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How to Choose a CNC Machine Shop

No matter the specific CNC machining service you need, it’s a must that you choose a CNC machine shop with a stellar reputation. As in any other industry, not all such shops are created equal. Just a little research and it will be easy to see their differences on many fronts, from experience to expertise to pricing and even to customer service. That makes it crucial for you to do some research before deciding on a particular CNC machine shop.

Location

First things first – consider location when you look for a CNC machine shop on the web. You can do this by searching on your zip code. With close proximity, processes can be streamlined and you will be able to build a long and productive business relationship with them.

Industry Experience

Look for a shop that has been in business for no less than five years and have knowledgeable staff. Competition in this industry is very tough. Surviving it for half a decade means they must be doing a great job.

Client References and Online Reviews

As for client references from your prospective shop, along with pictures of their recent work. When you talk to these people, you’ll know how the shop treats its clients. Moreover, you will know what quality they are capable of. Of course, pictures will help a lot. It is also very important to ask whether the shop was able to complete their projects on time and within budget. You don’t want to throw your schedule or your resources in disarray with a shop that could not provide accurate estimates.

Technology

Cutting-edge technology has allowed CNC machine shops to perform their jobs with greater speed and precision. As a result, turnaround is improved, even for big production runs, and errors and defects are considerably reduced. On the other hand, a combination of old and new machines can also be beneficial. With more offered services, a shop will also need more machines to match the demand. Make sure you ask what machines they plan to use for your project and how these function. Take note that the wrong machine can cause unnecessary delays and cost hikes, so you have to be really clear about this.

Customer Service

Finally, observe how easy or hard it has been to get in touch with people at the shop from your first contact. Are they always available? How long does it take them to return your calls or reply to your SMS or emails? Is your project manager knowledgeable enough? Rapport is important and can even be crucial, especially if you’re looking at a long-term relationship with the shop. If they seem to have an “attitude,” don’t think twice about looking for a new prospect.

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