A business’ reputation depends largely on the value of the products and services it provides to customers. By extension, the quality of work delivered by a metal fabricating partner becomes a reflection of your company. It’s a relationship that can influence everything, from the performance of your component to how often orders are delivered on time.
The choice of metal fabricator should not be taken lightly, nor considered while uninformed. It’s a complex process that involves many factors and key questions that must be answered.
Below, we’ve compiled five qualifications that should be the basis of comparison when evaluating metal fabrication companies:
Design and Production Capabilities
Bigger doesn’t always mean better. A metal fabricator doesn’t need the facility footprint of the Pentagon to manufacture your part, but it must obviously have the capabilities to handle the size, complexity, and specifics of your project. Note, too, that many metal fabricators often have limits on the minimum and maximum size an order can be.
When reviewing a company’s equipment and capabilities, don’t forget to ask about the value-added services it provides. Will the team offer design insight and enhancements? Are expedited services an option? Are they prepared to handle shipping?
Also, consider the significant cost savings and convenience that can be had when a metal fabricator handles your entire project, start to finish. The one-stop shop approach can often save you time by getting the part to you on a tighter turnaround.
Quality Measures and Certifications
You hear the word “quality” used all the time in the manufacturing industry, though not all companies define it the same way. And whether big or small, your project should not have to compromise on quality standards. Find a fabricator that tracks and consistently delivers high quality performance and meets your industry’s certification requirements.
Also, when meeting with a metal fabrication team about your project, make sure its employees are actively listening to your requirements and goals. Their level of commitment directly translates to the overall quality of your end product.
When it comes to your project’s execution and timeline, it’s beneficial to remove as much guesswork as possible. Seek out a metal fabrication company that treats customer service as a guiding principle. You want a partner that keeps you fully informed through proactive communication and regular progress reports.
The best metal fabrication companies provide:
- Comprehensive project management, including timelines and specific deliverables
- Quick response time to questions and requests
- Guidance and support, from design through the delivery of your parts
Before committing to a company, make sure communication is clear and seems “easy.” How responsive are they? Are they flexible about using email, phone calls or texting?
The financial practices of a fabricator are just as important as its technical wherewithal. Your part project may demand modifications to production capacity, additional welders, or new software, equipment or materials. A metal fabrication company with poor financial health is unprepared to handle those expenses.
On the other hand, a financially-stable organization is likely paying competitive wages, which attracts and retains the best talent in the marketplace.
All potential metal fabricating partners should be asked about their financial strategy regarding your project.
Reviews, References and Testimonials
Be sure to assess the credibility of a prospective metal fabrication partner.
Google and online social media platforms are great for an initial overview of reviews, but they should not be the only resource that guides your decision. Ask for references, and reach out to current/past customers for their thoughts on what it’s like to work with the company and whether they’d recommend them. Steer clear of companies that can’t – or won’t – provide references. Other ways to validate good work include customer testimonials, client lists, case studies, awards and news stories showcased on the company’s website.
Not all fabricators are made equal, and the wrong choice of partner can set back your timeline and push your budget to the breaking point. To be clear, it can take some work to properly evaluate a prospective metal fabricator for your project, but the effort is well worth it. A reliable partnership makes it easier to meet your customers’ expectations and ultimately leads to a better product.
All the recommendations outlined above can also be used to evaluate an existing metal fabrication partner. Your go-to company may have initially helped you turn a profit but may not be a fit for your long-term goals or when market factors shift. Don’t let inertia prevent you from making a change that’s long overdue.
Take the Next Step—Contact JR Metal Works
Based in Kewaunee, WI, JR Metal Works is a one-stop custom fabricator of sheet metal, pipe, and plate product. The company takes immense pride in upholding core values of honesty and reliability and utilizes creative problem solving to meet customer deadlines without breaking their budget. JR Metal Works’ turnkey metal fabrication services include digital modeling, CNC waterjet cutting, welding, CNC forming, hardware insertion, finishing operations, and assembly. The company develops custom solutions for a variety of industries, with customers across the U.S., including aerospace, defense, utilities, paper, and construction. Above all, JR Metal Works believes the partnership is paramount. Every order, every time
Request a quote online or call (920) 639-2268 today.