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How To Choose a Subcontractor For Sheet Metal Products?

In today’s highly competitive markets, the question of doing it yourself or outsourcing is more and more important. In many cases it is wiser to focus on the company’s main activities and leave certain processes in the hands of good partners. In recent years we have witnessed a trend in the manufacturing industry where the need for contract manufacturing is increasing. Companies are shifting from having their production lines to outsourcing the majority of the parts from partners. Finding the right subcontractor that becomes a long-term partner is an important strategic decision and there are many topics to consider.

Saku Metall Allhanke Tehas has been a reliable and experienced partner for sheet metal products for industry leaders for 30 years. During the time Saku Metall Allhanke Tehas has gathered knowledge about customers’ needs as well as the level of communication required from both sides to start a new co-operation, whether companies are new to the sheet metal business and or to experience a smooth transition from one supplier to another.

We have compiled a list of crucial points to evaluate when selecting a subcontractor for a sheet metal product.


  1. Machine park & in-house capabilities

The supplier should have the right technology to produce cutomer’s product at least 80% with in-house capabilities. There should be room to grow if additional capabilities are required by the customer. The supplier should be capable to invest in new technologies and have the capability to grow both vertically and horizontally. Additionally, the existing machines have to be maintained appropriately.

  1. Transparent communication 

The quotation phase lays a foundation for a new partnership. For receiving an accurate price for an inquiry the customer should provide as much information from the start as possible. From Drawings, 3D models, .step files to MOQs and yearly quantities.

Nowadays clients expect a fully transparent cost structure. Being transparent with quotations allows both sides to identify abilities and avoid misunderstandings when working towards finding an agreement that both parties can benefit from.

  1. Experienced team

The supplier should have an experienced team so that customers can be sure that their product is in good hands. Starting from skilled and experienced production staff to board members that understand market needs and are willing to evolve with the market by looking for continuous product and process improvements.

The supplier’s engineers should know to offer design-to-cost advice if needed. In many cases, small changes in the designs can make a big difference in making the production of subcontracted products more efficient. All that, while keeping the aesthetics and properties of customer drawings.

  1. Development-oriented & flexible supplier

Development equals efficiency. Ideally, the supplier thinks along with the customer and offers their manufacturing expertise to solve product issues. Supplier’s goal should be to grow with its customers. Supplier caters to their customer needs, therefore should be included in discussions about the future direction of customers. Then the supplier can plan and make adjustments or investments when needed. Modern supplier implements responsible and sustainable manufacturing principles.

  1. Quality requirements & standards

It is important to evaluate product quality requirements to suppliers’ certificates and quality procedures. Having Certificates is one thing and being able to guarantee the quality is another. Having an in-house quality team that has procedures in place and keeps records is crucial.

  1. Reliable & sustainable co-operation

When looking for long-term partnerships companies should evaluate if the supplier is reliable and will stay in business in the decades to come. References and longevity of the partnerships combined with revenue history are great indicators for finding a trustworthy partner. The goal is to grow together and to feel as if the parties are working in one organization.