CHOOSING A FOUNDRY
12 Steps to Help You Do It Right
- These important criteria will help you identify and qualify a stable foundry source with the ability to fulfill your present and future casting requirements. A foundry’s ability to consistently provide a fair price, reliable deliveries, excellent quality and responsive service is dependent upon it’s performance in twelve areas. We strongly recommend these factors be considered when evaluating your existing and potential casting source.
1. Conduct an Environmental Audit
Is the foundry in compliance with updated water, air and solid waste disposal regulations and standards? How is it preparing for the possible tightening of environmental controls? Does it have the capital resources to implement these changes? When was the last time it was inspected by a regulatory agency and what were the results?
2. Determine Depth of Management
Is the management team cross-trained to ensure a smooth transition during any unforeseen changes to the management structure? Is a succession plan in place? Does the foundry encourage continuous education?
3. Examine the foundry’s capital expenditure and investments record
Are your foundries reinvesting in their own machinery and facilities? Are they actively maintaining their equipment by doing predictive, preventive maintenance, or are they reacting to downtime situations as they occur?
4. Analyze the Pension Plan Liability
A company with a multi-employer pension plan may be forced out of business just to preserve its assets – even if currently solvent.
5. Review Product Liability Insurance and Pattern Insurance
Don’t’ settle for a simple “yes” answer. Get a copy of the foundry’s policy to make sure it is for more then the minimum coverage which could be insufficient.
6. Request a Full Financial Statement and Annual Report
Have your foundries published their earnings or paid dividends lately? Solvent companies are proud of their accomplishments and should willing to demonstrate this.
7. Determine Real Estate Value
A marginal operation sitting on millions of dollars’ worth of property can be tempted to sell out and close it’s doors. Is the foundry worth more dead than alive?
8. Check Credit and Payment History
90+ day payer with little or no borrowing power may have trouble keeping up with today’s volatile financial markets, affecting their ability to meet your demands. Talk to foundry industry suppliers for their input, and run a credit check.
9. Determine Size and Financial Ability for Handling and Financing Large Orders
Can a foundry handle a large order, or even many small ones? Can they provide Just-In-Time delivery, and do they offer stocking programs?
10. Conduct a Quality Audit
Have your quality department re-examine your current supply base through formal audits. Are your suppliers updating and following their own documented processes? Does their quality and delivery performance history prove this out?
11. Determine the relationship between Management and Labor
Is the labor force unionized, and if so, is there a long term contract in place they can be meet? Does management approach labor in a classic confrontational style or a progressive team approach?
12. Visit the President and tour the facility
The best way to properly evaluate a facility is to see it in action and meet the people that make your castings. So why not call Unicast and schedule your visit today? We are confident that you will leave with a better understanding of how a world-class foundry, such as Unicast, operates and what we can do for you.