When it comes to pipe fittings, there are two major types of fulfillment: quick-turn manufacturing and stock orders. While there may be some edge cases, which type of fulfillment is best will usually be obvious depending on the part and its use. Here’s what you need to know about these different types of ordering parts, their pros, and their cons.
Quick-Turn Manufacturing: Get It When You Need It
Quick-turn manufacturing is a rapid type of manufacturing, under which all the parts are ordered as they are needed. If you need prototype parts, you would be doing quick-turn manufacturing. If you need an unpredictable number of parts, at an unpredictable time, you will want to do quick-turn manufacturing.
Traditionally, quick-turn manufacturing is, despite the name, slower — because the parts have to be made and then shipped. But that’s not always true today, because there have been significant advancements in technology. However, because the parts do need to be made and then shipped, it’s likely to be more expensive.
That being said, quick-turn manufacturing is useful because companies are able to acquire the parts they need on the fly without any pre-planning. They don’t need to order a lot of parts, just the parts they need. And with the right company, they can get their parts very quickly. Quick-turn manufacturing is advancing very quickly as a form of “on-demand” manufacturing, and as a way that companies are able to produce even better parts for their applications.
When making a quick-turn order, the company itself is going to need specifications of the parts they need and will have to work with the manufacturer to make sure that the part is accurate to their specifications.
Stock Order Manufacturing: Ordering Direct from Stock
A stock order is an order for an item that is already in stock, or that has been manufactured in large batches. Frequently, companies will order a large stock of a part and work their way through that stock, in order to get a bulk discount and to get the products faster.
However, this may not save the company money if they end up not using all those parts, or they end up not needing any of them.
Ordering from stock can be ideal if there is an extant stock involved, but in the case of rapid prototyping, or unique company equipment and builds, ordering from stock usually isn’t feasible or possible. Ordering from stock means the order can’t be customized, and that the company has to track down a supply of the product.
The core problem of stock order fulfillment is the fact that companies may simply not have a given part in stock. When companies don’t have a component in stock, it’s likely that it’s going to require a turn order manufacturing regardless. An organization might need to go through multiple distributors to find stock, and for rarer parts, it may ultimately be less expensive to manufacture them themselves.
When ordering from stock, the company will need to know the products that they need down to the finest detail. However, once they find a supplier for that stock, they should be able to get those parts whenever they need them.
Quick Turn vs. Stock
A quick turn order is ideal whenever the order has to be customized or when it’s a part that cannot otherwise be found. Thus, it’s usually pretty obvious when a company needs a quick turn order. Similarly, a stock order is ideal when items are in stock and can be deployed quickly. So, if there is a stock item that meets the criteria, it’s usually better to order that stock item.
A caveat, though, is that it’s not necessarily better to order a lot of a stock item to head off needing to order it in the past (it’s possible that the company may never need it). It can also be beneficial to perform a quick turn order even if stock parts are available because the quick turn order can be customized.
Both quick turn and stock orders can usually be done through the same distributor. There are many pipe fittings available in stock, but there are also many customizations that can be added to a pipe fitting to make it more viable for a given application. Before making a decision regarding a quick turn or stock part it’s best to consult with the professionals. A professional may be able to tell you whether a stock pipe fitting is the right decision for you, or whether changes should be made.