Sometimes, adding steel fabrication to your manufacturing process can cause your supply chain to stretch out drastically. This can be an issue for manufacturers who like to stay lean in order to avoid communication mishaps and unnecessary delays. Here are some steps for choosing a custom metal fabrication process that will keep your supply chain efficient. 

Search for Nearby Fabricators

Choosing someone who works nearby can help to reduce the extra middle men that come in when long-distance shipping is necessary. This may even reduce your material costs and, as an added bonus, you can communicate with someone in person if there are problems with your order or you simply need to check up on the progress of your metal fabrication. 

Find a Comprehensive Steel Fabricator

It's also a good idea to look for a custom metal fabrication company that can provide all the services you need. This may mean that the company is able to work with many types of metals in addition to steel. You may also want to make sure that they offer all the types of steels you need; this includes the different textures and alloys that you might need for your manufacturing process. It may also mean that you need to check on what types of technicians they have. And if you need your product to be welded, folded or cut, be sure that your custom metal fabrication company can complete these tasks in house. 

Consider Doing Some In-House Work

On the other side, you could actually bring more of the post-production parts of your steel fabrication process into your own business. Many companies can provide sheet metal easily; you can take matters into your own hands by doing your own welding and cutting. 

Make Sure the Company Doesn't Outsource

If you hire a custom metal fabrication company to be your one-stop shop for steel fabrication, you won't want to discover later that they outsource part of their production process to another supplier. Not only does this increase your supply chain, but it also takes direct control for those suppliers out of your hands.  When you're vetting steel providers, make sure that all of the services they list are done in-house. 

In short, there are several ways to gain greater control over your supply chain when using a steel fabricator. Sometimes all it takes is a little bit of investigation into your steel fabricator's policies. For more information, contact companies like Ceramic Technology Inc.