Small companies often have to contend with limited resources, which becomes a big challenge if you’re trying to make a product and bring it to market. On top of the marketing needed to establish a distribution network in stores, you also need to make the product, and that starts by making its parts. Since a full fabrication shop is often a bigger capital outlay than a startup can afford, it makes more sense to focus on assembly and quality control while outsourcing your parts fabrication and machining.
Finding a Contractor
It’s not hard too find a machine shop if you’re located in any area with major industrial developments and business parks. Finding the right machine shop is the key. Local places are convenient, but shopping abroad can provide you with considerable savings, even if you only go across the state and not outside the country. So which is better?
In the end, it comes down to out the door prices. Sometimes a local shop is quite expensive, but when you add in the cost of development and troubleshooting quality issues to the transportation and delivery costs, then add those to the product costs, it’s usually less expensive to work with local contract machining providers.
Customer Service Benefits
When considering the costs that play into development, you also need to consider the value of the service you receive and the additional cost to your business associated with it. Local machine shops can send representatives to you by simply driving them across town, with no need for accommodations or additional service expenses beyond your baseline project quotes. Similarly, traveling for an onsite visit and meeting doesn’t cost you additional transportation and lodging expenses for your personnel. It doesn’t even take them out of your shop for a whole day.
Which Local Shop Is Best?
Often, you’ll find a few candidates for local machining services, and it can be hard to tell which is best if the quotes are competitive. The best way to pick one is to check out the facilities, review the materials they have the most experience with, and get a feel for their other projects. That will tell you if you’ve found a resource for contract machining that has experience with the kinds of parts you’re asking them to build.
Look past the actual products the parts go into, and instead ask yourself if they involve the same processes you’re using for your parts. There’s often a lot more similarity between an aluminum storm door and chrome motorcycle trim than you’d think, when it comes down to manufacturing it.