If you use metals a lot, choosing the right metal supplier is essential. It means being able to depend on the products you buy and having confidence in your ability to acquire the right metal at the right time.
Metal is a specialist subject for which you need a specialist supplier. Most of us don’t know good metal from bad or know how to spot the signs of low-quality steel over top-quality steel.
That’s just one of the benefits of using a dependable metal supplier. There are other reasons and we’ll share 6 of them here.
If you’re currently looking for a metal supplier, consider these points before ordering. They could save you a lot of time and money!
The product range is important if you regularly use a diverse range of steel products. If you go to all this effort of selecting a metal supplier, the last thing you want to have to do is go through it all again if they don’t stock the supplies you need.
A dependable metal supplier should either keep enough stock of the products you use regularly or have the means to manufacture them. That can mean anything from pipe bending to full fabrication.
The reliability of your metal supplier has two aspects, both as important as the other. The reliability of the supplier and the reliability of their products both play a part here.
The supplier should be reliable enough to have the stock you want when you want it. They should also be reliable enough to deliver consistent quality products and workmanship if you require customization.
The reliability of the supplier’s products is also important. Consistent quality, high-grade metals, reliable measuring when cutting and good customer service all play a part in that.
There’s no guarantee that a metal supplier with 20 years of experience is going to be any better than a newcomer, but it can be a good indicator. Experience counts in an industry like metalwork.
The experience to know when the product is good enough quality or when the grade of steel you’re asking for isn’t up to the task.
The experience to be able to suggest different options when asked for advice or the experience to know when a rush order can be fulfilled to a high standard, or not.
The experience of the workforce will also make a difference if you’re buying customised or fabricated materials. It’s usually clear very early on whether a firm invests in their staff or not!
All these things can make a real difference when ordering metal.
Every metal supplier in the world is going to say they deliver quality, but that needs to be verifiable. Either through the experience of using their products or relevant ISO certifications, awards, or reviews.
Quality is everything. Whether you use the metal for fixings or for holding up a building, that metal needs to be up to the task.
Quality will also show up in rejection rates.
How much of an order do you have to return for not being up to standard. Whether that’s because of low-quality material, poor measuring, or something else, if you’re sending more metal back than you’re keeping, that’s not a good sign.
Price is more important than ever right now. With inflation causing prices to rise all the time, remaining competitive is essential, both for the metal supplier and you as a customer.
Quality is always worth paying for but everyone has to balance the price. We all have customers after all and they are only willing to pay so much.
A good metal supplier will help you better understand the balance of quality and price and show you how the performance of the material or component can offer value over the long term or through any properties or features.
Availability is another significant factor, especially now. There are shortages across the board, especially in manufacturing and construction. Every step in the chain, from mining the raw materials up to fabrication is suffering the same shortages.
Stock availability is a key metric we use for assessing the quality of a metal supplier. Short lead times, reliable delivery dates, and having the right materials available at the right time are all key.
In these times of shortages, some shortfalls are inevitable but a good quality supplier can usually source products from somewhere or even fabricate them to help keep you productive.
Metal supplier selection
Choosing any supplier is important, especially if you’re going to be depending on them to deliver essential materials or products for your contracts.
If you’re looking for a new supplier, using these measures can help save time and effort by sorting the wheat from the chaff before they let you down.
When it’s your reputation on the line, that has to be worth some time and effort, right?