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Pease at MWFA: Are You Asking Enough Questions?

Pease at MWFA: Are You Asking Enough Questions?
September 12
21:01 2022

Are you asking your customer enough questions?

Ask questions and then “ask a few extra questions of your customer,” Rich Pease of RK Precision Products advised a Mid-West Fastener Association conference session.

It is about reducing errors, Pease explained.

“If something is wrong you could be holding 500,000 pieces,” Pease warned. “Scrap becomes a problem measured by tonnage.”  

At that point, “nobody makes money but the UPS,” he observed.

“Lets get everything right the first time,” Pease declared.

Do you have a print?  Is the print legible?  Does it have critical dimensions? Does it cite standards or specifications?

Pease, who has taught college courses on the subject, recommends using IFI standards when possible.

Ultimately the customer’s engineer has to sign off on the print. “Good print, good part,” Pease pointed out.

Among the questions Pease suggests:

  • Is this a new part for the customer?
  • Are dimensions and tolerances readable on the print?  Type of material?
  • What raw materials are necessary? It is currently difficult to get prices on raw materials, Pease noted.  Does customer need material certs?
  • Not sure if you will be able to source domestic or imported?  Use a “blended price,” Pease suggested.
  • What is customer lead time? Delivery of the actual fastener the customer needs is not the only consideration, but when they need it? Expedite? Air shipment?
  • If plating is required, what standards are to be used? Does part need to be RoHS compliant? Is there a special thread gage fit required after plating? Are plating certifications required?
  • Do fasteners require an after-finish such as oil or wax? Dipped or spin dry? 
  • Is kitting or bagging required? How many pieces per kit/bag? How many are to be labeled?  

Beyond questions to ask, Pease offered suggestions for selling fasteners:

Pease said he orders a 12-hour bake even when only four hours are specified. “I sleep at night,” Pease explained. “If a part is brittle to begin with, it is going to fail,” Pease warned.

Advise customers who modify parts that they then cannot ask for you to take them back. “Once you start modifying a part, you own it,” Pease declared. Not only does the company own the modified part, but owns any liability too, he added.

In addition to costs with imports, there is the six-month lead time, Pease noted.

Don’t mix parts, Pease emphasized.

Be aware of quotes vs. orders. Make sure the order matches the quote.

“Take an extra 10 minutes and look at the print vs. the order,” Pease advised. Even a slight change in the order changes the fastener.

Producing a sample fastener can be critical, but not only should the supplier produce samples, but the customer must sign off on each new sample, Pease said.

MWFA offers its full list of key questions for ordering correct parts. Web:

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