Find the Right Manufacturer on the MFG Platform
The right RFQ finds the right manufacturer
As someone trying to get custom parts made, finding a manufacturer is one thing, but finding the right manufacturer with the specific manufacturing process capabilities you need for your project is key.
Nobody has time to wade through thousands of potential manufacturing facilities, and you don’t want to engage a manufacturer that isn’t going to deliver to your expectations. This is the very problem that we solve for thousands of users every day.
MFG can connect you to the right manufacturing partner for your project, but it all starts with the Request For Quote (RFQ). The RFQ is the critical first step that we use to find manufacturers with the manufacturing process that you need. If your RFQ is missing detail or includes incorrect information, it will negatively affect your ability to find a manufacturer or at the very least slow it down to a crawl.
Below, we’ll take a look at what it takes to post an RFQ that will give you the best chance of finding a manufacturer that will understand your project, meet your expectations, and give you the best chance of establishing a long term relationship you can rely on in the future.
First off, a number of requirements are necessary for your RFQ to be posted on the platform. These are the elements that are must-haves on the platform and form the basic information for every RFQ we process.
Completed company profile with a company description, logo, and website. Your company profile allows a manufacturer to verify who you are and that you are a serious buyer who is ready to do business. Our manufacturers don’t want to waste their time any more than you want to waste yours, so make sure you include these elements in your profile and they will be more likely to respond.
Fully dimensioned drawing/CAD for all parts. Part files are critical to ensuring that your project is understood by a manufacturer. These could include detailed 2D drawings and/or 3D models. Also, remember that your proprietary work is covered under MFG’s NDAs, so you can have the peace of mind you need. Accepted formats include: .pdf, .jpg, .tif, .bmp, .png, .dxf, .dwg, .stl, .stp, .step, .sldprt, .igs, .iges, .ipt, or .x_t.
Material specification for every component. You need to specify materials for each component in your project. This will ensure the manufacturers we match for your project have the materials necessary to fulfill your order.
Parts and files are structured appropriately for quoting. Each part specified in the RFQ becomes a line item for suppliers to quote. It is very important that you organize your part files so that each part has an associated part file for the manufacturer to reference. Keep in mind, every part becomes a line item in the RFQ, and the manufacturer will be entering pricing for each one when quoting. This allows the manufacturer to provide you with a more accurate quote and helps keep you more informed on what the overall cost of your project is expected to be.
Quoting quantities and quantity units that are compatible with the drawings and notes. Be sure that when you are specifying quantities that the quantity unit is understood and that the drawings and notes support it. This helps us find a manufacturer for your project quicker, as we don’t have to reach out to you for corrections.
All required tolerances, finishes, and manufacturing processes are provided. You’ll need to provide all the manufacturing processes and post-processes necessary for your part. This will ensure that the manufacturers brought to you are not just able to shape the part, but to finish it as well.
All provided information is consistent. The most important requirement in helping you find a manufacturer on the MFG platform is to make sure all the selected elements for your part are consistent across all part files, RFQ data, and notes. While our team can help, the more consistency in your specifications, the sooner your part can get to the manufacturer to consider quoting.
Below are some recommendations that will help your RFQ get to the right manufacturer. These are gleaned from various interactions we’ve had with buyers and manufacturers on the platform over many years, and can make a big difference in your ability to find a facility with a manufacturing process that supports your particular project’s needs.
Provide both detailed 2D drawings and 3D models for every part if available. Part files are the most valuable pieces of information in the RFQ. If you can provide detailed 2D and 3D visualizations for each part, it will greatly increase your chances of finding a manufacturer to build them. As a reminder, MFG provides two levels of NDAs (Single Confirm and Double Confirm) so you can be sure that your intellectual property is protected.
Include any special instructions and/or part info for manufacturing notes to list project requirements, scope, and further clarify the request. Be sure to make use of the open text fields in the RFQ submission to communicate any special requirements you need in the manufacturing process. The more details you can give about your expectations, the better our manufacturers can determine whether they are able to provide what you are looking for.
Note any specific manufacturing process instructions. If you have any specific instructions on the manufacturing process, be sure to note it. These can include any specific manufacturing techniques, equipment required, assembly methods, welding instructions, or secondary processes. This helps us ensure we match you with manufacturers that are able to fulfill all aspects of your project.
Note any optional material grades or finishes. If any of your grades or finishes are optional, be sure to indicate it in the RFQ. Also note if an alternative would be acceptable. For example, you may note that an aluminum part could be quoted with or without an anodized finish. By making the finish optional, you can greatly increase the amount of manufacturers available to take on your project.
Note any known annual production estimates or future business potentials. Is your request a sample run for a much bigger project down the road? Make sure to indicate this so MFG can find a manufacturer who can handle your future production as well. Doing so also indicates to manufacturers considering quoting that there is a potential for future work which substantially increases the value of your project and the relationship and may stir up more interest from manufacturers to quote your project.
Provide detailed welding and/or assembly instructions as needed. Will your part have any additional fabrication needs? Many of our manufacturers provide welding and/or other assembly, but some do not. If you provide a note in the RFQ about what you need, MFG can find a manufacturer who can fulfill those requirements.
Actively respond to supplier queries and build business relationships. There are people behind all our manufacturer profiles that value good business relationships, the same as you do. Be sure to be responsive and answer their questions and nurture the relationships to build partnerships that you can go to for the next project and the ones after that.
We’ve seen a lot of RFQs and there are a few standout issues that we want to make you aware of to ensure your experience on the MFG platform is a good one. Here are the most common RFQ mistakes we see.
Uploading multiple part file formats as multiple parts in the RFQ. All of a part’s files should be uploaded to the Part Attachments section when editing the details of that part. Duplicate part line items should be removed. This prevents manufacturers from having to review duplicate files as they are reviewing the parts.
Misunderstanding or not updating the 3 RFQ dates. These are critical elements for our manufacturers to consider when quoting your project, and it is important to get them right.
- The Quotes Needed By field is the final date the RFQ will be open for quoting in the Marketplace.
- The Estimated Award field is the estimated date the RFQ parts are expected to be awarded to the manufacturer who wins the bid.
- The Part Delivery Date field specifies when the part is expected to be delivered to you and can be found by editing the details of each part.
Sourcing assemblies. If a completed assembly is being sourced from a single manufacturer, the individual component drawings should be uploaded to a single part in the RFQ containing the assembly drawing. In that part, the Quantity Units should be designated as “Assemblies”. All component drawings can be uploaded to the Part Attachments section when editing the details of the part. If only the individual parts for an assembly are available for quoting, the parts could be listed as multiple line items.
Our buyers and the RFQs you post are the lifeblood of our business, and we’ll do everything possible to ensure your experience with the MFG platform is a positive one. Be sure to use the guidelines above to ensure your project is completed on-time and to your specifications by a manufacturer you can trust. Get started and find a manufacturer for your project today!
If you don’t have all of this information ready and would like assistance from a manufacturer or MFG team member, you can submit a Partial RFQ with what you do have ready.
Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips you’d like to share. We’d love to hear them!
MFG connects quality custom part suppliers to quality buyers, enabling both parties to streamline their work and build strong relationships.
Join MFG as a Buyer or Manufacturer.