If you are looking to tackle a project that needs involves metal, it’s important to know what you should look for when hiring a metal fabrication company. At Cadet Steel, we think it’s all about credentials, experience, and know-how to take on whatever you have in mind. And we’ll work with you on any project big or small, even thinking outside of the box when you need a little expertise on the subject.
In the meantime, here are some tips to help you out along the way because not all metal fabrication companies are the same, and your decision should be considered seriously.
Experience Is Important
Whether a metal fabricator has 30 or 50 years of experience, it may not make a huge difference, but one difference is if they were able to pull through the economic downturn of 2008. That was an intense time of survival for the metal industry, and many companies did not make it through. Metal fabricators had to learn quickly to perform more efficiently, and there was no room for waste or slacking. Ask how long the organization has been in business. Check out their portfolio as well for some better insight.
This is important if you are in search of building a long-term relationship with a metal fabricator, or even a short-term relationship for that matter. Manufacturing is a business that is people-oriented, and you should surround yourself with metal fabricators you can feel comfortable with, and that listen to your concerns. Someone who has an ego of sorts, and wishes to do it their way, is not someone worth hiring.
Expertise is Key
Ask them about the size and quantity of projects they have worked on in the past. Do they work with large industrial companies, architectural, local, etc.? You will most definitely want to see whether they have successfully completed any projects in the past that are relative to yours or close to it. Technical metal fabricating is a good thing to see on their resume. The more experience they have, the better.
Metal fabrication quality control is something you should be concerned with. What are their policies if you are not satisfied? Do they have an inspector that critiques the job they are doing for quality? Be sure they stand behind the work they provide and ask what guarantees they have. After all, the finishing product needs to be what you desire exactly.
It will be comforting to know that your metal fabrication company is up to date with the latest strategies, techniques, and safety protocols. Certifications imply a company’s commitment to quality and safety. For you, it may be required that your chosen fabrication company be certified with a certain safety program governed by each state. Safety standards can affect bidding opportunities. You also probably don’t want someone just out of school working on your particular project, especially if it is quite in depth or complicated. Ask to see their credentials first.
A large-scale metal fabrication project like oil, energy, or mining jobs can take up a lot of space and time, and you will want to ensure the facilities can handle such an idea. At Cadet Steel, we have over 12,000 square feet of space to accommodate whatever you have in mind. A good rule of thumb is to always visit the facility if the project is relatively large. Be sure to ask about shipping and transporting, the finished concept, as well and the costs involved.
Do They Have Time for You?
You want to know for sure that a metal fabricator can meet your deadlines and time constraints. You will want to be suspicious of metal fabricators that take on projects bigger than they can accommodate, or if they have a lot of people ahead of you and already waiting. Get it in writing how long they estimate the job to be and don’t sign anything you don’t agree with.
Getting references is an important part of your inquiries when looking for a reputable metal fabrication company. Doing your research and questioning other customers first hand is key. Some companies may only offer up their biggest and best customers but fall short on any negative feedback that they have been given. This is where doing your homework comes in handy in the future.
Don’t confuse value with price. Just because it’s cheaper, doesn’t mean it’s better. It is important to negotiate a fair price that makes both parties happy in the end. There is a cost associated with a variety of situations that can happen including delays. Make sure you include all factors in your final decision and be sure you understand any hidden costs. The age-old rule, “you get what you pay for” should be taken literally.
Does this company have the latest technology to do the job right? Having the precise tools of the trade will ensure your final product will be of the utmost quality and craftsmanship. Most metal fabrication shops are diligent on this subject. Because without the latest technology, they are rather limited in what they can achieve. Be sure they are not just sourcing out and charging you as a middle man.
Design and Production Capabilities
Ensure the company can work from any drawing you bring in, whether on a napkin, electronic device, or just an idea in your head. Be sure they can work with a variety of metals and thicknesses and the fundamentals such as:
- Metal finishing
- Fabrication and installation
The American Welding Society has plenty of great consumer information as well as industry standard rules and guidelines that may be worth your while looking into if you are torn between which company to choose for your metal fabricating project. Companies affiliated with The American Welding Society and The Better Business Bureau are always an excellent choice. It is also a great way to learn the many ways you can customize an idea you have in mind by checking out the latest industry news and trends.
Now you know what you should look for when hiring a metal fabrication company, and while these are just a few key tips, it is always advisable to go with your gut feeling when interviewing prospective companies. Cadet Steel is a great starting point to get you on the right track. With experienced and up to date technology in all aspects of the metal fabricating industry, we are a leader in getting your projects delivered on time, every time. We provide quality work, open communication and absolute satisfaction.