What is Your Value? Defining Value in Turnkey Precision Sheet Metal Fabrication
Written by: Aimee Sukol, JD/MA/MS Ed.
Businesses that demonstrate their value not only retain customers but enjoy considerable growth opportunities. Companies struggle when they can’t identify or define their value, and often, amidst the overwhelming details of running a business, companies lose sight of their value to customers. The following explores value in the context of turnkey precision sheet metal manufacturing and how Meta Fab, Inc. applies it.
Primary questions that help companies define their value are:
- What (product/service) does my company offer?
- Who are the company’s target customers?
- What needs and problems do customers have?
- How is the company uniquely qualified to solve these problems?
- What is the unique benefit the company offers to solve these problems?
What product/service does Meta Fab, Inc. offer?
Quite literally, Meta Fab provides both a service and a product as a precision sheet metal fabrication company. Among a host of services, Meta Fab laser cuts and turret punches, forms, welds, insert hardware, and powder coats sheet metal while also offering engineering and prototype services for companies working on new designs. Our product/service can be seen in hospitals and medical centers as cabinets aftermarket automotive, security devices for handheld electronics, sound system amplification, perimeter security defense, aerospace, and beyond.
Who are Meta Fab’s target customers?
Meta Fab works primarily with mid and large manufacturers in electronics, medical, aero, and telecommunications industries. As an Oregon family-owned business, we pride ourselves on the relationships we’ve built throughout the Pacific NW.
What needs and problems do Meta Fab’s customers have?
Meta Fab consistently engages our customers through monthly emails and customer satisfaction surveys. As with many businesses, customers identified cost as being the most significant issue with running their business.
Understanding customer needs is possibly the most important element in defining value. Appreciating customer needs is an ongoing evaluation throughout the life of our company as it needs change. Our most recent customer satisfaction survey indicated that the cost of running a business was the most critical issue. Cost results from a number of factors, such as the price of parts, staffing, macroeconomics, and the supply chain infrastructure. Meta Fab’s emphasis is not on producing low-cost services/products, but on providing quality and excellent customer service. To address our customers’ needs, Meta Fab demonstrates the ability to keep the cost of materials as a true value.
How is Meta Fab uniquely qualified to solve the cost concern for our customers?
As noted above, costs extend beyond price, such as the cost of delays, miscommunication, poor quality, and/or inexperienced staff. As a supplier, Meta Fab knows that the aforementioned lead to costs that impact our customers’ bottom line.
First, Meta Fab has been producing precision sheet metal services to local customers for over three decades. We experience and are witness to, the impact economic, policy and marketplace changes have on the Pacific NW and our customers. Appreciating the context in which our customers operate allows Meta Fab to anticipate issues that may arise for our customers and plan accordingly.
Second, Meta Fab’s three-decade experience and expertise in turnkey precision sheet metal furthers our capacity to prevent mistakes and produce quality products.
Third, Meta Fab invests in best practices. For example, Meta Fab participates in and supports industry events that explore needs and innovations in manufacturing. Often, industry events address local issues, policies, and resources that lead to cost-effective strategies and solutions. Investing in ongoing learning opportunities increases Meta Fab’s knowledge and strength as an innovator and industry leader.
Meta Fab’s benefits attract experienced employees and our workplace culture retains them. Our engineers walk customers through their projects, the manufacturing staff is committed to their work, account managers are responsive and available to provide exceptional service to our customers, and our outreach specialists maintain ongoing communication and opportunities for customers to offer feedback.
Meta Fab also applies best practices through our “3 Steps of Quality” system: 1) Validate; 2) Perform; and 3) Verify.
Validate – Each step of the manufacturing process, our fabricators validate the work done before they receive the parts have been done to print and are in compliance.
Perform – Meta Fab employees must perform the required operations following the work instructions and adherence to the prints.
Verify – Meta Fab employees are responsible for their work and the quality of the work they performed. The employee verifies the work they performed to ensure it meets the prints before moving the parts onto the next operation.
In short, seamless processes that prevent mistakes and delays produce cost savings. First, to design those processes Meta Fab relates to customers and can anticipate many issues that occur in our customers’ world. The company’s extensive history and experience in turnkey precision sheet metal fabrication, interest and participation in industry programs/events, and our commitment to best practices positions Meta Fab as more than a supplier, but as an expert in our field.
What unique benefit does Meta Fab offer to solve their cost issue?
Meta Fab’s unique benefit to our customers is knowing how to manage the cost of production. While not always the case, the risk of poor quality is higher with lower-priced goods/services – as the adage goes, “you get what you pay for”. Meta Fab does not purport to be the lowest priced option because we invest in our people and our processes to ensure quality. Quality and a seamless customer service experience are critical to managing costs.
A business cannot define value without understanding customer needs, which means the process for defining value is ongoing. Meta Fab’s consistent communication with customers enables us to assess the success of our operations and processes. Had customers identified quality as their biggest issue, Meta Fab’s assessment would look differently as would our messaging. Furthermore, low price does not necessarily mean low cost and we believe that investing in people, quality and customer service is the soundest method for meeting our customers’ needs to keep costs low.
Rosa, Jennifer. “The Small Manufacturer’s Value Proposition: The Secret Marketing Ingredient to Outshine Larger Competitors,” May 31, 2019. (www.nist.gov/blogs/manufacturing-innovation-blog).