Like most things in business, the choice of which fabricator to hire involves making a trade-off. Fabricators with the lowest cost may not be the best option if you consider some of the other factors that can affect the success of your project—and even its safety or quality level. Here are some reasons why sheet metal fabricators with the lowest cost aren’t always the best option.
Choosing a Metal Fabrication Shop Can Be a Tricky Process
Many businesses choose low-cost options in order to cut costs. However, cost isn’t always indicative of quality. And since a fabrication shop is only one part of your overall project, choosing a low-quality company can lead to problems down the line. By carefully considering all factors—including price—you can find a fabrication shop that has lower long-term costs than other options.
Think about what you need from a fabrication shop and weigh that against your budget. Once you’ve come up with some potential candidates, compare their offerings in depth to see how they compare—and get quotes so you can check for price differences between them.
Keep in mind that quality is more important than cost when choosing a fabrication shop. This will help you avoid spending more money later on down the line.
Not all Sheet Metal Fabricators Are Created Equal
Some sheet metal fabricators produce high-quality parts, while others churn out low-cost metal products at fast rates. Unfortunately, sometimes price is all a buyer has to go by, and they wind up with what amounts to a useless product.
If you buy from a quality metal fabricator, you should be able to tell just by looking at your part. That’s not to say that a low-cost fabricator can’t produce a high-quality product. But oftentimes, they don’t know what type of metal will work best for your application—or they know but choose not to use it because it costs more money.
It’s better to pay a little bit more for your part in order to guarantee it will work when you need it. For that reason, many engineers opt for steel parts, as they’re durable and long-lasting. If you want an alloy part instead, try buying from a quality metal fabricator who works with alloys on a regular basis. Otherwise, you might get something that breaks within hours or days of installation.
Hidden Costs of a Low Bid
The biggest reason a low bid isn’t always the best is that not all bids are created equal. That’s why it’s so important to choose your fabricator based on quality and service rather than price alone. What happens if there’s an issue with your material? Or a change in plans? Asking these questions upfront will help you avoid surprise costs later on.
Failing to know what’ll happen to sloppy workmanship, poor appearance, or scrapped work will lead to plenty of hidden costs that can add up quickly. It’s also worth noting that some contractors are willing to cut corners—and charge less for their services—to get more jobs; they may use subpar materials, do shoddy work, or employ workers who aren’t properly trained for fabrication projects. You don’t want any part of that!
Low Bidders Might Lack Experience
The most common reason why fabricators with low costs may not be your best choice is that they’re a new or inexperienced company. If you want to get top-quality work at a reasonable price, you’ll need to consider someone who has proven their expertise and experience.
Before you hire a contractor, make sure they have a proven track record of success.
Contact their previous clients to get references and find out how their work compares to other companies. This can give you an accurate idea of what your project will look like when it’s finished.
They May Not Be the Right Company For You
When it comes to choosing a steel fabricator, there are a lot of options. But many of these suppliers won’t be able to do what you need them to do. Before choosing a supplier, make sure they have the experience and equipment necessary for your project. If they don’t, your costs could skyrocket, and you may wind up waiting months for them to deliver your products—if they ever do at all!
If they’re able to do the job and are the cheapest, that’s great. However, what if there are problems? Are they someone you’d be comfortable working with to resolve any problems? Will they stand behind their work? Will they go out of their way to ensure your satisfaction? These are all questions you need to ask before choosing a supplier.
Ask Yourself: Why Is The Bid So Low?
Low bids are tempting, but you’ll often wonder why they’re so low. It may be lower because certain scope items may have been missed or cut out of the bid to meet a price point. This can lead to hidden costs down the road that could potentially ruin your project and make it more expensive than if you had used a higher-priced fabricator in the first place.
Furthermore, as a general rule, be wary of any fabricator who provides a bid with little to no details about project scope. Any fabricator worth their salt should be willing and able to give you enough information so that they can fully understand your needs. After all, if they don’t have enough information to fully understand your needs, then how can you expect them to deliver quality work on time?
Things To Consider When Selecting Your Sheet Metal Fabricator
Don’t let price be your sole deciding factor in choosing a fabricator. In fact, you may find that fabricating at a higher cost is less expensive in the long run. Consider these issues when deciding where to go with your job:
- How much do they charge?
- What are their shop fees?
- How much does it cost to ship parts back and forth between them and your facility?
- What kind of quality control procedures do they have in place?
- Are there any guarantees or warranties on their workmanship?
These questions will help you determine if your fabricator is a good fit for your needs. If not, there are plenty of other options out there to choose from. Take your time and do your research before selecting a fabrication shop to work with. You’ll be glad you did when it comes time to use those parts!
At IMS, we are more than just a manufacturing company. We are a precision powder coating and sheet metal fabrication business that helps companies of all sizes improve overall costs by providing them with innovative solutions and flexibility that matches their business needs. Our skilled team of engineers provides all-in-one solutions for those needing complete Metal Fabrication services, including laser cutting, welding, assembly, and powder coating.