• Ketchie CNC Machining

Why Our Machine Shop Loves Pre-Quote Calls

When machine shops quote a job accurately, it saves both the shop and the customer money, time, and hassle. But if a request for quote (RFQ) doesn’t include all the necessary information, your parts could end up being made incorrectly or failing the FAI (First Article Inspection).


To identify potential issues before manufacturing begins, we set up a pre-quote call whenever possible so we can align with customers on key part features and requirements.


During this call, we’ll cover everything from where and how the part will be used to quality assurance to material type to design for manufacturing (DFM), all with the goal of delivering an accurate quote and improving the customer experience.


Quality Requirements


Does your part need to adhere to any material certifications, FAI requirements, or PPAP (Production Part Approval Process) specifications? It’s important for us to know this information upfront.


During our pre-quote call, we’ll define all quality requirements for your project. We’ll gauge calibration studies before machining to guarantee your part design meets the necessary manufacturing standards.


Part Type: Existing or New?


Our process varies depending on whether a part is new or has been made before. A pre-quote call helps us learn more about the part’s history so we can take the most comprehensive and cost-effective approach to machining your part.


Existing Parts: If your part has been made before, we’ll have a few questions about the part’s history to identify prior challenges (e.g. quality, lead time, cost) that we can likely fix moving forward. If necessary, we’ll recommend adjustments to the part design to help resolve previous complications.


We also want to know more about the part’s ultimate function. If you’re requesting a quote for a replacement part, for example, we’ll want to know how, when, and why the part fails in the field. We may suggest additional processes such as heat treating to make the part better and stronger.


New Parts: A close review of a new part will help us get it right the first time. Here’s what we’ll review in the pre-quote call:


  • Design: Ketchie’s comprehensive machining services include everything from build-to-print fabrications to individualized DFM (Design for Manufacturing) optimization. We’ll help you determine the most effective approach for your part.

  • Function: We’ll need to understand the function of the part to ensure the highest accuracy and precision. It’s common for us to have questions about tolerances. Are your tolerances tighter than they need to be? Did you clearly distinguish slip fit vs. press fit?

  • Volume and Life Cycle: If it’s a prototype part, will it eventually enter production? Will you need high or low volume production runs? Current and anticipated volume—along with the expected life cycle of the part—influences how we manufacture it and how we cost it out.


Additional Information


We’ll cover additional important topics in the pre-quote call, including:


  • Material Type: How flexible are you regarding material type? There may be opportunities to replace expensive materials with comparable, economical options to reduce cost.

  • Casting vs. Weldment: Which process makes the most sense for your part? Depending on the intended production volume, we may be able to convert weldments to castings and save you money.

  • General Machine Shop Concerns: Do you have any questions or concerns before we get started? Maybe you were burned by your previous machine shop or you’re worried about affecting your relationship with other manufacturers. Whatever keeps you up at night, we want to know. Our team loves developing long-lasting partnerships with customers. Tell us how we can best serve you and we’ll work to accommodate your needs.


A pre-quote call may feel like an extra step in the beginning of our relationship, but the long-term benefits more than justify the additional effort. Help us help you save money, time, and hassle for your next project. Request a quote today and let’s get started!