Precision metal cutting is a challenging process that requires skilled workers, specialized equipment, and cutting-edge technology. In today’s global economy, it’s not uncommon for companies to outsource their precision metal cutting needs to foreign suppliers to save money or meet other business requirements.
However, you might consider re-shoring your precision metal cutting operations back into the United States for several reasons. These may be a desire for better quality control, concerns over rising costs, and mainly due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global supply chain.
The Impact of Covid-19 on Global Shipping
The impact of Covid-19 has taken a significant hit on the global shipping industry leading to a direct effect on the precision metal cutting industry.
The availability of new ships has reduced drastically due to COVID-19 outbreaks around the world. As a result, vessel capacity has become more limited than ever before – which means that there are fewer available ships for shippers looking to transport their products across oceans.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it considerably impacted container shipping flows and global supply chains.
For example, it reduced the available capacity due to port closures or slowdowns, pressure on equipment availability, possible congestion in specific ports, and extra related costs (such as bunker surcharge).
This can further delay shipments moving through these ports – whether overseas or domestic destinations – making it hard for companies like yours who rely on timely deliveries from overseas partners.
Given that Covid-19 exceptionally hard hit some industries, companies that can source and make their products locally might be in a better position to recover and grow than those in favor of sourcing overseas.
Complexity and Tolerances of Precision Metal Cutting
Many companies choose to re-shore their precision metal cutting needs to keep their costs low and avoid the hassle of managing overseas suppliers. But it’s more than just that.
Knowing the factors determining whether that’s the right decision for you is also essential.
Two main factors determine whether a project is a good fit for re-shoring. The first is complexity, which refers to the number of parts and their interrelationships. If you have a simple task with few unique or interacting parts, it may be possible to find an overseas provider that can do it quickly and cheaply.
On the other hand, if your project has many unique components and tight tolerances, it will take longer and be more difficult for an overseas company to complete without sacrificing quality or efficiency.
The second factor determining whether re-shoring makes sense for your precision metal cutting project is tolerance requirements: how precisely each part needs to perform its function within a given range of acceptable performance (or “tolerance”).
For example, suppose all parts have specifications that are 0.1 mm off from perfect alignment. In that case, any error in manufacturing will translate into errors in assembly, which could lead to a product that won’t work correctly when you install them on-site—and that’s not something you want.
You want to find a company that can handle your project with precision and accuracy—which means having experience working with tight tolerances on parts manufactured overseas.
Supply Chain Issues
If you’ve ever shipped a large order or re-shored your operation, you know how much of a hassle it is dealing with supply chain issues.
These issues can arise from natural disasters, factory closures, and even poor weather conditions. While these things are sometimes unavoidable, they can significantly impact your business if not handled properly.
With offshore manufacturing, there can be longer lead times for parts based on increased shipping time and customs clearance issues. There is also a greater risk for errors due to quality control issues and communication barriers between you and the manufacturer.
Current supply chain issues make it more challenging to find suppliers who can handle overseas large volume orders or smaller domestic ones. Now may be the perfect time to re-shore your precision metal cutting operation. As a result, you will get to serve your customers quickly and more efficiently than ever before.
By re-shoring your precision metal cutting needs, you can avoid the larger quantity minimums often required when dealing with offshore manufacturers to make it worth their time. This is especially beneficial to a small-scale business that is just starting, as it gives them more freedom in terms of budget and capacity.
In addition, by using the services from an onshore manufacturer, you can be sure that they will do your work on time and follow the specifications you set forth.
What Can a Domestic Manufacturer Offer Over a Foreign Manufacturer?
Domestic manufacturers can offer several advantages over foreign manufacturers, including:
- Faster turnaround time – As a domestic manufacturer, you are closer to your customers and often have shorter delivery times. You also have easy access to the manufacturing facility in case any questions or problems arise during the process.
- No language barriers – If you need to communicate with your supplier on an ongoing basis, it’s essential that you can speak a common language fluently to prevent misunderstandings between parties. For example, if you call with a question about your product and they can’t understand what you are saying due to their language barrier (or vice versa), this could lead to delays which can negatively impact your bottom line.
- No shipping delays for metal cutting services- When working with overseas suppliers who aren’t close by, there is usually some delay when shipping products back and forth between countries due mainly to customs issues or exchange rate fluctuations between currencies. This will increase costs significantly as well as affect delivery times which may result in missed deadlines for orders placed by clients who expect quick turnarounds from their suppliers/vendors.
Do You Need a Partner Who Can Deliver a Turnkey Solution?
We are your best option if you need a partner who can deliver a turnkey solution. Glenn Metalcraft provides a one-stop shop for precision metal cutting. We are one of the largest precision metal cutting services providers in the United States, offering our clients speedy turnaround times with high-quality workmanship at competitive prices. Our service includes everything from repair and refurbishing to new production lines for your business needs.
Our highly trained technicians and engineers can easily handle even the most demanding of precise cuts. We offer fully supported rapid turnaround on prototypes and small parts requiring tight tolerances with our in-house precision metal cutting services.
If you need any help with your cutting projects or have questions about what we can do for you, don’t hesitate to call us.