From Supply Chain Issues to Inferior Quality Control – What Do These Red Flags Mean in a Metal Manufacturing Vendor

How do you know whether or not you’re receiving the best quality and service possible from your metal stamping provider? Rotation Engineering & Manufacturing explores four common issues which are telltale red flags with metal manufacturers.

American Manufacturing vs. Overseas Providers

While these issues are in no way exclusive to overseas manufacturers, offshoring your production often exacerbates many of the problems you face in unresponsive customer service and unreliable communication. Moreover, disruptions in the supply chain are even more likely to affect international shipments and delay your product deliveries. In a lot of these cases, sporadic delays combined with high shipping costs end up outweighing any cost savings associated with offshoring.

Learn more about the benefits of onshoring vs. offshoring.

1. Inconsistent Quality Control

Perhaps the biggest red flag to watch out for in a metal stamping provider is inconsistent product quality. Inferior quality control shows itself in many different ways such as damaged parts, out-of-spec tolerances, blemished finishes, damaged or unorganized packaging, etc.

Inconsistency in manufacturing means that you and your customers can never truly rely upon the quality of your products. A premium metal stamping vendor will be backed by a robust quality control system that promotes the highest consistency possible, weeding out virtually all reject parts.

2. Persistent Supply Chain Disruptions

As the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated, unpredictable supply chain issues can materialize and throw a wrench into your entire production. In many cases these supply chain disruptions have been unavoidable, hitting even the most diligent metal manufacturing vendors. Nevertheless, if supply chain issues continually force your vendor to push back your project schedule over an extended timeline, it may indicate that they are not flexible or diversified enough to navigate the market in your favor.

In contrast, reliable metal stamping operations will utilize alternative supply chain networks when possible. These companies will provide realistic, well-researched production timelines and work flexibly within the supply chain to stay on schedule. Just as importantly, a reliable vendor will communicate openly about any issues that may arise and work toward a solution rather than keeping you in the dark awaiting your next delivery.

3. Delayed Deliveries

If your vendor consistently misses deadlines and delivery schedules for reasons unrelated to the supply chain, it’s a major red flag that they do not have the production capacity or network to support your project.

While it’s not uncommon for there to be unforeseen challenges which complicate the manufacturing process, your vendor should be flexible enough to rise to the occasion and deliver quality-built products according to the established production timeline. If a delay is absolutely unavoidable due to extenuating circumstances, your vendor should communicate the details of the issue immediately and propose a revised timeline so that your business can plan accordingly.

4. Unreliable Communication

Open and responsive communication is key to developing an efficient custom metal stamping project. Your vendor should be transparent and communicative of production issues ahead of the fact, before they catch you off guard and bring your entire project to a halt.

Moreover, a quality metal manufacturer collaborates with you from the onset of your project. For example, Rotation offers expert assistance in material choice and design for manufacturability throughout the production process to ensure your project remains lean, cost-efficient, on time and on spec.

More than Just a Vendor – Rotation Is Your Metal Stamping Partner

Rotation has provided quality contract manufacturing services for a diverse range of commercial applications since 1973. Located in Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, our full-service metal stamping facility utilizes robust quality controls in accordance with ISO 9001:2015 standards. We are a premium American manufacturer dedicated to delivering unbeatable quality, consistency, and responsive customer service for your project.