When to outsource metal fabrication. Precision metal fabrication equipment has become very expensive to own. Product companies need to identify their value add and concentrate specifically on those strategies. While certain equipment may be helpful in executing those strategies, it’s often not worth the cost of acquiring, operating and maintaining new equipment. If you’re looking into laser cutting or other precision methods, it’s often a good idea to consider contract manufacturing.

If product companies considering buying equipment with new capabilities don’t require two shifts of throughput for the machine, outsourcing that need makes more economic sense. Think about it: even for professional metal fabrication companies, a new piece of equipment can be very distracting. It not only costs money to purchase and set up the equipment, but you also have to dedicate time and human resources to integrating it into your production system.

Alternatively, for the same capital investment, you can enhance your value add by engineering for product enhancement, marketing for brand awareness, adding to the sales department or improving assembly, product logistics or inventory strategies within the facility. Those are all better investments than buying new capability equipment, particularly if it isn’t being used frequently enough to offset the startup costs.

It’s human nature to want to be self-sufficient. We want to do everything ourselves, particularly because it can be difficult to find someone else who can be trusted to do a job to our standards. That’s why finding a good partner is so important. Often, your organization can be exponentially improved by finding a partner with the value add specific to the capability you are considering investing in.

On top of that, prioritize finding a partner who satisfies your expectations of communication, quality, delivery times, and anything else you’d expect if you were doing the job yourself. By finding a partner that you feel confident outsourcing metal to, you can improve and strengthen your manufacturing process.

Working with a metal fabrication partner to meet your throughput needs, only when you need it, streamlines your processes and ultimately improves the service you provide your customers. It can be the manufacturing solution that you’ve been looking for. More importantly, working with a partner you trust will allow you to focus on what’s going on within your facility.