No matter what type of OEM or manufacturing business […]
No matter what type of OEM or manufacturing business you have, maintaining reliable suppliers and parts must be a top priority. It is surprising how many original equipment manufacturers offer the lowest price or the fastest delivery speed without checking their suppliers. Many times, they get into trouble by inferior parts, wrong parts, or the supplier's failure to provide parts next time, and OEMs have to find new sources.
The following are the five most common mistakes OEMs make when choosing fasteners suppliers:
1. Use price as the main criterion
The old saying "you get what you pay for" is true. When buying fasteners, you must strike a balance between quality and price. Naturally, you must find a supplier that can deliver goods at a price that allows you to maintain a profit, but in the long run, buying low-quality fasteners will cost more. Consider why the supplier can offer the lowest price. Is it because the materials used are relatively poor, so the cost is relatively low? Will they reduce shipping costs, which may affect delivery time and your production plan? Before choosing low-priced parts, make sure you know what you get and what is at stake. Remember, if the price of a part looks too good to be true, then it may indeed be.
2. Choosing the wrong fastener for the job
Fasteners come in various shapes and sizes. If you want to avoid production delays and deliver quality products, it is important to understand their performance specifications. When considering fasteners, make sure to use the correct product:
Tensile strength: The tension that can be applied before a fastener breaks.
Fatigue strength: Fastener fatigue may be caused by age, excessive use of parts, or other factors. Fatigue strength is usually characterized by the number of times a fastener can withstand pressure or load before it fails.
Shear strength: Shear strength is defined as the maximum load that a fastener can withstand when it is at right angles to its axis until it fails. When your application requirements are higher, such as transportation systems, fasteners will need to have higher shear strength. Some fasteners must bear the load on one transverse plane (single shear), while others must bear two transverse planes (double shear).
Torsion: Torsion is a measure of the amount of torque or friction that a fastener can withstand before it breaks. When torque is applied to a fastener, most of the energy is used to overcome friction, so 85% to 95% of the force is used to tighten the bolt or fastener, and the remaining 5% to 15% is used to clamp the load. Any change in friction conditions, such as surface finish, lubricant, temperature, etc., will affect the torque and thus the clamping load of the fastener.
Materials: Depending on the application and environment, you will need fasteners with different performance tolerances. High-performance applications, such as airplanes, require fasteners that are lightweight but can handle constant vibration. The fastener material needs to be matched to the application for optimal performance.
3. Failed to pass the supplier audit
Any type of supplier relationship is a partnership; as part of an ongoing contract, they provide parts and materials that are essential to your operations. You want to choose your partner wisely, that's why you need a reference. Be sure to ask other customers about the supplier’s responsiveness, delivery records, and other factors. You need a reliable partner.
4. Choose suppliers who lack variety
Your business will grow, and your needs will change. You want to align with supply chain partners who have the parts and resources to support this growth. Compared with continuing to find new suppliers, it is easier to strengthen relationships with existing partners.
5. Do not cooperate with top-tier, factory-authorized inventory distributors
If you work with authorized distributors, you can increase your chances of getting parts in a timely manner. For example, if delivery time is important and the parts you need are out of stock, the factory authorized distributor can better propose alternatives to ensure that production will not be interrupted.
These are just five mistakes that OEMs often make when choosing fasteners suppliers. Distributors should be strategic partners who can provide the materials and parts you need when you need them. Choosing the best supply chain partner from the beginning will save you a lot of time and money in the long run.