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Great question! QCMF strives to ensure that our finished product is deisgned, fabricated, and delivered exactly as request by our customers. One of the most important ways of accomplishing this is to only use the best quality materials: That means we only fabricate materials made in the United States. Some of our competitors use secondary (inferior) materials imported from foreign countries where the quality cannot be verified. QCMF only uses prime grade materials that are flat, within specifications, and are certified.
Our certification process is key to ensure our customers get the best product for their dollar. Our steel suppliers, for example, offer us access to a digital certification system so when we're making a materials order, we can see exactly what's in the metal and its exact chemical makeup. That's an important distinction between QCMF and oter metal fabricators. That certification step also is a form of transparency with our customers. Looking at a piece of steel with the naked eye won't necessarily reveal that it's prime grade steel plate or secondary materials. So, having an efficient certification system gives our customers the peace of mind they want and deserve.
With high-quality prime grade materials, there will be consistencies throughout the process that lead to a high-performing product. Whether to ensure precise laser cutting tolerances, proper steel plate punchin, exacting CNC machine press forming, or maitaining high standards throughout the bending process, using the right materials - from USA mills - is what makes us a top Indiana fabricator and our processes and industry standard.
If a finished product isn't delivered on time, it doesn't matter how well it was fabricated or what materials were used. A late delivery is no excuse. At QCMF, we use a sophisticated digital scheduler to keep the customer's entire order on schedule. To get to the shipping stage, we first input all of the customer's product specifications into our scheduling system. This ensures we know what the customer wants, what materials are needed, and our current schedule (to avoid overlaps and conflicts) so we can provide an estimate of time for project completion.
When we're determining what materials are needed, we use our electronic bill of material system to see exactly what materials are needed to make the product. By checking to see all of the needed materials we know how long it will take to receive them and that ensures we eliminate (or at least limit) delays in receiving those materials. In addtion to our digital scheduling and bill of materials systems, we employ some of the most experienced and dedicated operation, engineering, and support staff who make sure that the right parts are ordered for the right job - on time.
With all of the customer's materials ordered, fabricated, and prepped, we use our own trucks (an 8'x12' or 8'x24' panel truck to ship the product. We take control of all of the logistical components of getting the products to the customer so there are no mistakes. We take full responsibility for our customers' orders from start to finish. We take immense pride in having our own shipping process because it means fewer delays for our customers and less risk of damage to their products.
We do everything we can to make sure that every finished product that leaves QCMF - no matter the size, materials, or purpose - is made to the customer's exacting specifications. We do this by not just being a vendor who "chops and drops," but by being a partner in our customer's business. For example, if a customer is in the RV industry and they request a particular style of hinge for an engine compartment, we use our almost 100 years of combined custom metal fabrication experience to make suggestions that may help them save time and money and get the part they need, that fits right, and makes the most sense for their applications.
As part of that experience, while the product is being fabricated, we implement a two-person quality control inspection process where the machin operator shows the initial run of the part to a supervisor or other experienced senior machinist to check that the part meets the customer's design, is in spec, and that they are BOTH comfortable with how the part is being made. Whether it's prime grade steel plate fabrication or a requested custom fabrication, we do all we can to amke sure the product is done right, on time, and on budget.
Yes! One aspect of QCMF's business that sets us apart is our highly experienced materials engineering and product design support staff. When a potential customer comes to QCMF with their own design ideas or challenges we bring our decades of metal fabrication experience to bear to meet their needs. Our engineering and design support collaborate to give us customers not only what they want, but also to offer suggestions that will make the product the best it can be!
Our employees are the life's blood of QCMF. They are like family and we treat them that way. Why is this important to our customers? Because when our engieering, design, programming, machining, and custom welding services staffs are trained, engaged, and enjoying what they do each and every day, our customers benefit. We provide a clean, safe working environment that ensures every project meets (or exceeds) the customer's standard. So, whether our customers need TIG welding, laser cutting, MIG welding, punching brae press forming, or any of our metal fabrication services, our employees are ready, willing, and excited to assist them.
We strive to always be responsive to our customer's needs and estimating and quoting are an important part of providing great customer service. We know we only get one chance to make a good first impression, so when a customer comes to QCMF for a uoate, we match them with one of our highly qualified estimators (with a combined 60+ years of experience!) to go over the project. From design suggestions, material recommendations, and engineering support and shipping, the entire project will be quoted so there are no surprises.
We use the Shoptech E2 Shop System enterprise resource planning software to track all quotes as well as inventory processing, accounting, and operator hours. This system allows for on-demand reviews of the project as it moves through each phase of completion. The electronically generated quote will be emailed to the customer as soon as it's complete for quick review and approval. The quote includes all design aspects, a deatiled bill of material, and delivery time. Most other shops don't include a delivery time, but because we handle the shipping in house, our customers can have all of these steps help shave time off the project - to save our customers time and money.
We understand that price is always a factor in making a purchase. But one thing we try to make as clear as possible is what our customers are getting for their money. There are many fly-by-night metal fabricators out there and they'll offer a really low price, but:
At QCMF, we are our customer's project partner so we explain all the scheduling, product, fabrication, shipping, and billing processes with them so there are no surprises. Our prime grade steel, aluminum, brass, copper, and stainless-steel materials come from competitive USA-based mills. Our staff is highly experienced so they know how to make a project both time and cost effective. We use advanced scheduling and project managment software so the project is done on time and on budget.
What truly sets QCMF apart is that our pricing is what we call: "delivered pricing." That means that when we give our customers a uote, it includes every step of the process from design to delivery! We're not going to be nickel and diming our customers or haggling about shiping costs and timeframes. This also means that htey know when they're going to be receiving their product - at the beginning of the process! That helps them know that we won't be holding up their processes and their project will stay on schedule. Not that's true peace of mind.
Time is money. We understand this. That's why we use a digital scheduling and resource management system to ensure that we're not wasting our customer's time with long waits for quotes, overbooked machines, and inefficient processes. At QCMF, we work hard to ensure that our customers have the information they need - up front - to make the right decisions for their project.
The computerized scheduler allows us to see how all of the machines, operators, and materials are being used at any given moment. This way, we can quickly adjust any one of those pieces to better serve our customers. We try to keep our customers informed every step of the way so there are no surprises. Over the past 40 years, we've developed the necessary infrastructure, integrated shop floor controls, and project accounting systems that keep projects moving, make sure our employees are engaged and committed, and most importantly, provide the best services to keep our customers happy.