In today’s world, a metal welding and fabrication firm has a lot to offer. Choosing the right one often requires doing a little more research to ensure that you are choosing the perfect match for your organization. From damaged or missing custom parts to prototypes, your metal fabrication partner can offer you a wide range of solutions. When choosing the right partner, here are three things to consider:
1. Have a General Understanding of Your Needs
Although metal welding and fabrication firms have a lot to offer, there are some that choose to focus on a specific specialty. Understanding your organization’s priorities will allow you to partner with a firm that can offer the right solutions for your needs. A few things that you should keep in mind are:
- The scope of the job - is it a big project that will require you to order in bulk, or a small project that will allow you to partner with a smaller firm with a focus on customization?
- Do you have a firm deadline or are you flexible with turnaround time?
Having a general understanding will also allow you to work with your fabrication partner to optimize your project. Metal fabricators are experts in their industry and will often have recommendations as to how your project may be able to be completed more quickly and economically. Additionally, because of their engineering experience, they may be able to offer ways to innovate your product you hadn’t thought of in your original design.
2. Reputation Matters
When the reputation of your organization relies on the quality provided by another, it matters. Ask for references and if possible, insist on taking a tour. A company with a great reputation for providing quality craftsmanship will be more than willing to invite you in and share their process with you.
- Do not take their word on the quality of the metal. Conduct your due diligence when possible and follow up.
- Ask for references.
- Follow up on their safety procedures when possible.
- Ask to see samples of other work they’ve done which is similar to yours.
- Ask about projects which haven’t gone as expected. What happened and how did they rectify it with the client? While every business would love to boast that all their projects have gone off without a hitch, the reality is that unforeseen contingencies arise. What a business does in the face of adversity will speak volumes to their reputation.
3. Customer Service
Working with a firm that values transparency will allow you to feel secure as you manage the scope of your project. Nothing about steel fabrication is easy. Worrying about the quality of the work and meeting deadlines are enough to keep any product manager up at night. Insist on clear and detailed support from the very beginning. Be aware of the questions that the firms you are considering are asking. They should be interested in having a clear understanding of your needs and vision, as well as an understanding of your budget.