Selecting a steel contractor is a key part of taking your project through to completion, but finding the right partner can be challenging. While no steel project is exactly the same as another, you need a contractor who you can rely on to take your project through from design to delivery.

1. Introduction

Steel Structures do not have a standardized product offerings. The differences will be in the quality processes they follow, equipment/technology they use and types of projects they specialized. It’s essential to keep the below factors in mind prior to approaching a steel contractor.

2. Key Factors for Steel Fabricator Selection
  • Quality Certificates

A well-established fabrication quality control system is a primary step to access the steel contractor. The first factor to check is whether the steel contractor possess the fundamental quality management system certificate; ISO 9001. ISO 9001 is an industry wide quality document for almost all industries. A steel fabrication company lacking ISO 9001 should raise a red flag.

Apart from the ISO 9001, a well-established metal contractor should also be implemented EN 1090-2 steel fabrication standard into its operation. This certificate is a compulsory quality document for the Europe Union for the fabrication and CE Marking of Metal Products. Depending the type of the steel fabrication, there are 4 execution classes of EN 1090-2 standard. It is also critical to check if the steel contractor is certified to the right execution class suitable for the deemed steel project.

  • Experience & References

Structural steel fabricators have different expertise areas therefore you need to see whether the company you have selected has experience in your type of project. If the fabricator have experienced with similar product, this will allow the work to be delivered fast. Also the fabricator might also proof check your design prior to commencement based on their previous expertise.

  • Communication Skills

An excellent communication is a major requirement to deliver a successful steel building project. The top fabricators generally are excellent communicators too. Timely answered questions, elaborate expression of project schedule and coordinated delivery plans are essential parts of the project timeline.

Fabricators who listen your objects can offer suggestions on the best way to achieve them. Majority of the steel projects are bespoke projects therefore it requires a bespoke solution. Fluent communication channels will provide a smooth project management.

  • Logistics

When supplying steel parts from an international vendor, it is also essential that delivery of the fabrications are also covered by an experienced party. It is a great asset if the fabricator can guide or manage throughout the logistics phase. This will make the life easier for the client without bother to deal with 3rd party freight companies.

  • Cost

When it comes to the pricing of the metal fabrications, it is crucial to calculate the value for money. There are a lot of international vendor with different pricing schemes for the same steel project. Instead of focusing to the sole cost of the goods, prioritizing the price/quality ratio will lead to a more beneficial selection. To assess the price level of the products, it is also essential to be aware of the steel prices.

As it is discussed in the early paragraphs of this article, there are multiple levels of the steel fabrication quality classes and one should be aware to consider the offered price with the offered execution class. Also hidden costs such as special packaging/crating should be discussed in advance to prevent surprises in the late stages of the fabrication project.

3. Conclusion

Selection of steel fabricator is a mindful commercial decision. Successful steel fabrication procurement depends on reasonable costs, consistent quality, and fast delivery. The right contractor should possess a reputation for these types of qualities with outstanding communication and project management skills.

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