The competition in the market of bending tools is based on several constant things:
– trust in the seller
– quality of tooling
– time of the delivery
About three first things it is very simple. We have our strategy and we think it is quite honest for our customers even if they do not understand it from the beginning. We are making the best prices in our first offer. We are not making increasing prices to provide a discount if it is necessary. We are not making a price list with the biggest prices to offer than 50% of discount to attract to the customer. To tell the truth, we decline to provide even a 5% of additional discount if it is requested but in our first offer, the customer can be sure that he will receive from us the most honest and good price on the market and we cannot play the future games to reduce it more.
Our additional advantage is that we can perform the supplies directly to a lot of EU countries as internal European export to the customer including the complete support — organization of the order, payment, delivery to your factory, and even, if necessary — the communication in your local language — we can communicate with our customers in French, German, Spanish, Italian and other languages if necessary. It allows our customers to make any order as they will make it to the local dealer in their country of residence but without any additional payments for reseller profit.
The quality of the tooling is nearly the same from all manufacturers. In other words, if you are buying press brake tools from Italy quality from any supplier will be nearly the same. We cannot guarantee for somebody that it is worse or better than another manufacturer because the technology of the production is the same, the material is nearly from the same place and the same supplier and probably even hardening will be made in the same place (for Italian companies hardening is making outside by the external supplier and normally he works for all main press brake manufacturers). There could be different requirements for internal production tolerance but normally our tolerances are suitable for any, even very precise bending applications.
If we are talking about the lifetime of our tooling nobody can tell you the precise time, even in months. We had a lot of different cases of the customer who started to bend bars (instead of sheet metal) and had defects on their tools after several days till the customer who bought from us some adds to the length of the punches he purchased from us 6 years (!!!) ago.
Press brake tools production in workshop
The trust of the seller — is up to the customer. Probably he already purchased from us before so he knows our services and our products. If he came for the first time to tell the truth we cannot ensure him much and our standard conditions are 100% prepayment. So we let the customer decide completely all the details of the offer and possibility from the seller. Potential customers can also check out the possible answers about his project to make a decision. Unfortunately, we have met the situation that the customer received the offer, and requested from us the alternative or competitive prices but for some reasons (for example the available tonnage) the project could not be realized completely with the offer that the customer received from somewhere.
So the price is very important but not enough, especially for complicated bends when the risk could be that the customer will just purchase bending tools with the impossibility for normal work of them. We can imagine that big companies have so many requests and offer that they cannot control but we are against the situation where the customer has the risk purchasing of the goods he doesn’t need. And we are trying to warn our potential customers according to all possibilities. Unfortunately, we also have disadvantages of such a policy — we are making too much work for free when we advise how to bend, what to bend, provide all the drawings and the solutions and the customer disappears.
Now about the delivery time. We never meet a customer who told us that he could wait without a problem and any time we can offer. Everybody in our practice wants to receive everything “yesterday”. Mainly it is normal and all want to get their goods as soon as possible so the delivery time is the very and very important factor. In general, we offer our standard tools for main systems for 1–2 weeks of supply, if the order is quite big — about three weeks. But sometimes there are some positions out of stock or special systems and therefore the delivery time could be 6–7 weeks or even more because the tooling production is also connected with the activity of sub-suppliers and providing the material in time and making the induction hardening without any delay.
So, for some projects, our offer could be with bigger delivery time than the competitors and we have nothing to do with it. Also, we can note that we are not making improper offers where we declare, in advance, not correct delivery time and deal with possible delays after. In our offers, we are trying to put the possible and realistic conditions for the customer we want to achieve. And unfortunately, we can also have delays and some production questions which cause the extension of the delivery time.
So because we can win for example based on price and lose based on the delivery time we should recommend to our customers to save time and money with the proper in-time production and purchasing planning. Let us explain.
We can understand when the job shop is getting a completely new order from a new customer and new parts and needs new press brake tools for it. In this case, everything should be supplied very fast because the job shop should start the order. And it is also impossible to plan something because the factory just sold the service and got the order yesterday for example. It could be called “urgent” and there is no way to make any planning.
But in 90% we are seeing other situations. The customer wants to replace his tooling, these tools are standard, and his applications are standard and could be planned within a long period of time. But he ignored the planning and now he needs everything as soon as possible. And if we have for example to ship with the ship transportation which is normally around 2 months we will lose the order against the local distributor even if he has prices two times ours. And we see such situations quite often. From the first side, the production manager is completely right — he is paying to get it as soon as possible. But on the other side (it is better to underline it) he is probably paying more only because he didn’t make the planning in advance.
In a lot of production factories, there are no time-planned schedules for tooling purchase or replacement, it has to be done only based on some requests of the workshop which is made not in advance but when they have to bend tomorrow. The correct management with the tooling, plans for purchasing or replacement, contacts in time with possible suppliers, and collection of the offers could make the complete process much easy, more effective, and probably even cheaper for the factory. So we recommend to all — check in advance your necessities, your possibilities and your requests — these can help us and these can help you first of all. Moreover tooling management as a possible part of “lean production” is important brick for the factory and should be learned and used.
This post is also published on @Medium