Supply Chain Council of European Union |

Finding new customers in the manufacturing supply chains

Illustration of manufacturing delivery trucks with magnifying glass

An Oct. 20 webcast gives metal fabricators a chance to learn what buyers are looking for in supply chain partners. Getty Images

It’s safe to say that many metal fabricating operations aren’t as busy as they were around this time last year. A global pandemic has a way of putting a damper on business.

During times such as this, companies have a chance to take a look at their business and refocus. Now is as good of a time as any to chase after new customers.

What can you do to put your shop in a better position to win new business? Well, it might help to know just what potential buyers of your metal fabricating services are thinking. Whereas a majority of buyers at one time may have been focused strictly on the cheapest price, now they are rethinking how they approach sourcing. Unstable global supply chains have forced them to look for more reliable local sourcing.

The FABRICATOR, in partnership with Paperless Parts, will host a webcast on Oct. 20 that should be of real interest to metal fabricators looking for new opportunities. The webcast will discuss a survey that Paperless Parts did of more than 350 buyers to find out just what they are looking for from fabricators of parts and assemblies.

In particular, the webcast will provide a profile of these buyers and answer:

  • What expectations does a buyer have of its supply chain partners?
  • How should these supply chain partners gauge price sensitivity when dealing with these potential new business partners?
  • When is it the right opportunity to go beyond the quote and upsell fabricating services?

Paperless Parts is in a good position to collect this industry intelligence on buyers as it is a provider of a software platform designed to streamline quoting and customer communication for job shops. The company’s own product is a key tool in strengthening the relationships that exist between shops and their customers.

Of course, the true goal is not just to win new jobs, but to establish long-term relationships with the companies that these buyers work for. (As most shops know, contacts in the purchasing department can change regularly.) Long-term relationships suggest that both sides of the supply chain partnership work. The job shop can rely on steady work that can become a firm foundation to help minimize the fluctuations that occur with a business that has customers in a variety of industry segments. The purchaser of the metal fabricating services gets quality parts delivered just-in-time, and it has access to fabricating knowledge and talents that can take cost out of the manufacturing process.

The economic pain of this slowdown is real, but so are the opportunities for winning new business. Metal fabricators owe it to themselves to learn more about what they can do to become a more attractive supply chain partner.

The “What Buyers Expect From Fabricators: 2020 Survey Results” webcast is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 2 p.m. ET/1 p.m. CT.

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