Becoming a proficient metalwork & stamping manufacturer isn’t nigh to impossible. And throughout my many years of experience working with metalwork & stamping manufacturers – and being one myself – I can attest that it’s feasible. However, I have to admit that it takes a big deal of effort and a workable strategy to reach the top echelons.
The metalwork and manufacturing business demands incredible precision and efficiency in virtually every aspect of production. It also helps to be proficient in handling your customers and clients and invest in your employees. In addition, you need a proper grip on technology and provide simulations and custom designs that appeal.
You should be cognizant of a lot more to become a better metalwork &stamping manufacturer, regardless of whether you’re starting or have been around for long. Here, I’ll acquaint you with the strategies for becoming the best manufacturer for an edge in the market.
Specify and Develop Your Niches
Most struggling manufacturers are a jack of all trades, offering a vast array of stamping and metalwork services. There’s never an issue with that, especially if your manufacturing business can handle the demands and contain the production pressure. However, I’m a fan of niching down to a few services and developing them into total capacity.
And please don’t read me wrong; I’m not up in arms against being diverse and experimenting with various services. However, it’s prudent to specify and concentrate on a few and be well-versed with them. The glad tiding is that there are numerous specialties to niche on, so you’re spoilt for choice. And to smoothen it up, all are equally marketable and lucrative.
You could choose to pair a few and perhaps combine those that take each other well. Decide whether bending, drawing, or piercing are your strengths, and bundling them up might help. You can choose to go with forming, Pinch Trimming, or maybe lancing. That way, mastering your craft becomes more straightforward, and being a pro should be a piece of cake.
Invest in Research Before Opting for Partners, Tools, and Materials
Research encompasses the preliminaries of production, and it’s the single most essential aspect in metalwork and stamping manufacturing. It’s an ideal way to sharpen your ax before cutting the tree, and the more intensive it is, the better. It usually comes in handy in selecting tools and materials, but more essentially, accessing the best partners.
I like to refer to a few top-notch and successful metal stamping manufacturers like American Axle & Manufacturing and Magna. These companies have well-organized and dedicated research departments that drive their innovative approaches in metalwork. Over the years, these companies have invested in intensive research on the best technologies to use and ideal tools and materials, making them a global force.
That has also helped them land the best partners involved in shipping and distribution globally. Besides, it’s also helped them in architecting and advancing frameworks that are more proficient and secure. Research always comes in handy, especially if you’re starting, since it lets you figure out the best manufacturing practices. And if your company has established, making research your staple will undoubtedly make your company better.
Know Your Industry Well
Before investing in a product, you need to know every stretch and corner of metalwork and stamping manufacturing. First, there’s the competition and then the techniques, procedures, and operations that’ll help you establish services as you expand. Remember that the metalwork industry is incredibly vast, and not knowing what you’re venturing into might be detrimental.
Refrain from launching a product if you aren’t sure where you’re putting your foot. You must understand the market demand, your competition, and the metrics involved in its production. Remember, the aim is to guarantee a good return on investments while leveraging the advantage to get ahead of the rest. And that would only be possible if you’re well versed in your industry.
While that works in your favor, it also tips the balance to your side. Think about your customers and clients procuring services from your company. Will they willingly engage if it’s apparent that you’re half-witted with their field of interest? Not a chance. Being well acquainted with your industry stamps credibility, and people will willingly engage.
Make technology your part
Even as sophisticated as operations get, there’s no way around not utilizing technology. It’s become a part of metalwork and stamping, and most companies have embraced it to drive their operations a notch higher. Notably, the best worldwide metal stamping companies use simulation software to design models and prototypes, saving on constant experimenting or trials and errors.
Understanding your client’s needs can be challenging, but making things more practical helps. Clients can get their model projections and makeshifts prior to production and will have the chance to suggest the changes they need. The best part is that you get them involved, and there’s a level of connection and understanding forged.
Simulation technology is the recipe for production, and using it works to your advantage. It’s changed the face of custom metal stamping, and you must utilize it to your advantage. The technology helps with the blank shape and size calculation, die face design, and complete process simulation. I have significant experience with a few, and I find Autoform one of the best picks. However, you can find out which works best for you and suit your needs.
Position Your Products as Solutions
Try portraying your products as solutions if you want to paint a better picture and bolster your reputation as the go-to metalwork and stamping manufacturer. Remember that clients running at you need a solution, and they care less about how much you make out of their pockets. Therefore, it’s best that you hit their perfect spots, imposing as the reprieve rather than the typical opportunist.
Customers will always prefer a manufacturer who shows concern for those who blatantly rush to get their products off the inventory. And while a few may stick around, it’s better to capitalize on this advantage. But one thing should be clear: never promise what you can’t deliver since it’ll tarnish your credibility.
I’ve seen numerous manufacturers promising what they can’t deliver, and it’d often come back to bite them hard. Keep in mind that once the damage ensures and your company’s reputation goes down the drain, it’ll take a great effort to restore the gloss. And since the internet never forgets, bad online reviews will deflect potential clients in the future.
Be Open to Change
Change makes you grow, and you should embrace every opportunity that promises to steer you forward. Most world-class manufacturers are versatile and incredibly flexible, which allows them to modify their manufacturing processes to meet their customer demands and needs. Besides, since the market trends and demand are constantly changing, it helps to be malleable.
A typical example of a change in demand is the push-pull manufacturing system that only focuses on supplying what clients demand. And primarily, it’s based on the client’s preferences, with the orders being specific and targeted. It’s a significant shift from the conventional market demands, and being in structural inertia can make things quite tricky.
For you to be a better manufacturer, versatility is the key. And since technology changes as innovations chip in, you must allow for an allowance of space to navigate change. I always suggest using the Understand, Plan, Implement and Communicate change (UPIC) principle. It’s a practical way of ensuring that change isn’t entirely disruptive and ushers in seamlessly as you scale up production.
Be Efficient with Procurement Costs
As a metalwork and stamping manufacturer, there’s the guarantee of a tough run of costs that may sometimes get you on tight grips. However, better metalwork and stamping manufacturers understand the need to be efficient with how they spend their money. You can employ supply chain management strategies to stay ahead of the curve.
This supply chain approach usually helps support timely production systems, minimize errors and inconsistencies, and enhance speed. Consequently, it positively impacts the lead times, minimizing the time needed to create metal stamping products.
Since production efficiency comes with reduced procurement costs, your company is more likely to capitalize on saved costs. You’d be able to produce more with less and perhaps double or triple your net revenue. That way, it’ll work both ways for you and your clients, saving you the costs while guaranteeing shorter lead times for your clients.
Prioritize Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the driver for success in production since they’re your best bet at making your operations successful. It’d be best if you met their expectations and stayed attuned to their needs effectively. Each time you engage them should feel like a brand new moment for them, like they’re procuring your services for the first time.
Besides, your customer care courtesy shouldn’t stop at that. You should still engage and keep hold of them even after successfully solving their needs with your products. I usually see many manufacturers following up with post-sales consultations – prudent enough for me. And some go the extra mile to determine whether or not their products are satisfactory or have met their customers’ needs.
Constant follow-ups build a sense of professionalism and portray that you value and prioritize your customer. It also ingrains in them that quality production is your utmost motive for business and that you’re less attuned to making profits alone. If you want to build indomitable credibility, customer satisfaction should undoubtedly be the priority.
Incorporate Sustainability in Production
Top metal stamping manufacturers like Golf Precision Co., Ltd and Rencol incorporate sustainability in their production. More are ISO certified and meet the minimum production standards to protect and safeguard the environment. Some have even forged ahead with the effort to be of positive impact to the communities they’ve stationed, providing some much-needed extension services.
In addition, these stamping manufacturers also prioritize safety for communities living around their manufacturing companies. They ensure that their production processes don’t affect or impact their health or standard way of living by containing wastes and treating them accordingly. And as much as they value the people living on the periphery, they also guarantee better occupational health and safety standards.
That’s the approach I also see with a few cropping manufacturers, although some seemingly don’t walk their talk. The problem is that once your rogue operations are out in the open, there’s no easy way to sterilize your reputation. That can compromise your ability to paint a clear picture of your processes and be a better manufacturer.
Develop Good Communication and Timely Responses
Good communication is essential if you want to stamp credibility and be a better metalwork and stamping manufacturer. According to Forbes, 74% of customers will go for a manufacturer that provides value and more insight into their engagement.
Clients and customers require some patting since they can be incredibly delicate. And ensuring that you maintain viable communication will help a great deal. If they need any clarification or smoothening up purchases, or perhaps requesting prototypes and simulation, you should respond timely.
I see companies investing in separate communication departments to smoothen procurement and service delivery. That’s a perfect recipe for creating positive and professional impressions. Also, remember that what you communicate to your customers and clients matters, and it’s good to keep things professional. Ensure that you respond within less than 24 hours when a client lodges a complaint or needs clarification on your products and services. Also, make the information accurate and useful.
Metalwork and stamping manufacturing is a growing field of business operations in the contemporary world. Since numerous manufacturers are flooding the market, it helps to be a notch better to stand out among your competitors. Luckily enough, you have innumerable options and avenues to improve, which help create an impression on your customers while others scale up your production. And incorporating them isn’t an uphill task either, and it minimally disrupts your business operations. Hopefully, this guide will help make you a proficient metalwork & stamping manufacturer and edge out the stiff market competition.