Max Weiss Co. is a structural bending shop and Washing Metal Fabricators is a sheet metal fabricator. Although they are very different in what they do, their collaboration has shown the power of customer and supplier relationships.
Avoid pushing your company into a corner
Companies like Washington Metal Fabricators have managed to increase their sales by up to 40 percent over the past couple of years. This is credited to their diverse market hold. Their 125 employee company serves three main groups: reservoir tanks for the electrical distribution industry, store fixtures and another special group dedicated to delivering steel fabrication, aluminium fabrication, and stainless steel fabrication services to almost all metal fabrication necessities. Therefore, they have to deal with and manage a different variety of fabrication orders that fall into the special category and adds randomness to the workplace. Although in the past, store fixtures made up most of WMF’s sales, recent times have shifted the tide of the market, and their willingness to diversify has kept them high in the business. Moreover, due to subcontract, they are have also been handling the logistics for the customers. That is, instead of paying the middle-man, that is freight companies, to deliver to the customer from the subcontractor, WMF handles the shipping all on their own, sending it to the end user directly. Other companies, like WMF, go a step further by handling both outgoing and incoming logistics. That is, they handle the shipping for the parts for fabrication, the assembly of the unit, warehouse storage for the assembled unit and finally its distribution. Additionally, WMF has brought in some other manufacturing processes such as powder coating and machining, in-house, thereby allowing them to cater to a more diverse set of customers and help them grow. Smart ventures have allowed them to not corner themselves and instead expand into something more than just a fabricator.
Prioritizing customers to improve business
Max Weiss Co. prioritizes customer relationships to keep their business healthy. They do this by ranking their customers based on the frequency of their orders. Thereby allowing them to provide special services for their higher tier customers in order to meet their demands even if they have to work overtime for it. However, this does not mean that they ignore lower tier customers. They are simply handled differently as their orders are infrequent and come in low volumes in comparison. In addition to providing priority services based on the quality of the customer, Max Weiss Co. also offers metal cutting welding to the customers depending on their needs. This allows them to deliver fabrications that are welded and rolled, moving away from the company’s initial status as a just a roller. This diversification allows them to build relationships with their customers and provide more services. As a result, they intend to include laser cutting and metal bending in their services alongside metal rolling.
Washington Metal Fabricators and Max Weiss Co. are very different companies and have come far from their humble beginnings. However, they are examples of collaboration between the customer and the supplier is important in diversifying and expanding the company instead of serving a single niche which may be risky for the business in the long run.