Tips to Make the Mold Buying Process Easier
Buying a mold is a complex and sometimes tedious process, but a few rules can help make the process easier. They’re not written in stone, but you’ll find that to most moldmakers they are gospel.
- Send an RFQ that is as detailed as you can make it. Don’t make the moldmaker guess what you want. Moldmakers are a lot of things, but mind-readers they’re not! Be specific about the type of mold, the number of cavities, the steel, expectations of mold life, and any guarantees you’ll need. If you aren’t certain about any of these items, get input from your moldmaker to help you determine exactly what type of mold is best for your requirements. The more detailed the RFQ, the more accurate the moldmaker’s quote will be.
- Be honest about why you are requesting a quote. If you need a ballpark figure to submit to marketing, say so. But don’t ask for a complete engineering evaluation and quote, then casually mention it’s just a preliminary quote on a project that’s at least a year away. Or you’re just fishing. Quoting is time-consuming, and moldmakers want to spend their time quoting jobs that have good promise of becoming a reality soon.
- Respect the intellectual property of the moldmaker. The knowledge and creativity a moldmaker has acquired are his or her intellectual property. Keep those ideas and suggestions confidential when going out for quote. If you choose another mold shop to do the work, don’t tell moldmaker “B”to make it the way moldmaker “A” suggested in his quote. Remember, moldmaker “B” didn’t quote it that way and may not understand why moldmaker “A” made that suggestion.
- Consider the benefits of forming a true partnership with your moldmaker(s).Bring in
him or her early on your project for input; work with him in regard to costing goals and budgets; life of the project and part quantity expectations. Moldmakers don’t like being mushrooms! The best purchasing is done by those who truly know their suppliers and play as a team, openly and honestly, to the benefit of both companies.
- Communicate with and solicit communication from your moldmaker on a regular basis. Many provide Gantt charts or other types of progress reports online, or provide online access to regularly posted updates. Knowing where the mold build stands and if it is on schedule is critical, so request scheduled information stands and if it is on schedule is critical, so request scheduled information
- Make your payments on time per the agreement. Few moldmakers can afford to play banker, and building a mold entails many, sometimes large, up-front expenses on their part. There are a number of ways to approach the payment schedule, such as 30% down, 30% at half completion, 30% at completion, and 10% upon part approval and mold shipment. Different moldmakers have different plans, or will work with you on a payment schedule that is fair, equitable and will benefit both companies.
- Changes to the part design can mean changes to the mold. Remember, the more changes you make during the mold build, the less likely you are to get a mold in the lead time or at the price quoted. Understand that when you require part design changes, it often leads to changes in the mold design, which can add both time and cost to the mold build.
- Define up front when the mold is considered complete. When is a mold complete? That often determines when final payment is made. Is the mold complete upon approved part sample? Upon shipment? Usually a mold is complete when it is capable of producing a part according to specifications and dimensions on the part print. Most moldmakers will make small changes and tweaks to get the mold to spec to make the part according to print dimensions. A decision to make a change to the part, and consequently to the mold, after the part has met print specs doesn’t mean the mold isn’t finished. When the part meets print specifications and dimensions, the mold is complete. Changes are done via an ECO (engineering change order) and will be priced accordingly.
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.You may find a moldmaker who quotes very low prices on a job. Maybe he’s hungry, or maybe his overhead is low so he can price lower than other shops. However, any quote that comes in too low might not be the bargain is appears to be.
The following video is from youtube for “how to be a buyer”,I think those way could be applied to mold buying