No-quoting is an unfortunate reality of the precision machining industry. But at Peerless Precision, we do everything possible to avoid no-quoting our customers.
Instead of seeing projects through the black and white lens of quoting or not quoting, we like to focus on how we can solve our customers’ manufacturing problems, particularly if a project can’t be quoted in its original state.
We gain immense fulfillment from sharing our hard-earned knowledge with customers—so much so that we’re willing to find a solution even when we aren’t guaranteed a high return on our investment.
It’s impossible to recount all the problems we’ve solved over the years, but we want to highlight several recent examples.
Behind the Scenes: Solving Precision Machining Problems
Precision machining isn’t always straightforward. But we love a challenge and relish the opportunity to grow with our customers! Here are some ways we’ve collaborated with our customers to work through their manufacturing challenges instead of no-quoting them.
Example #1: Making a turret base easier to manufacture
Our customer needed a turret base made to support a camera. Initially, they requested that we order a large, solid block of expensive material and machine features and bores that would be incredibly difficult to access. We worked with them to transform their part into a 3-piece assembly instead.
This adjustment made it easier for us to keep the bores and features within tolerance and lowered the overall material cost by allowing us to buy three smaller plates of aluminum instead of one large block.
Example #2: Changing the material requirement for cells
A customer came to us with a design for cells, requesting that they be manufactured from tubes of extruded aluminum rather than solid round bars.
This specification posed a significant challenge because the tubing and extrusion process that shapes the aluminum into a tube emphasizes the material’s inconsistencies. In this case, the tube had black striations throughout. While we were able to temporarily remove them with matte blasting, the plating process brought out the imperfections once again.
We collaborated with the customer’s engineering department to change the requirement from a tube to a solid aluminum bar. We then worked with them to select a material supplier we could trust to produce high-quality material, avoiding future issues.
Example #3: Selecting a different grade of brass
Recently, a customer requested a quote for a part and asked for a specific grade of brass in sheet form. There was just one small problem: the grade they needed didn’t exist in sheet form.
We can’t quote a project unless we can get the material, so we were temporarily stuck. We explained to our customer that if getting the material in sheet form was the top priority, they would need to consider a different grade of brass. If the grade of brass was more important, we could order the material for them in plate or round bar form.
Instead of saying “It can’t be done,” we provided options. Our customer ultimately decided to select a different grade of brass in sheet form, allowing us to finalize the quote and make their parts.
Example #4: Connecting a customer with a plating supplier for support
One of our customers asked for a specific plating technique for their part that hasn’t existed in 20 years. We presented them with viable alternatives that would yield equivalent outcomes and asked them to pick the one they preferred.
We even connected the customer with our plating contractors so they could talk to their teams about each process and ask specific questions. Unlike many other precision machine shops, we have no problem being transparent about the suppliers we work with—especially when doing so benefits our customers.
Example #5: Negotiating prices to stay within budget
There are times when we’re willing to negotiate prices to meet our customers’ needs.
Recently, we quoted a job that ended up costing significantly more than our customer hoped to spend. They called us to discuss their programming and tooling needs and said if we could get as close to their desired price as possible, they’d award us the bid. We collaborated with them and found an opportunity to lower our original price—and win the contract.
Example #6: Loosening tolerances to make parts more machinable
As a tight tolerance machine shop, we’re used to quoting parts with precision tolerances. We trust our customers to design the parts they need, but we’re always happy to discuss whether tolerances might be unnecessarily tight.
For example, if the wall thickness you specify is too thin, it may be impossible for us to hold the tolerance and maintain the part’s functionality. At that point, we’ll engage in a conversation with you about why you need the specified tolerance to see if there’s an opportunity to loosen it.
Why settle for no-quotes when you can work with a precision machining partner who will go the extra mile to solve your manufacturing challenges? Request a quote from Peerless Precision today!