We see a lot of paper napkins in our line of work – and not from our lunches. It’s not uncommon to get requests for estimates based on a pen drawing on a paper napkin for a fabrication or install job. The challenge is, it’s difficult to produce an accurate estimate based on a napkin sketch and, as the customer, you end up getting a “guesstimate” if anything at all, which really isn’t in your or our best interest.
Many manufacturers that request estimates from us aren’t aware that we provide design, build, and install services and can be your turnkey fabrication service partner. If you don’t have the time or expertise needed to produce the detailed drawings required to get you the most accurate estimate and best price, it may be in your best interest to skip the napkin drawing and have us work on the design for you. And here’s why …
First, if you are missing complete drawings and detailed information about your project, we have to do a lot of guessing, and guessing results in padding the estimate to cover all of the unknowns which does not work in your favor.
On the other hand, we can come out and measure, get the information we need, and produce the drawings from which we can estimate more accurately. With customer input we can consider options together and choose the best course for the projects. Of course, you could hire a third-party engineer to do the drawings, too. They will make sure the design is structurally sound, but may not have considered if it can be easily built and installed for the intended use and in the allotted space. The advantage of a turnkey solution is the same fabrication partner will be designing, building, and installing the project and will approach the design anticipating everything that will be necessary to know and plan for to avoid costly surprises down the road.
It’s fair to say that the highest level of project efficiency is captured when a metal fabrication partner is doing the design, build, and install. At GSM Industrial, we proactively think through the project from every angle of fabrication and installation, and our plan drawings will reflect that in their detail. This will allow for the most accurate estimate and best pricing because it takes out most of the guesswork. It also allows us to assess what work can be done in our shop vs. in the field at the customer’s facility, which can also have an impact on costs. The more work we can complete in our shop typically equates to less downtime and disruption in your facility. That alone can be a huge win for the customer.
So, if you’re looking for cost and time savings, convenience, and efficiency in your next metal fabrication project, consider a metal fabricating partner that offers a quality turnkey solution.