While price is a leading factor for any business, when choosing a steel fabricator to partner with your business, cost should not be the primary focus. Operating facility, design models and quality are just some of the additional factors you want to focus on. Make sure you know what to investigate for the greatest chance of a successful partnership.
What type of facility the organization operates in is very important. While there isn't exactly a general wrong or right location, the operating facility should be able to easily accommodate your needs. Start your investigation with a focus on size. If your project goals involve large equipment, a smaller facility may be unable to efficiently accommodate your needs.
Instead of being able to work on the piece as a single unit, it may need to be broken down into segments to fit within their working area. This type of process could slow down production and present shipping challenges when it's time to have the equipment transported to your facility.
What does the fabricator's design model look like? Are they able to work from any type of drawing or are their abilities exclusive to hard-copy drawings? In the event your designs were drafted electronically, this causes an issue. Another design factor to consider is whether the facility is even able to translate drawings, as some fabricators require a model.
Lastly, is their design model all-inclusive or do they only perform some of the work in house? Some facilities cut, form, assemble and finish all in-house, whereas some send out the unit for certain segments. Generally, the more that is able to be performed in-house, the faster the turnaround time and the higher the quality.
Quality will determine the ease of use and the longevity of your finished fabricated materials. It's important to understand that quality can be independent of experience, cost and even the equipment used. Quality most often has everything to do with an organization's commitment to its customers.
Look for fabricators that go above and beyond to ensure their customers are satisfied. Fabricators that allow you to submit your own QC standards, perform routine facility inspections and offer in-house testing can all be perceived as signs of high quality production.
There is no good or bad steel fabricator, but instead, there are fabricators that are better suited to meet a client's particular need. Make sure you are choosing a steel fabricator most in line with your needs.
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