So, you’re looking to buy some plastic fasteners. You have a few manufacturing companies in mind and you’re ready to start requesting quotes.
How can you make sure you get all the information you need? What questions should you be asking? Don’t worry, that feeling of uncertainty is why we’ve put together this handy checklist for you.
Many prospective customers come to Craftech not knowing exactly what they’re looking for. Maybe they need a certain size plastic screw but don’t know what head it needs to have. Or maybe they aren’t all that familiar with the wide array of plastics available and are not sure which material they need. Many factors go into choosing the best fastener for your application. Even if you do know the right questions to ask, it can be hard to remember them all when you’re on the phone with a live customer service representative.
At Craftech, we’ve been helping engineers and purchasers find the right plastic fasteners in the right material for the right price for over 40 years. We love working with customers to find custom-tailored solutions for their applications. We’ve developed this checklist to have two purposes. First, use it to get all the information you need and to remember to ask the right questions. Second, use it to make sure that you give a clear picture of your requirements to the manufacturer so they can properly advise you.
Here is the ultimate checklist for buying plastic fasteners:
1) What are you looking for?
First step, give the manufacturer all the information you currently have. You’ll want to make sure to mention which product you’re interested in, sizing, and material. At this point, you should also outline any questions you may have.
2) What’s your application?
What are you going to be using the parts for? Does your project have specific requirements in terms of mechanical properties or chemical resistance? Make sure you give the manufacturer a clear idea of your project and what you’re looking for.
How many parts do you need? Is this a one-time purchase or are you going to need to make orders regularly? Many companies, including Craftech, do custom quoting. Price tends to go down the more parts you order. If you only need a few pieces but budget isn’t a concern then you may not mind paying more per piece. Also, if you know in advance how many pieces you’re going to need in the future the manufacturer can be sure to stock your parts.
4) Quality control requirements?
Your quality control requirements affect several elements of the project. Not all manufacturers are equipped to handle all types of quality control requests. Craftech is ISO 9001:2008 certified and is currently pursuing AS9100. Not all manufacturers have these certifications. Different industries have different quality standards, so make sure you know what you need when you call a manufacturer. Your requirements can also effect delivery date and cost.
5) What’s your budget?
Budget is extremely important. If you have a specific price range in mind, make sure to tell the manufacturer. Even if their initial quote seems too expensive, they can often work with you to find a mutually beneficial price. If you’re willing to increase the quantity of your order or switch to a cheaper material you can usually lower the per unit price. If price is no object and you simply want the highest quality plastic fasteners available, that information is also important for the manufacturer to know.
6) How soon do you need it?
At Craftech, we try to stock as many plastic fasteners as possible. For custom orders or parts not in stock, lead times are typically 2-3 weeks. When you’re calling around for pricing, make sure you mention the timeframe of your project. Different companies have different lead times. Also, if a manufacturer is swamped with orders they may extend their lead times. By asking this question, you can ensure that you and the manufacture have a clear agreement on delivery date before you make your order.
7) What’s your priority?
Of all the questions on this list, what is your priority? Is it price, quality control, delivery date, material? What are you willing to compromise on? Letting a manufacturer know your priorities will help them to best serve you.
There you have it! Feel free to print this out and use it the next time you call for pricing on plastic fasteners. Are there any other questions you always ask? Let me know in the comments section below.
Looking for more information on plastic fasteners and materials? Download our complimentary High Performance Material Guide.