Capacity Planning, On-Time Delivery and Dependability
“Ready and Reliable Manufacturing” is a common aspiration among steel fabricators. True readiness and reliability, however, stems from a series of internal processes that stifles problems before they occur, mitigates constraints and allows for far smoother project launches. The ability to be proactive in capacity planning and project management (vs. reactive) is a crucial differentiator among potential fabrication partners.
Your Fabrication Project is Valuable and in High Demand
Inherently, custom metal fabricators do not want to turn down projects. This is true even if it means accepting a project without the proper projected capacity to do the job at efficiency. Many manufacturers opt to take on projects as they come and worry about the consequences later, creating a myriad of long-term frustrations. Large-scale projects requiring several months of preparation puts the onus on the fabrication partner to hire the right people, invest in the correct equipment and otherwise have the proper infrastructure in place to accommodate a client’s work.
When searching for a custom metal fabricator, the more thorough the capacity planning, the better. Whether or not a manufacturer insists they can handle a project, an effective capacity planning system provides empirical proof that they can handle what they say they can.
Efficient Project Management on the Plant Floor
How tasks are communicated to workers on the floor is fundamental to the machinations of any metal fabricator. The job of the fabricator is to mitigate all inefficiencies in a project management system down to the potential for human error (a factor not entirely in the fabricator’s control). Digitized project management systems let employees know the details of their task instantaneously. Having an instant system, and savvy project managers on the floor to boot, lends itself well to improving potential capacity and manufacturing efficiency.
Presence of Service and Industry Experts
Take note of the expertise of those on the floor, especially as it relates to the manufacturing process for your part. In the case of MIG, TIG and Robotic welding, perhaps there are Certified Weld Inspectors. There might be department heads for precision cutting, forming or assembly. For the overall manufacturing process, there could be engineers to layout the manufacturing process for your specific project.
If there is an evident level of expertise in conjunction with empirical project management and capacity planning, a project is safe in the fabricator’s hands.