properly complete the job. In addition to being certified, your supplier should be able to analyze your project. They must understand any regulatory requirements. There are many safety and material compliances when it comes to working with all metal parts. Partnering with a supplier who understands how to meet these requirements at every step of the process is essential.

Do You Have the Capabilities my Operation Needs?

This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is important to understand what your supplier is and is not capable of. A supplier that is suited to be your metal machining and materials partner will know that streamlining the process is important to maximize efficiency. Understanding how your supplier can meet your needs from end to end is critical for your selection.

What Material is Best for this Project?

You may have already chosen the material that should be used for your operation. But your prospective partner should be concerned with ensuring you are choosing the best materials for the job. Your metal machining partner will understand your needs and, with their advanced experience and strategic sourcing experience, will be able to offer advice on the best materials to lower your cost or improve your product.

Do You Work With or Supply This Material?

A prospective supplier should be transparent regarding their experience working with the materials that are the best for your job. This is a straightforward question, but being upfront will be mutually beneficial for your relationship.

What Manufacturing Process is Best For This Project?

When your supplier understands your project’s scope, they will be able to determine the best process. Understanding the necessary processes will allow your supplier to build a streamlined plan.  Therefore complete your project in the most time and cost-efficient manner.

What Kind of Equipment Do You Use?

When you’ve determined the methods and process for your project, it’s important that your supplier has all the necessary equipment to produce your parts at the highest quality and with the tightest tolerances. Some suppliers will even purchase new equipment to meet your needs – this is the sign of a true partner.

Have You Done This Before?

If a supplier has performed similar work before, they will be able to relate their experience and improve your processes. A true partner will constantly be looking for ways to improve your process, from reducing final part costs to improving efficiency and shortening lead times.

How Will You Manage This Process?

A supplier that is committed to your success will offer project management to ensure your part or assembly project goes smoothly. They’ll be working to improving your bottom line. Finding ways to save time and money while maintaining quality and minimizing variance.

Can You Meet Our Schedule Requirements?

When your operation relies on a part or assembly, you want to make sure your supplier can accommodate your schedule. A partner will offer a wide range of shipping and logistics options to make sure you have your part when and where you need it.

How Do You Stack Up in a Price Comparison?

For any large project, you’ll be receiving multiple quotes from different fabricators that can perform the job you need. It’s important to look past the bottom line. Understand that there are many other factors that can end up costing you in the long run. While the price is certainly something to consider, look at the full scope of the project. Weigh the positives and negatives before making a decision based on price alone.

Contact us for our answers to these questions and to learn more about what a partnership with Wisconsin Metal Tech means.

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