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When You Decide on Metal Fabrication, Who’s Seated at the Table?

2987232840_1d5231d765_zWe have all heard the phrase “too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.”

The same sentiment can be shared regarding big decisions in your company— such as fabricating a metal component.

Depending on the size and organizational structure of your business, there are a few key stakeholders who should be involved in every metal fabrication meeting. Below are the people whose input should be considered when evaluating production options.

CEO / Owner / President 

The responsibilities of the head honcho (CEO, owner, president, founder) vary depending on the needs of the company and the organizational makeup. But every CEO is responsible for the direction and vision of the company as it relates to growth opportunities. 

Because of their authority, C-level executives can cement organizational buy-in during metal fabrication decision-making, and their input and approval are crucial to moving projects forward.

VP of Operations

The VP of operations plans, coordinates and directs manufacturing operations for the company. Usually part of an executive team, the VP of operations has the authority to approve and negotiate contracts, analyze financial statements, create and adjust budgets, and evaluate sales reports. 

The VP of operations’ main goal is to identify areas within operations that can be leveraged and improved. He/she is likely to focus on operational efficiency and productivity metrics and bring yield-optimization and cost-reduction measures to the discussion.  

Production Supervisor

A production supervisor and a VP of operations typically work very closely together to ensure that a project runs efficiently from design to delivery.

A production supervisor’s comprehensive production plan establishes project priorities. Using this plan as a guide throughout a project’s lifecycle, the production supervisor can monitor overall progress, adjust forecasts, resolve problems and report results of the processing flow on shift production summaries.

Their detailed insight into production flow, forecasting and equipment on the floor make them a key partner, particularly during new product design.

Director of Engineering

The director of engineering is responsible for managing and leading the engineering team. He/she is evaluated based on a product’s time-to-market, and because of decreasing lead times, often feels pressed for time. In addition, he/she is constantly designing new iterations for parts . 

In such a fast-paced role, the director of engineering is interested in a fabrication partner that can be trusted to get the job done with high quality and low costs.

Sourcing Manager

The Sourcing Manager’s responsibility is to ensure the stable supply of necessary parts to the company’s various manufacturing facilities, in order to keep pace with demand and meet lead times.  

In the past few years, sourcing has become more and more important. Formal supply chain management education is becoming commonplace, the market is being flooded with new graduates, and the sourcing manager’s role is more critical than ever to company profitability. The increase in international trade requires knowledge of customs and international trade laws; being multilingual is a plus.

Every company is different and the above positions may vary based on personnel and organizational structure. But whenever a metal fabrication decision needs to be made, make sure the right stakeholders are at the table.

Before you start a new fabrication project, it’s important that you have a full grasp on different factors to consider. To learn more, read Fabrication Factors: What to Consider When Starting a New Project.

Image Credit: Simon Blackley via Flickr

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