Six Secrets to Speedy and Accurate RFQ Turnarounds

Kent Franklin, Bob Loder and John Hanenburg ponder a cocktail napkin design. While Wyoming Machine can create a part from just about anything submitted to them, CAD designs are considerably faster and more accurate than napkin designs!

Wyoming Machine takes pride in turning a customer’s design into a part—however that design comes to us. Typically, we create parts from CAD designs and paper blueprints. But we’ve even produced a part from a drawing on a bar napkin—yes. A cocktail napkin. Whatever the format, we can make it. However, if you (like just about everyone) want a speedy and accurate RFQ turnaround, remember: Great RFQs start with great communication. The more we know about your project, the better the RFQ—and part—will be. So here are our Six Secrets for a better, faster RFQ:

  1. Give us the big picture. How will the part be used? What is the end product? Is the part a prototype or still in development?  This will help us layout our processes.
  2. Give us thorough design details. To save time and increase accuracy, provide us with:
    1.    Drawings of your design including:
      1. All dimensions
      2. Material type (including exceptions or alternates)
      3. B.O.M (Bill of Material) including hardware detail.
      4. Welding detail if required.
      5. Finish detail if required.
    2.     A CAD model of the part.  Even if your CAD is not SolidWorks, we can convert it to SolidWorks. Converting a program is far less expensive than starting from scratch. Likewise, the more complete your model is, the lower the chance for programming errors. This also saves time.
  3. Reducing your cost: Are you open to production or material suggestions that could save you time or money? Let us know and we’ll provide you with suggestions.
  4. Cosmetic: Appearance requirements are often one of the hardest features to define, but they have a significant impact on cost. Will the part be visible, or not—is it an exterior or interior part? Knowing this will provide more production options that could save time and/or money.  For example, there’s a wide range of weldment options, and welding is a highly labor-intensive process. This makes it a costly component of your part. Depending upon your part’s visibility, we may be able to save you money with alternate weldment options.
  5. Quantity: How many parts will you need per quarter or year? Quantity is a driving force in cost. It can determine the production process which, again, may save you time and money.
    1.    Are you willing to hold any inventory?
    2.    Is a blanket order an option?
    3.     Some suppliers, including Wyoming Machine, are willing to hold small amounts of inventory for shorter periods. Splitting shipments over 30 to 60 days is relatively common and doesn’t lead to the customer paying a higher price.
    4.   Most manufacturers want production parts, which are parts which repeat and have volume—even if it’s small.  We can work with customers on prototype or pre-production pricing if we know the part will eventually become a production part.
  6. Assumptions: Leaving the fabricator to “fill in the blanks” can lead to inconsistencies in quoting. The clearer the requirements, the more accurate your quote will be. You’ll also have an “apples-to-apples” comparison among quotes.

Undoubtedly, sheet metal fabrication RFQs contain many variables. Perhaps the most important element for a timely, accurate RFQ is to remember that two heads are better than one. Talk to us: especially if you’re struggling with an issue about your part or process. We can help you.

Do be advised, though, that bar napkin designs will take a little more time to process.