The Advantages of Partnering with a Full-Service Custom Metal Fabricator

posted in Metal Fabrication

Manufacturers will source a custom metal fabricator based on specific production, process, or material capabilities, which often means they end up with multiple vendors to accomplish the various steps required to fabricate their desired industrial equipment to specification.

Unfortunately, this can lead to challenges in cost and quality control as well as communication and vendor management that could significantly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of the fabrication process.

Rather than securing multiple vendors and rolling the dice on your return on investment, manufacturers can look to a full-service custom metal fabricator to achieve tighter control over both quality and cost and ensure an on-budget, on-time delivery that exceeds their initial expectations.

If you’re a manufacturer looking to go the full-service route, here are a few key attributes you should look for in a potential fabrication partner.

An Invested Fabrication Partner

At Southern Metal Fabricators, it’s no mystery to our customers that we believe communication is 100% critical to a successful fabrication process. In fact, it’s something we take great pride in emphasizing throughout our relationship with a manufacturer.

The traditional contract manufacturing model can sometimes lead to an arms-length relationship between manufacturer and vendor where communication can suffer. Likewise, each side may view the other as a separate entity ultimately responsible for maintaining their end of the “business” relationship.

While your fabrication partner is obviously accountable for delivering on what they promise, what they promise should ultimately be about delivering value above and beyond expectations and not just “getting the job done.”

Rather than simply getting bids on a project or parts, manufacturers can source a full-service metal fabricator who is willing to learn more about the nature of your business, your processes, and your customers.

An invested fabrication partner should be an extension of your organization throughout the fabrication process and not just a vendor looking to check off the boxes.


While experience at producing a particular part or project isn’t a necessity, it can help a full-service fabricator hit the ground running with confidence. Experience in your specific manufacturing sector and with similar products or applications shortens the learning curve and can help a fabricator ramp up quicker based on a better understanding of your needs.

Additionally, you’ll want to partner with a fabricator who has experienced engineers on staff to help navigate the project through a successful engineering and design collaboration.

Good engineering and design practices are a critical piece of the puzzle. Accounting for the details (from stress tolerances to material recommendations) that could derail or delay a project should happen as early in the design process as possible to ensure your industrial equipment is delivered to specification, within budget, and on time.

Versatile Capabilities

Your full-service custom metal fabricator should have the necessary capabilities under one roof to successfully complete your projects on time, every time. This includes the physical space, tooling, and equipment as well as skills and knowledge.

Our guiding philosophy has always been to “tool up to handle any custom metal fabrication job, start to finish, right here on the premises,” and we practice what we preach.

Over the 27+ years we’ve been in business, we’ve assembled a powerful lineup of fabrication machines, capabilities, and top-flight professionals (including in-house quality inspection) to say “Yes, we can do that!” to almost any metal challenge our customers can dream up.

At the end of the day, finding a partner who can maintain tight control over quality and cost at every stage in the fabrication process is a value proposition that a multi-vendor approach simply can’t deliver on.

Custom Metal Fabrication Done Right

Since our humble beginnings in 1991 as a two-man shop, we’ve been partnering with our customers and adding value to the fabrication process to consistently exceed their expectations when it comes to industrial pollution control equipment, bulk storage solutions, and material handling equipment.

We learned early on as a custom metal fabricator that by partnering with our customers as opposed to simply selling fabrication services, we could grow as they grow.

That philosophy continues to serve us well to this day, and Southern Metal Fabricators is proud to be a premier full-service, design-to-delivery manufacturer of nearly all things metal — from detailed decorations to giant construction steel.

If you’re ready to discuss partnering with a full-service fabricator to meet or exceed your requirements with respect to quality, budget, and delivery, give us a chance to say, “Yes, we can do that!” by contacting us today.