How to Choose a CNC Machine Shop
Regardless of the type of CNC machining job you need, you have to choose a reputable CNC machine shop. Like in any industry, such shops are not all the same. Just a little research and it will be easy to see their differences on many fronts, from experience to expertise to pricing and even to customer service. That’s why it’s important to do your research before choosing a CNC machine shop.
First things first – consider location when you look for a CNC machine shop on the web. Searching with your zip code is the easiest way you can do this. Being in close proximity with the shop streamlines processes and allows you to establish a long-lasting business relationship with them.
Find a shop that has been around for a minimum of 5 years and employs expert personnel. Competition in this industry is very tough. If they lasted at least half a decade, it tells you that they must be good.
Client References and Online Reviews
Ask your prospective shop’s manager or owner for a client list, as well as images of completed work. When you talk to these people, you’ll know how the shop treats its clients. Moreover, you will know what quality they are capable of. Certainly, pictures will be very helpful. You should also ask whether their projects were completed on time and within the allotted budget. You don’t want to throw your schedule or your resources in disarray with a shop that could not provide accurate estimates.
Cutting-edge technology has allowed CNC machine shops to perform their jobs with greater speed and precision. As a result, turnaround is improved, even for big production runs, and errors and defects are considerably reduced. On the other hand, it may also be beneficial to combine old and new machinery. A shop that provides a variety of services must also have a variety of machines to make them possible. Be sure to ask what machines are going to be used and how. Remember, the wrong machine can delay the completion of the job and/or increase your costs, so you should really be as clear about this as possible.
Lastly, observe how hard or easy it has been for you to talk to the people at the shop. Do they always make themselves available? Are they prompt when replying to your emails or SMS or when returning your calls? Is your project manager knowledgeable enough? Rapport is very important, especially if you would like to find a shop that you can deal with for the long term. If you don’t like their “attitude,” don’t hesitate looking for another prospect.