The value of a metal fabrication is what it does for the customer. Fabrications have no real value sitting on the floor or bench in our shop, it’s only when they’re in service or installed, holding, supporting, carrying, displaying, protecting, or providing access that they become useful.

Our approach at Wiley is to help customers maximize this value, by doing as much, or as little, of the work as they need. Our added-value services include project management, prototyping, and custom assembly, which let us offer complete solutions rather than simply supplying fabricated metal parts. If you’re looking for a metal fabricator, this blog will explain why it’s worth considering a shop that can provide a holistic service beyond fabrication.

Introduction to Our Comprehensive Services

Cutting, bending, and welding are the core of our fabrication work, but those activities alone aren’t enough to give customers what they need. In addition to design, we offer:

  • Project management: Every order needs a certain amount of planning, but the work involved grows on larger and more complex projects. We can plan and manage large fabrication jobs to ensure customers receive what they want when they want it.
  • Prototyping: Modern CAD packages can produce highly realistic 3D images, but sometimes that still isn’t enough. Prototyping allows you to assess fit and overall appearance before investing time and money in cutting metal to size and shape.
  • Custom assembly: From installing hinges and castors to putting large components together, in our shop or on-site, our custom assembly services save our customers time and money.

Let’s drill down into each of these.

Project Management in Metal Fabrication

For us, project management in fabrication involves a lot more than just producing a Gantt chart. It’s about estimating a delivery or installation date, scheduling, and sequencing resources and activities, and then actively monitoring progress to ensure the project stays on track.

Two aspects of project management that sometimes get overlooked are communication and risk management. We put a lot of emphasis on both.

In terms of communication, when we’re managing a project we make sure to identify all the stakeholders at the outset, and then we develop a communication plan. This guides who we share information with, what we share, and when.

Risk management is about anticipating what things could go wrong and having contingencies in case they do. For example, what if we had to order some special material and it gets delayed by a week? Or what would we do if our welders got bottlenecked and a key part of the project was held up? Risk management means we’ve thought about this, and we’re ready to adapt as needed to keep the project on track.

So, bottom line: when we commit to managing a project, you can be sure we’ll do it professionally and with close attention to detail.

Prototyping

When a project is large, complex, or both, a prototype can help reduce the risk of getting things wrong. We offer several types of prototypes to support customers in their work, which might include selling ideas to their customers.

First, we can produce highly realistic 3D images on our CAD system. These provide a good idea of how the final product will look and can even allow a walk-through of larger structures.

Sometimes though, there’s no substitute for having something you can touch and feel. Maybe you need to know it will fit in a particular space or integrate with other assemblies, and a physical prototype lets you do that. Where it makes sense, we can offer customers 3D printed prototypes that resemble what’s in the drawings, but we can also produce mock-ups of various types. These are useful for showing how a design will look and getting customer sign-off before going into series production.

Custom Assembly

We can do some low-volume assembly work. This can be as simple as adding handles or cable grommets, or it could be a complete assembly of a kit of parts. It might be something that goes together on a bench, but if it needs a crane to hoist large components into position, we can do that too.

Custom assembly often goes hand-in-hand with project management, for two reasons. First, assembly, by definition, means bringing together a number of parts or components. Project management ensures everything comes together when needed without any long or unexpected delays.

Second, space in our fabrication shop is finite. Especially for larger constructions, we can’t have them taking up a room any longer than necessary. Good project management lets us put everything together and then ship it out as quickly as possible.

Integrating Metal Fabrication with Additional Services

The linkage between custom assembly and project management shows how the services we offer beyond fabrication aren’t just random ideas we’ve tacked on. Rather, they’re part of a holistic service we provide to meet the needs of our customers.

Come to us with a problem or an idea and we’ll work with you to develop a solution. If prototyping and custom assembly work are needed as part of that, those are things we can do. Likewise, we can manage projects, whether purely within our shop or linked with activities elsewhere.

Our Client-Centric Approach

Customers have always been at the center of everything we do. By helping us meet customer needs, the extended services we offer are part of that philosophy.

Our approach has always been, and continues to be, to listen and ask questions. Then, only when we’ve understood the problem and what’s needed, do we offer solutions. What’s more, as a family-owned business, we’re flexible and adaptable enough to work with customers in whatever way makes the most sense. The customer comes first, and that’s the heart of our customer-centric approach.

More Than Metal Fabrication Services

The additional services we offer – project management, prototyping, and custom assembly – make us easier to work with for all your metal fabrication needs. Think of us as a one-stop-shop: not only can we cut, bend, and weld, but we can plan and manage the project, deliver prototypes that show you what to expect, and put things together as you need. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you meet your goals.