As a custom part buyer, your work reputation hinges almost entirely on your vendor relationships. Choose the right vendor partners, and your company will thrive. Form the wrong relationships, and you become single-handedly responsible for delayed projects, failed products, and profit-punishing costs.
4 Hallmarks of a Great Part Buyer
On the surface, a part buyer’s job is to procure parts with the fastest lead times and lowest prices. Dig a bit deeper, however, and you’ll see that machined parts sourcing is more complex.
The ultimate role of a custom part buyer is to act as the backbone of their internal team.
Here are four signs that you’re a true part-buying pro:
1. You understand the balance of speed, cost, and quality
No one ever sets out to cut corners in their job, but many part buyers become so obsessed with getting the best prices and lead times that they collaborate with unqualified vendors.
At the outset, your team might be thrilled. But a product’s quality always trumps speed and affordability. No one cares how fast or inexpensive a part is if the quality is unacceptable.
2. You recognize that your vendors determine your value to your organization
To provide top-level support to your internal team, you must—must—choose vendors who meet and exceed your expectations.
No matter how kind, professional, and intelligent you are, your work is ultimately evaluated based on the vendor’s performance. Excellent vendor partners are strong indicators of an excellent part buyer.
3. You build the right industry relationships—in the right way
Great relationships are built on trust—it’s as true professionally as it is personally.
The best custom part buyers know to seek out trustworthy vendors while being trustworthy themselves. The manufacturing industry is smaller than you may realize (especially regionally), and broken trust is like a burned bridge that will hinder your progress for years to come.
If you want consistently competitive rates and fast service, you’ll need to establish trust throughout the industry. In addition to building a powerful online presence, we recommend getting involved with trade associations and trade networking events that are heavily attended by machine shop owners and higher-ups. There, you’ll find countless opportunities to connect with industry professionals eager to do business with you.
4. You know the signs of a high-value vendor
The most valuable partner vendors are those who gladly handle all external processes for you. Precision CNC machining services comprise more than the machining itself. The ideal partners are committed to delivering a comprehensive service experience that includes:
Fast response times and quotes provided within 24-48 hours
Follow-up communication verifying all the details of your RFQ
Regular updates throughout the manufacturing process
An attentive, communicative shop understands how important it is to know the full story behind your part-sourcing needs.
When a shop asks about your part’s certification requirements, mating parts, and final application, you can rest assured that you’ve found a partner who will provide accurate quotes, reliable lead times, and final products that meet every specification—even specs that weren’t on the original print.
One Powerful Partnership That Keeps Buyers Buying