How to Plan Your Custom Sheet Metal Fabrication Production Lead Time

Planning a custom sheet metal fabrication project can be a complex process, and lead time is often a key consideration for businesses. To ensure that your project is completed on time and to your satisfaction, it is essential to understand the various factors that can impact lead time and plan accordingly. Here, we will provide you with an overview of the custom sheet metal fabrication process from the perspective of H&S Manufacturing.

We will explain the steps we take when reviewing a request for quote (RFQ) and provide you with insights into how you can reduce delivery times and streamline the process. By understanding the ins and outs of custom sheet metal fabrication, you can make informed purchasing decisions and ensure that your projects are completed efficiently and effectively.

Estimating Steps

The custom sheet metal fabrication process involves a series of steps that help ensure that the final product meets the needs and expectations of the customer. When a customer submits an RFQ to H&S, the first step is verifying the proposal’s details with the client. This may involve submitting the proposal to specific proposal administrators, such as a person or email address, or reviewing the proposal with the client to ensure that all necessary information has been included.

Here are the estimating steps in the custom sheet metal fabrication process:


1. Submit to proposal administrators, such as an email address or specific person


2. Quote is physically or electronically logged and filed


3. Estimating manager reviews the quote for scope and schedule


4. Estimate materials and direct costs


5. Review terms and specifications


6. Discuss schedule and margins

Once all of these steps have been completed, the proposal administrator submits the final proposal to the customer for review. This proposal includes all necessary details, including the scope of work, schedule, and cost estimates, so that the customer can make an informed decision about whether to move forward with the project.

Ways to Reduce Delivery & Lead Times

Lead time is the amount of time it takes to complete a custom sheet metal fabrication project, from the initial RFQ to the final delivery of the finished product. Reducing lead time is often a priority for businesses, as it can help to minimize costs and ensure that projects are completed on schedule. There are several ways to reduce lead time in the custom sheet metal fabrication process. This can include specifying the required delivery date in the RFQ and suggesting that bidders supply two bids: one meeting their standard schedule and one with their expedited schedule.

Other factors that can impact lead time include the complexity of the project, the availability of materials, and the capacity of the fabrication facility. By understanding these factors and planning accordingly, you can help to reduce lead time and ensure that your custom sheet metal fabrication project is completed efficiently.

Here are a few items to provide when submitting an RFQ to help reduce lead times:

  1. 01Shop-ready drawings
  2. 02Technical specifications
  3. 033D CAD models
  4. 04Engineering drawings or general arrangement drawings
  5. 05Profiles and plans
  6. 06Site address and contacts
  7. 07Delivery date

Supplier Factors to Consider

There are several considerations to keep in mind when selecting a supplier for your custom sheet metal fabrication project. These factors can affect lead time, quality, and your overall experience working with the supplier.

  • LocationLocation


    The location of the supplier can impact lead time, as well as the overall cost and quality of the finished product. For example, getting something made in the US typically has a shorter lead time than getting it made in China. Working with international suppliers may also come with a lack of innovation and the ability to replicate only existing parts, which can further increase lead times.

  • ERP systemERP system

    ERP system

    An enterprise resource planning (ERP) system is a software platform that helps businesses manage and integrate various functions, such as production, inventory, and finance. A supplier with an ERP system can streamline processes and reduce lead times.

  • Customer serviceCustomer service

    Customer service

    The customer service of the supplier is also an important consideration. You want to work with a supplier that is responsive and proactive while being able to address any issues or concerns you may have in a timely and professional manner.

  • Quality standardsQuality standards

    Quality standards

    The quality standards of the supplier are also important to consider. ISO and AS9100 are two commonly used quality standards in the sheet metal fabrication industry. A supplier that meets these standards is likely to produce higher-quality products.

  • CapabilitiesCapabilities


    It is crucial to consider the capabilities of the supplier, such as their precision and tolerance levels, as well as the technologies they use. Working with a supplier with the equipment and capabilities you need will ensure faster lead times and better quality of the finished product.

  • Production time to saleProduction time to sale

    Production time to sale

    Finally, you should consider the production time to sale of the supplier. This refers to the amount of time it takes for the supplier to complete the project and make it available for sale. A supplier with a shorter production time to sale may be able to complete your project more quickly, which can help to reduce lead time.

Working with H&S Manufacturing

H&S Manufacturing is a leading sheet metal fabrication company that provides custom solutions to businesses across a wide range of industries. Our state-of-the-art manufacturing equipment, sophisticated engineering software, and comprehensive Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions enable us to deliver high-quality products with a high level of efficiency. We have invested in both cyber and physical site security, utilizing a line of access control systems with advanced technological capabilities to ensure the safety and security of our facility.

Our experienced team is committed to delivering the highest quality results in all areas, including value, appearance, reliability, delivery, service, innovation, feedback, and cost reductions. We use real-time e-mail for fast and reliable data transmission that is secure and encrypted, and our servers are designed to host sensitive data and meet the most stringent security and compliance requirements.

As an AS9100D and ISO 9001:2015 registered facility, we specialize in prototype to full production volumes, utilizing a variety of processes including shearing, punching, graining, notching, and bending. If you need high-quality custom sheet metal fabrication services, H&S Manufacturing is the ideal partner for you.

Top-Quality Sheet Metal Fabrication Services at H&S Manufacturing

At H&S Manufacturing, we understand that custom sheet metal fabrication projects require a high level of precision and attention to detail. That is why we are committed to delivering the highest quality products and services to our customers. Our team of experts is highly skilled and knowledgeable, and we utilize state-of-the-art equipment and technologies to ensure that our products meet the highest standards of quality and reliability. Whether you need a simple sheet metal part or a complex custom component, we have the expertise and experience to deliver the right solution for you.

For additional information about our exceptional sheet metal fabrication services and other offerings, please contact us or request a quote today.