Aluminum extrusion has become an increasingly popular method for designing, building, and producing a wide array of structures, machines, mobile transportation vehicles, and more. It allows for the freedom to shape the aluminum alloy in almost any way that the designer can imagine. The ability to combine aluminum with other metals has truly transformed modern-day production, enabling sturdier, more versatile structures and products.
Due to the increasing demand for aluminum extrusion, the number of suppliers has increased as well. Determining which supplier can best serve your company may seem like an arduous task, but the following steps can help you to search for and evaluate aluminum extrusion suppliers according to your needs:
Step 1 – Make a List of Suppliers in Your Region
The first step to narrow your field is to make a list of suppliers that specifically serve your region. Many suppliers only supply to specific regions, or specialize in specific regions. If your company serves the nation as a whole (or serves international clients), start by finding suppliers near your headquarters. Consider larger suppliers that may have the capability to provide cross-regional service from the start, although be sure to discuss your needs upfront, and suppliers may be able to easily accommodate your service regions even if they typically have not done so in the past.
Step 2 – Research the Capabilities of Suppliers on Your List
The next step, and one of the most important, is to ensure that the aluminum extrusion supplier has the capabilities to meet your needs. Unless the supplier is in the process of obtaining new equipment or technology, it is not wise to assume that the supplier will be able to suddenly acquire a new capability. Thoroughly examine the supplier’s website, and eliminate any suppliers that do not currently possess the capabilities you seek.
Step 3 – Determine Level of Quality
This third step is often interrelated to the fourth step, cost effectiveness. Whether your company is relatively new and seeking the best possible prices or is well established and seeking top of the line quality, there is usually some level of tradeoff between quality and cost. In understanding how quality may vary from one supplier to another, consider their sources of materials, defined approach to aluminum extrusion, quality of equipment and technology, level of experience of employees, and ability to listen to a company’s goals and recommend an action plan.
Step 4 – Ensure Cost Effectiveness
A company that is in search of its first aluminum extrusion supplier may not have an idea about the kinds of costs to expect. Obtain price quotes from various suppliers and then determine your budget. Or, if you have a pre-determined budget, determine what you can do with the budget in place, while still maintaining a consciousness about quality. Single-source suppliers often provide the best “bang for your buck”, but other suppliers have strong partnerships in place that enable them to provide all parts and services you need without charging administrative costs for negotiation and handling the paperwork. Such suppliers often can provide higher quality products while still keeping costs low.
Step 5 – Consider Track Record
Now that you have a solid understanding of your company’s needs and budget, analyze the remaining suppliers on your list by examining their track record. Read reviews, talk to existing customers, and talk to the supplier itself. Ask about its years of experience and how long it has provided certain services. Ask about its rate of return business. This final step will give you the peace of mind that your supplier provides the best possible customer service.
As one of the top aluminum extrusion suppliers, Howard Precision Metals Inc. has a proven track record. Call today for more information, 414-355-9611, or explore its website.