Change is inevitable. Even the best, most long term contracts are bound to come to an end at some point. It could be relocation, a change in design, or a new focus for the company. Whatever the reason might be, changing deep draw suppliers can be a stressful event. Moving a project from a known source to an unknown brings about new issues and concerns regarding quality, reliability, and cost.
The process of changing vendors should always be done by collecting the most information possible. Set up a meeting with four or five qualified vendors and discuss the possible contracts. Allow each vendor a chance to present information about their capabilities and standards, and take notes.
Talk, talk, talk
Never rely on just what the new prospective suppliers can tell you. Do a bit of research. Find a few customers who have long term relationships with the supplier and ask questions about reliability, communication, and quality. If the experience has been a good one, most customers will be glad to sing a bit of praise.
Take a Tour
Once you have a few candidates short-listed, ask for a tour of the manufacturing facility. Spend a good portion of the time talking with the QC department and getting a feel for the level of quality commitment. You’ll likely be able to take a look at their performance metrics which should give you some additional insight into the company.
While you are there, don’t forget to listen to the PA system. Pay attention to the maintenance or quality calls to the production lines. The general chatter on the plant floor can speak volumes about the level of control and professionalism.
Be precise in your requirements
Put together a summary of the project that you will need filled. Make sure to be as detailed as possible to give each supplier the best chance for an accurate quote. Entering a contract with a steel manufacturer when you needed alloy is a guaranteed fail.
Changing deep draw suppliers can be a great success and benefit for everyone involved if done correctly. Quality information upfront, can only lead to quality service.