A business’ reputation is built on multiple factors, but the largest component is the quality of the product or service provided to the customer. Therefore, the quality of work from your chosen metal fabricator becomes a reflection of your business, especially during a long-running partnership.
Finding reliable contractors can be a challenge in any industry, but it can be particularly tricky in the world of metal fabrication due to the sheer amount of choices at hand. At the surface, you may find many companies seem to offer similar services, but quality, consistency, and lead times can vary widely between them.
Read on to learn about five critical factors you should use in your evaluation of potential partners to narrow your choices and eliminate surprises down the road.
A custom metal fabricator’s capabilities should be your first consideration. If they cannot provide the production services, technology, materials, or certifications to satisfy your project specifications, you should turn your attention to better-equipped options. Know, too, that companies which demonstrate a commitment to implementing the latest technology will have more control over costs and reducing lead times.
Also, be sure to check if the company can complete your entire project in-house or if they will be charging you as a middleman.
Badger Sheet Metal Works (BSMW) has equipment on site ranging from laser and waterjet cutting technologies to a CNC machining center, with wet painting, powder coating and other finishing capabilities. BSMW additionally houses an ARKU 3000 deburring machine and LYNX Timesaver that can polish plate sheet to a #4 finish. Click here to download BSMW’s full Capabilities Deck.
Large-scale fabrication projects, like water treatment tanks, industrial heaters, and fracking equipment, require significant time and space. What is the size of the fabricator’s facility? Do they have the ability to quickly scale up production if needed? Or are there telltale signs the company is already stretched to its limit? You don’t want your success to be restrained by the limits of your fabrication partner.
Choosing a company headquartered in the U.S. will also reduce shipping costs and shorten lead times.
At its Green Bay-based, 110,000 sq. ft. facility, BSMW can take on custom steel fabrication projects on a much larger scale than many competitors thanks to the lifting capacity of the plant’s 70-by-320-foot main assembly bay. Two cranes within the assembly bay have a total lifting capacity of 30 tons and a 22-foot under-hook height, offering enough power and clearance to accommodate most large-scale projects. And while the plant’s ability to handle larger projects sets BSMW apart from competitors, the shop is configured to meet a wide range of customer needs.
Like many industries, experience matters in custom metal fabrication. A well-established company is more likely to have the knowledge necessary to aid you in making critical decisions about product design and the full fabrication process. An experienced metal fabrication team will know when to step in and recommend changes to a project, whether aesthetically or functionally, to achieve an optimal finished product.
Ask how long a company has been in business and what types of projects they consider their specialty. It’s not unlike when an employer seeks workers with relevant education and skills; you want a partner that’s made components similar to yours in the past and can tackle your project with confidence.
Established in 1923, BSMW is a custom and OEM metal fabrication partner producing a wide range of traditional sheet metal fabrication products, including air filtration tanks, guards and ducts, and items for the material handling, mining and paper industries.
BSMW also produces large steel fabrication projects such as industrial heaters and dryers, water treatment tanks and other large tanks, electrical shelters, control rooms, ovens for the food industry, and heavy-plate fabrication jobs such as pump bases and fracking equipment.
The word quality is thrown around with reckless abandon across metal fabrication websites. However, casual use of the term does not guarantee a fabricator’s output will meet your definition of “quality.”
Confirm your prospective partner has quality certifications and can meet any regulatory or industry standards that might apply. Also, ask what processes and metrics the company uses to ensure quality control, and make sure they use the right grade of steel required for your project.
Click here to learn how BSMW keeps quality levels high through its comprehensive review system.
It’s quite likely the metal fabrication partner you seek will become a long-term partner. You have, after all, put in substantial effort to research them. The best way to find out what being their customer is like is to hear from the customers themselves. Read case studies, seek out reviews, and ask for references. The way a custom metal fabricator has treated current and past customers is the best indicator of how they’ll treat you.
It’s also important to partner with a company that stands behind its products. Be sure to ask what their policies are if you are dissatisfied with their service or finished components.
BSMW’s family of employees views itself as value optimizers instead of just order fulfillment specialists. Delivering high-quality metal fabrication solutions is the company’s foundation, and finding solutions to problems and enhancing your results motivates the team’s work. By focusing on shared achievements with clients, BSMW creates value that encourages long-term collaboration and consistently surpasses expectations.
Trusting a new partner with a large, expensive custom metal fabrication project is understandably nerve-wracking. It’s the reason a well-researched and measured decision is so important.
Take the time to carefully consider every critical aspect of what your sheet metal fabrication project will require. Your due diligence in this regard will eliminate future headaches caused by an ill-suited partnership.
Badger Sheet Metal Works’ team is ready to answer any questions you might have to help you choose a fabricator that can be an asset for your business. Contact Kenny Coe, director of sales, at (920) 435-8881 to talk about your next project, set up a tour of the facility or to clarify the capabilities of Badger Sheet Metal Works.