What does full-service metal fabrication mean?
To be a full-service vendor, a metal fabricator needs to provide a spectrum of manufacturing services. Typically, this means they can fabricate, finish, and assemble a product. Sometimes, they’ll provide initial part design and production as well.
Capabilities will vary from vendor to vendor. What matters most is whether your supplier can fulfill all of your needs. Further, can they fulfill them quickly and affordably?
Here are some of the automatic benefits you gain by choosing a one-stop metal fabricator over a multi-vendor system.
1. REDUCED COSTS
Exactly what every CEO wants to hear.
Cost reduction is a huge part of choosing a supplier -– we know, because we need vendors too! However, cost reduction also tends to bring quality reduction, delays, and other undesirable effects.
This is not the case with full-service metal fabrication. Costs are reduced organically.
For instance, the costs you’d usually associate with shipping and transporting your part from vendor to vendor completely disappear. The time and cost of in-house assembly is greatly reduced, as your supplier will provide their own cost-effective assembly methods. The personal cost of communication, billing, and conflict between multiple vendors is eliminated. We can even bring tooling in-house.
2. INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
If your fabricator is handling multiple stages of your supply chain, they’ll be managing a larger portion of your inventory. Inventory management is hugely important for reducing waste costs and a product’s idle time.
After all, every second your part spends off the line is money you’re spending on nothing.
Many metal fabricators offer inventory related value propositions. For instance, we provide inventory management and consignment programs to any customer who requests it.
Expert forecasting, buffer stock to meet increased demand, and management styles (such as Kanban or JIT) combine to create less waste, less stress, and lower inventory costs.
3. REDUCED LEAD TIMES
Transport, quality control, communication, billing – all of these things contribute to the high costs of a multi-vendor supply chain. However, they also contribute to slow turnaround, deliveries, and overall lead times.
Each time a product switches vendors, you increase lead time. Whenever a product switches facilities, it needs to meet a different set of quality standards. Every time there’s a problem between vendors, you need to be the referee.
Every second matters. The time a product spends in transport, on the shelf, or idling on the floor adds up quickly. Single sourcing your metal fabrication can cut lead times to a fraction of their original values.
Shorter lead times mean you can roll with market trends, meet changes in customer demand, and have happier clients overall.
Finding a Full-Service Metal Fabricator
What should you consider when searching for a full-service fabricator? Here are some things to think about:
- What are their capabilities?
- Can they provide all the services my part requires?
- What inventory management systems or programs do they offer?
- Do they offer any value propositions for using multiple services?
- What additional benefits can I receive by using a full-service manufacturer?
When you switch to a full-service manufacturer, the results speak for themselves. Truly, reduced costs, inventory management, and shorter lead times are only a few of the benefits you’ll receive.
Don’t believe us? We’d only need a moment of your time to convince you.