The decision to request a quote from another company is not one made lightly. That’s why our team here at Plastech is committed to ensuring we provide you a quote that’s as accurate as possible and delivered promptly.
When comparing your options to get your product components manufactured, it helps to understand what influences costs up and down, as well as why some companies have more expensive and less expensive quotes for your project. It can be easy to only consider the bottom line without comparing what is included in that fee.
Ultimately, our goal is to be as transparent about this process as possible and to provide you with the quote you need. We hope this information will enhance the quality of this collaborative quoting process.
Materials Selection and Your Tolerances
When selecting the materials you want to consider for your quote, there are a number of factors that need to be considered. Undergoing this consideration process prior to or while you are working through your RFQ will allow for you to provide us with the information we need to give you the most accurate quote possible.
The principal question that must be asked is the simplest: will these material types work with your design? Beyond that, what are the specific details of the way it will be used? You may be surprised at which materials work where and, most importantly, which ones may not align with your project as well as you think. These are the types of self-diagnosing questions integral to an excellent RFQ process.
Another important element to consider during these times is issues within supply chain and lead times. Some materials may be discontinued or unavailable within the timeline you prefer. The best way to combat this problem is to give yourself options by selecting 2-3 materials and allowing for flexibility in that regard.
Quick reference guide:
- Tolerance – does your part require a high 103 tolerance, or can you utilize a 101 tolerance?
- Materials – we recommend sharing 2-3 possible materials for your product so we can compare prices and lead times for all options.
Producibility & Stock Program Options
Another important aspect of this process to consider is the producibility and stock program requirements of your quote. Often, prospects come to us with an already-completed design that ultimately doesn’t work for manufacturing, rendering precious resources wasted. The earlier we can be involved in this process, the more collaborative it becomes and the better aligned with your goals our quote becomes.
There’s also the important question of mold count. Say you have 5 parts in your product… do you need 1 mold (family mold) or separate molds (single mold). All of these seemingly nuanced details can make a significant impact, so it’s important to consider them.
There’s also the question of stock program requirements. If your program requires a resin supplier for your stocking and molding, that can drastically affect the timeline of your production. For example, TPE takes 90 days to get all of the supplies… and then another 90 days to get the product molded and out the door! With the right program, you could cut 3 months out of this process.
Quick reference guide:
- Producibility – sometimes designs won’t work for manufacturing, often because of temperature sensitivities or mold thickness. The sooner you involve us, the less rework may lay ahead.
- Mold count options – we will determine whether you can include multiple parts in a single mold. Or if you have reason to believe you want/need each part to have its own mold, please let us know.
- Stock program – if you think your product will benefit from a resin stocking program, let us know so we can build this into the RFQ.
Location & Volume
We offer a broad range of options in terms of manufacturing location that allow for flexibility with your specific priorities. We’re proud to offer both American and offshore opportunities for manufacturing. Additionally, we provide a hybrid approach as well: the most important aspects of the mold are made here in America to ensure quality while the less important ones are built overseas, drastically lowering the cost.
Considerations about overall volume are also important. If you have larger parts with lower volume, we can start with a machining approach to reduce costs before moving back to molding. Machining is quicker; tooling for molding, however, can be trickier…
There may be certain elements of what we’ve laid out here that you are unsure of or confused about. Our team is here to help you. We are happy to answer any questions you may have or simply start a discussion about what your goals are and how we can work together to reach them.
Quick reference guide:
- Manufacturing location – let us know if you desire a USA-made part, offshore made, or a hybrid.
- Volume – let us know what your short to mid-term volume expectations are.
The key to a great RFP process is communication and, beyond that, specificity. Be sure you’re getting quoted the right price by asking for exactly what you need from a quality partner. We hope that quality partner will be us. To start a conversation, reach out via this form.