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Our Sourcing Process - The Information We Need For Your Projects

Kate Donohoe
qimtek drag drop source service

Sourcing a new supplier can be daunting, especially if you don’t have a PSL, or your current supplier is full - where do you start? In addition, the time it takes to contact suppliers individually and send over drawings all adds up, meaning that you can sometimes spend a considerable period sourcing before you’ve even received a single quote.

We offer a free-of-charge sourcing service here at Qimtek, which puts you in touch with suppliers who have the capacity and the capabilities to assist with your project. Part of our role here in the sourcing team is to ask questions about every project to help to find the right supplier for you. Although it may seem like we need a lot of information, this is only so that the suppliers are given all that they need to provide you with an accurate quotation.

Here are the main questions we may ask you about your project and why:

What is it?

This may seem like a silly question, but sometimes the drawings or the names on the drawings are not enough to know what you require to be made. Stating what the product will become can help engage the supplier and provide context as to the end use of the parts in question.

What industry will the parts be used in?

By letting us know which industry the components will be used in, you will invite responses from suppliers who operate within that industry, meaning that you can be sure your product is safe with a specialist vendor. 

In addition, we also use this information to report on the outsourcing activity of each industry in our quarterly Contract Manufacturing Index (CMI). The CMI sheds light on the overall health of the subcontract manufacturing market and highlights industry trends. You can subscribe to the Contract Manufacturing Index here.

Click here to use our Drag, Drop, Source! service.

Which material - and which grade?

Sometimes more than one material or grade of material can be considered, and our suppliers can help you if required. We also have members who specialise in working with certain materials, such as plastics, whilst others will be unable to quote on your project due to cross-contamination. Therefore, stating the material will save both you and the supplier time, ensuring that you receive an accurate quotation.

Will any alternatives be considered? 

Alternative materials can be suggested by our members if this is open to discussion - they have excellent engineering knowledge and can help to advise on the best material for your product’s application, as well as the best manufacturing process to be used within your project.

Is tooling needed? 

Some of our projects require tooling, for example injection moulding, extrusions and presswork processes. We can ask for quotes with or without tooling should you already have the tooling available for your project, or need tooling to be included in the quote.

Click here to use our Drag, Drop, Source! service.

What quantity do you require? 

We can ask our suppliers to quote for more than one batch size if needed, for example, 1 off, 10 off and 3000 off to give you a full spectrum of price breaks. These can be one-off requests, or repeated weekly, monthly, or annually - whatever you require for your project.

Is this project a one-off requirement, or will it be repeated? 

We ask this so that a potential supplier knows whether this is a one-off job, or if there is future work also available. Different suppliers will be looking for different project lengths depending on whether they’re trying to fill immediate capacity or grow their long-term customer base.

Do you require the supplier to hold any accreditations? 

These can be important depending on the project requirements. Our membership can cater for a huge range of accreditation requirements, with ISO 9001, AS 9000, IATF 16949 and Coded Welding often requested from the buyers using our sourcing service. We can also  request that material certificates or certificates of conformity are supplied if these are needed by you or your client.

Can our members call you before quoting?

Our members may call to introduce themselves and ask any questions they may have about specifics of the project before quoting. In addition, they may offer alternative suggestions should they be deemed more efficient and more cost-effective for you. Calling directly is a nice personal touch and can start the relationship on a strong footing from both sides.

Click here to use our Drag, Drop, Source! service.

What do you prioritise in a new supplier? Price/delivery turnaround/quality?

Every buyer has different priorities when it comes to selecting new suppliers, whether it’s component quality, a fast turnaround, or a good price. By making our suppliers aware of what you prioritise, you increase the likelihood of receiving quotes that fit the bill for your project.

Is there anyone we shouldn’t approach with your project?

You don’t have to use our free-of-charge sourcing service exclusively, so if you’ve already approached a supplier or two and would rather not duplicate the enquiry with them, we can ensure they are not sent your project through our sourcing service. We can also do this for any companies you would rather we didn’t approach on your behalf for any reason, meaning you can use our service with confidence, every time.

What is your annual outsourcing spend on subcontract manufacturing work?

This is not compulsory information, but it can help us find a supplier who is a good fit for you. For instance, if you’re a company with a large spend, then you probably require a supplier with a larger plant list. On the other hand, companies with lower outsourcing levels may benefit from working with a smaller supplier. This can be broken down into different process categories, for example profiling, machining, fabrication etc, or as a single amount to cover all processes. If you don’t know this or would rather not say, that’s absolutely fine, but it can help to draw attention to your project if you are able to share this information with us.

Source The Right Supplier In No Time, Every Time:

As you can see, these questions help us to tailor the sourcing service for each project and ensure all the necessary information is available to our supplier members. This is to avoid repeat requests for any missing information from our suppliers and to give as much detail to help with their quoting process, making it as efficient as possible for all parties.

If you have not used our service before and are looking for suppliers, do get in touch and give us a try. We will set up an account for you, with a login to give you access to view your projects online and see which of our members is viewing your project, as well as their interest levels.

There is no obligation to go forward with any quotes you receive, but by using a tailored service such as ours, you should hear back from supplier members who want to do the work for you rather than calling around suppliers yourself.

Let us help to save you time when sourcing, while still giving you complete control of your own project. You can use our service as often or as little as you need to, giving you support when you need it.

If you would like more information on our free-of-charge sourcing service, please give our sourcing team a call on 01256 394 500. Ready to get started? Simply click the link below to upload your drawings and start receiving quotes today!

Click here to use our Drag, Drop, Source! service.


About Kate Donohoe

Kate joined the Qimtek sourcing team in January 2018 and has worked in customer service and service management for over 25 years. Her mantra is “Challenge Accepted!” and finds joy in sourcing for those more difficult and challenging projects. When she’s not at Qimtek she is either working on new creations for her own crochet business, trying out a new craft gin, or browsing through cruise holidays online and booking the next one... 

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