What to do with a fabricated part that your usual suppliers can't make:
We all have a great supply of local cnc machining, precision fab and other manufacturing vendors that we have built trusting relationships with over the years. These vendors have been there with us through thick and thin. We have familiarity and trust that can only be built through years of demanding manufacturing challenges. Oftentimes, parts come along that are simply not suited for the average vendors. You know its a long shot but you send out these parts for quote, each of your local vendors sending back the NQ response. They say, "Jeez, Scott, you know we can't make a part like that, it is way beyond our capabilities". So now you have to go looking for a new vendor and hope they are the right fit for your part and for your business. Here are some things to look for:
1. Capabilities: Can they make it?
Usually when you are in these dire straits, there is some characteristic about the part that makers it unsuited for your current vendor base. Most manufacturers have similar machinery, size and scope of work. In these cases, you may need a vendor that matches special characteristics. It may be that you require large parts, tight tolerance parts, parts with difficult processing sequences or even parts with very specific quality and regulatory requirements. These characteristics alone can disqualify the usual base.
2. Trustworthy: Who are they and what have they done?
Trust is a huge issue with a new supplier. Especially when you are shopping around difficult parts that most folks cannot produce. It is a good idea to get information on the customer base of the new vendor. Are they working with trusted names in industry? Do they work with similar companies as your own? Do they create parts with similar characteristics as the one on the docket? How are they different from my normal suppliers? Doing your homework on the successes and capabilities of the new vendor will help guide you to in your decision making process.
3. Stability: Will they be here a while?
Economic conditions notoriously affect manufacturers. Time and time again we have seen suppliers and OEM's alike run into serious financial problems that were not easy to determine from simple investigation. It's a good idea to see if the company is in good shape financially with low debt, that their customer base is stable and steady, and that they have a long business history. For instance, a company with no debt and a history of many decades shows more expectation of stability than a small shop that's been around for 5 years with machines all owned by the bank.
When you have tough parts that are a step above what the mom and pop shops can create due to difficult characteristics, you will inevitably have to look outside your approved base. This is a tough procedure but by asking the right questions and doing some homework, you can find a supplier that is right for those nasty parts that no one will touch. Remember to investigate capabilities, stability and trustworthiness and your chances of success will increase. For more information on how our customers have chosen PEKO for their very difficult manufacturing challenges, please contact me direct at email@example.com, go to our website or simply click below.