Article Updated: May 2022
Searches for CNC Machining Near Me are performed for one of several reasons: either your firm does not perform CNC machining and needs this manufacturing done, or your firm is overloaded with orders and you need to offload some of the CNC Machining work to meet delivery needs, or you are starting out and have no manufacturing capability whatsoever and need some prototypes made to test out concepts and design.
I fell into the last category and the nightmare I faced is presented here. Hopefully, you will benefit from my experience and avoid pitfalls and similar nightmares when you decide to simply send out your work by choosing a firm randomly from searching for “CNC Machining Near Me”.
I had invented an industrial consumable product. Being trained in mechanical and metallurgical engineering, I had a decent understanding of materials, properties, films and coatings, mechanical stresses, etc. This component had to be CNC machined first and subsequently coated with an advanced thin film.
I was confident of the design, but needed a few prototypes made to send out to willing companies to test and provide feedback.
I made several phone calls to companies and finally one large company was willing to do the testing. Now I needed the samples. I had no manufacturing capability whatsoever and hence had to outsource everything.
As anyone would do, I searched the term “CNC Machining Near Me” and a few listings popped up. I went to each one of the websites and finally chose one that was closest to my home.
And that was the beginning of the nightmare.
This was a one man shop; the owner, Steve ( his real name ) did the machining also. I was positive and gave him the prints and requested to make ten pieces. That should have cost me $150. But he told me it would cost $300.
He knew very well that I was a new start up but instead of grooming up and seeing the potential, decided to play hard ball.
The Next Steps:
After telling me how he was great at trigonometry and so on, he made the ten pieces and gave me a call at 5:00 pm on a Thursday saying parts were ready. I was over 50 miles away from his shop and by the time I could reach his place it was 6:30 pm and he had closed shop and gone home.
So I returned home and went back the next morning at 7:00 am and he gave me an earful saying how I was not responsive in picking up the parts on time!! I “apologized” and gave him a check for $300 for the parts.
He said he couldn’t trust the check and needed cash only. So went to an ATM, got cash, went back and picked up the parts.
At that time, I asked him what he would charge for the same part in 1,000 piece quantities. He said, he couldn’t give a price then; he said: “I have to see how they run in those quantities before pricing.” I said:”But you have already run 10 pieces and hence have the data; plus, I need to give a price to my customer; what should I tell him?” He said, “Get the order first and then give him pricing.”
I said, “OK”, and in my mind I thought, “How is this guy in business?” But he had a nice website and baited people like me and took them for a ride.
I got the pieces, was filled with frustration, got all the secondary operations done and sent it to my customer to test. In the meantime, I got a 1,000 piece price to CNC machine these pieces from a different CNC Machining Services company nearby, whose name also I got by searching for “CNC Machine Shops Near Me”, so I had pricing data.
After three weeks, my customer called and said they were the best components he had ever seen and immediately placed a 3,000 piece order! I immediately placed the order with the second company that I had gotten a firm price from.
The Angry Call:
Lo and behold, Steve must have stopped at the second shop that was CNC machining my parts just when they were doing my work, must have asked who they were for, found out they were for me, and called my wife and literally screamed at her for “using” him for the prototypes, but not for the production.
My wife politely told him, he wouldn’t give a price for larger quantities and we had no choice. The very experience of dealing with him was terrible. My wife told him that we would never do business with him. Guess what, two years later, he was out of business. His son now works for another CNC Machine Shop.
A Second and Third Nightmare:
The second machine shop that received the first production order kept delaying and delaying. They had quoted 3 weeks for delivery. After my first experience with Steve, I gave them “cash in advance” WITH the purchase order.
I couldn’t simply cancel the order; they already had possession of my cash. After repeatedly “begging” them to supply the pieces, seven weeks later, they supplied the parts saying “Sorry for the delay.”
I in turn shipped the parts to my customer, who was very understanding and asked me to see if I could find a different machining house.
So, I was back again searching for “CNC Machine Shops Near Me” and this time I ended up with another one-man show. His name was Charlie, who was extremely nice and guaranteed delivery in two weeks. He had a nice website with fancy pictures of parts he had “made”.
Everything seemed to go well; parts were made to specs, were delivered on time and price was reasonable. So where is the problem, you might think.
Well, about six months later, Charlie called me and said he couldn’t do my parts anymore. Upon asking, he confessed the truth: he had been working in another machine shop and was getting my parts done there at night, using his employer’s facilities and machines but selling them as his own product. This was grossly unethical. His employer found out about his “extra-curricular activities” and fired him. So now, he had no way of satisfying “his” customers’ orders !!!
I felt that I could not choose suppliers simply based on their websites and claims. If I could not produce parts in a timely basis, I was liable to lose my business.
So I took a brave step forward. I decided to rent a small industrial space and purchased my own CNC Machines and started manufacturing parts in-house. I had absolute control on quality, price and delivery.
My customers were thrilled because of high quality, good price and on-time delivery. My business kept growing.
Try as best as possible to keep the work in-house; if need be, invest in more CNC equipment, more operators, whatever it takes. But making quality goods, keeping low prices and maintaining on-time delivery every single time are imperative for the success of a business.
If you are looking to buy CNC machines or if you are trying to offer your CNC machining services and increase your customer base, you can benefit by signing up with FirstPageit.com for free!
Here is the brief step by step instructions.
Step 1: Click Sign-In, Create a New Account, Enter Your Details, Email, etc.
Step 2: If you SELL machining services, enter the Company Product and Services Screen, Choose Industrial Products and Materials, Machining, Services, CNC Machining Services or other appropriate services you offer, choose a geographical radius in which you want to sell and choose a secondary email address. That’s it. You’re done !
Step 3: If you SELL something else, such as CNC Machines for example, enter the Company Product and Services Screen, Choose the appropriate category such as Industrial Products and Materials, Machining, Machines/Equipment, CNC Machines or other appropriate services you offer for the products your firm sells and choose a geographical radius in which you want to sell those and choose a secondary email address. That’s it. You’re done !
FP in Action: Anytime anyone searches for whatever you sell in the main search box and enters the details of the search, YOU – the supplier will get an email instantly. So if you sell CNC Machining services and someone searches for it, you will get notified. Similarly, if you are a CNC Machines distributor, when someone searches for that, you will get notified.
So you can search for the appropriate product or service you need by searching in the search box AFTER registering.
Thus you can offer your services as well as buy products and services without spending money on ads, helping your sales team AND your purchasing team at once with one registration.
Your competitors may already be on FirstPageit.com garnering business quietly under the radar !
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