Four More Reasons To Change Your CNC Machining Suppliers

15th Feb 2021
by Sam Brown

When Did You Last Review Your CNC Machining Procurement?

Quality issues and inconsistency… failure to meet SLAs… wrong skill set… late deliveries. These are four of the biggest issues involving suppliers. They make procuring CNC machining challenging and stressful. They waste time and money.

But they’re not the only reasons to change supplier. Here are four more…

Download Your Free Guide To Changing CNC Machining Suppliers

Reason 1: Your Current Supplier Is At Capacity

Your preferred machining supplier is working at full stretch. But your requirements are growing and you need to bring in additional resources. It may not just be a capacity issue. Your existing supplier(s) may not be evolving as quickly as you are.
Perhaps you’ve taken on new work that requires higher levels of regulatory compliance or additional certifications. Your supplier may be unable to meet those compliance requirements quickly enough.

Or they may be unwilling to do so if it means significant extra investment that is not immediately viable or is too risky for them.

Reason 2: Your Current Supplier Has Become Expensive

Genuinely, they may be struggling with overheads. Perhaps they’ve had to invest significantly in new equipment. And now they’re having to pass those added costs on to you.

Or their prices haven’t moved and they’re being undercut by keener quotes from hungrier and more agile competitors. Or they have been acquired and the new buyer is pushing up prices to recoup their investment more quickly.

Perhaps there is an element of seasonality. Your supplier quoted cheaply first time around because they were trying to fill a slack period. Here’s the thing though: good suppliers shouldn’t have slack periods – they should always be in demand.  

But here’s the usual reason for a sudden price hike...

Your supplier underquoted when they first took on your work. They stuck a finger in the air, guesstimated and got it wrong. Your first order took much longer than they expected. So now they’ve pushed up the quoted price for the second order to reflect its true cost.

And you’re not happy. It leaves a sour taste – and it won’t look good on your books.

So you need to start looking around at other suppliers. Preferably ones who know how to quote properly by looking at:

  • the bill of materials (BOM)
  • whether any special materials will be needed
  • the cost of buying in parts (bearings, bushes etc)
  • proper manufacturing routing and timings
  • whether any sub-contract work will be required (finishing, printing, laser engraving)
  • special inspection requests.

Reason 3: Your Current Supplier Has Ceased Trading

One minute they’re supplying you; the next they’ve turned the lights out, shut the doors and walked away. If they were retiring (but unable to sell or pass on the business), they would have given you sufficient notice (one would hope), enabling you to make other arrangements.

If it’s lockdown-related, they will resume activities when the R-number in their area drops to a safer level.

But in these difficult trading conditions, they may have suddenly gone bust. In which case you would have had about as much notice as their poor employees – ie, virtually none.

So you need a reliable new supplier. And quickly.

Reason 4: Contract Renewal – Mandatory Tender Process

You’re a new buyer and you want to test your suppliers; keep them on their toes, shake the tree and see what savings (or other benefits) fall out.

Maybe they have new personnel – it’s an opportunity for you to reset the relationship, reaffirm or enhance quality and/or make some savings. After all, this is what you do: you’re always looking to save money and rationalise providers to ensure you get the best from the people you use.

Perhaps you’ve just joined the firm. You’ve seen opportunities to make some swift savings. You have some ideas (based on people you know) – but you’re also ready to look at other options too. Maybe you’ve already been approached by a precision machining company; this has prompted you to look at alternatives to your existing suppliers.

Or maybe it’s simply a case that the contract renewal date is coming up. So read on…

Download Your Free Guide To Changing CNC Machining Suppliers

The blog post you have just read forms part of a three-part guide to reviewing your CNC machining suppliers. The guide contains helpful information about:

  • what to look for in your new CNC machining suppliers
  • traditional methods of sourcing suppliers – with some caveats
  • key questions you should ask CNC machining suppliers
  • why you should demand rigorous in-house inspections (and not just rely on certifications)
  • good practice in procurement (looking further ahead).

Click here to get Your Guide to Changing Suppliers

Further Reading

Find Out More – Get Penta Involved

CNC machining specialist Penta Precision is ISO 9001:2015 accredited for quality assurance. Our experienced engineers can alert you to potential design and engineering issues before they become costly, time-consuming and stressful.

Trust in Penta to maintain quality and consistency through proven and validated processes:

  • We communicate well 
  • We take care at each stage
  • Our service is consistent.

Email Penta for more information