Questions to Ask Your Aluminum and Other Metal Supplier

If you're in charge of a production facility or need to order aluminum and other metals regularly for any reason, you want to ensure you choose the right supplier. A good supplier will work with you to ensure that you get the right metal for your application, and may offer services you had not considered. Note a few questions to ask your aluminum supplier or other metal supplier before you decide to use them as your regular vendor.

1. Note if they can collect and then give you a discount for your scrap metals

Most production facilities will create scrap metal pieces and shavings, and the price you could get for these from a recycling center can be significant. Your metal supplier may be able to simply collect them from you and in turn, give you a discount on your metal prices. They can then bring them to a recycling facility or use them in their own facility, melting them down or fabricating them into new metal pieces for reuse. Even if they don't give you much of a discount by collecting these pieces, this can keep them out of landfills and ensure they're recycled and not wasted.

2. Ask if they can fabricate metal for you

While your production facility may need to invest in certain equipment and production workers to fabricate metal according to a wide variety of specifications, having your metal supplier handle some of this fabricating work can save you time and cost. Even if they simply cut the metal to a certain size or run it through a metal punch machine in order to punch a design into the metal, this can be easier for you than having to invest in a number of machines and operators in order to do all the fabricating you need for your metal.

3. Ask before you assume you can pick up metals

You may think that you can save money on your aluminum and other metal supplies by picking up the materials on your own, but not all suppliers have an actual sales room or allow for what is called will-call customers. In some cases you can make an appointment to pick up your materials but in others, a company may not allow you to be in their facility at all. Before you assume that you can save on the cost by handling the driving yourself, be sure you ask a potential vendor first.