How to Choose a CNC Machine Shop
No matter what type of CNC machining service you need, it’s important to choose a CNC machine shop with an impressive reputation. Like in any industry, such shops are not all the same. With just a bit of research, you can easily discover their differences in terms of experience, capabilities, pricing and even 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. With close proximity, processes can be streamlined and you will be able to build a long and productive business relationship with them.
Look for a shop that has been in business for no less than five years and have knowledgeable staff. This industry is rather known for its competitiveness. If they lasted at least half a decade, it tells you that they must be good.
Client References and Online Reviews
Ask the shop for client references and pictures of their latest 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 quality of work they do. Of course, pictures will help a lot. It is also very important to ask whether the shop was able to complete their projects on time and within budget. You don’t want to throw your schedule or your resources in disarray with a shop that could not provide accurate estimates.
Advanced technology has allowed CNC machine shops to do their jobs harder, faster and with greater precision. As a result, turnaround is quicker, regardless of the size of the production run, and errors and defects are dramatically minimized. On the other hand, a combination of old and new machines can also be beneficial. More services offered require more machines to make such variety possible. Make it a point to ask what machines will be used on your project and how they will be used. Remember, the wrong machine can delay the completion of the job and/or increase your costs, so you should really be as clear about this as possible.
Lastly, observe the level of difficulty in terms of getting in touch with people at the shop. Are they always available? How long does it take them to return your calls or reply to your SMS or emails? How knowledgeable is your project manager? Rapport is important and can even be crucial, especially if you’re looking at a long-term relationship with the shop. If they seem to have an “attitude,” don’t think twice about looking for a new prospect.