The world is shrinking. Technology has created an increasingly global marketplace, one where you can buy that stylish coat from London, import that quirky PlayStation game from Japan, or fulfill your dream of a 1990 Lancia Delta from Italy. And it’s even easier within our U.S. borders: If you really want it, you can get sourdough bread from San Francisco or clam chowder from Boston delivered to your doorstep — tomorrow.
But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do it.
Working with a local company has a lot of advantages, even beyond supporting the men and women of your community and recognizing the value of the phrase “Made in the USA.” This is especially true for big jobs in custom metal fabrication.
We take for granted how digital phenomena such as the Internet and email have increased business efficiency. But that convenience comes at a cost, and working with a local metal fabricator brings five important advantages:
The Internet has evolved into an amazing communications network that connects people around the world. In fact, it works so well that it creates the illusion of real communication.
Video conferencing and fancy websites will never take the place of an in-person meeting, nor will they neutralize the advantage of picking up the phone when you have a concern. Custom metal fabrication isn’t like ordering a T-shirt — it involves dozens of precise specifications that have no room for misinterpretation.
If you’re working with a local metal fabricator who’s truly in sync with you, it’s much more likely that you’ll be able to eliminate extra rounds of reviews and corrections and experience a more streamlined process.
Your best partner will anticipate and have experience in solving potential problems that could arise in your situation. And who better understands your challenges than someone who shares your circumstances?
From soil conditions for a foundation to wind, heat, and rain patterns, a local metal fabricator will understand how best to safeguard your investment.
Beyond atmospheric and logistical conditions, local companies are more likely to know regional regulations and permit requirements and help guide you through the process. These are areas where a company across the country — or around the world — will simply be of no help.
One of the most common — yet dreaded — phrases in a manufacturing contract is “force majeure,” which refers to an extraordinary event beyond the control of the parties involved.
Ever watched YouTube videos of massive cargo ships losing their shipping containers during a storm? That’s force majeure. Freight sitting on the platform because of a railroad-worker strike? Force majeure. Missed deadlines due to highway construction causing long reroutes? Force majeure!
The farther goods need to travel, the further you open yourself to risk. And even if that risk never comes to fruition, shipping simply takes time. With that comes the related concern of . . .
There are heavy costs related to moving heavy materials. Not only does shipping require time, it requires money. A metal fabricator in the middle of nowhere may be able to offer a lower price to produce your product, but that savings will often be mitigated by the cost of getting the product to your site.
Surprises are great for lottery tickets and parties, but not so great for multi-stage projects where weeks of production could be at stake. Working with a local company enables you to visit the site during the fabrication process, not just for planning meetings, but to scrutinize the process for peace of mind.
That peace of mind can take the form of simply being on site for a third-party inspection, or being part of the discussion when a question arises and knowing it’s been considered and resolved.
At Southern Metal Fabricators, we think all of the above add up to a very compelling argument for working with a local metal fabricator. It minimizes risk and maximizes the chance that you’ll be a happy customer.
So if you’re in the South, give us a call at (800) 989-1330. Or better yet, take advantage of us being in your backyard and come by our offices for an in-person meeting that can’t be beat!