Tips for Choosing a CNC Machine Shop
Regardless of the type of CNC machining job you need, you have to choose a reputable CNC machine shop. As in any other industry, not all such shops are created equal. A little research is all it takes to know how different they are in so many ways, from experience to pricing to customer service. That’s why it’s crucial to do your homework before selecting a CNC machine shop.
First things first – consider location when you look for a CNC machine shop on the web. You can do this by searching on your zip code. Being in close proximity with the shop streamlines processes and allows you to establish a long-lasting business relationship with them.
Find a shop that has been around for a minimum of 5 years and employs expert personnel. Competition in this industry is very tough. If they survived for half a decade, they must be doing something great.
Client References and Online Reviews
As for client references from your prospective shop, along with pictures of their recent work. By talking to these people, you get first-hand information as to how the shop treats its clients. On top of that, you will know the work quality they can produce. Certainly, pictures will be very helpful. Also very important is asking whether the shop was on time and within budget in terms of project completion. You don’t want to throw your schedule or your resources in disarray with a shop that could not provide accurate estimates.
Cutting-edge technology has allowed CNC machine shops to perform their jobs with greater speed and precision. As a result, turnaround is improved, even for big production runs, and errors and defects are considerably reduced. On the other hand, a combination of old and new machines can also be beneficial. A shop that provides a variety of services must also have a variety of machines to make them possible. Make it a point to ask what machines will be used on your project and how they will be used. Keep in mind that the wrong machine can lead to otherwise avoidable delays and cost increases, so it’s really important to clear this out.
Lastly, observe the level of difficulty in terms of getting in touch with people at the shop. Are they always around? Are they prompt when replying to your emails or SMS or when returning your calls? How knowledgeable is your project manager? Rapport is very important, especially if you would like to find a shop that you can deal with for the long term. If they seem to have an “attitude,” don’t think twice about looking for a new prospect.