Pros and Cons of Buying Small Quantities from Your Fastener Distributor
OEMs and contractors require different quantities of fasteners for different applications. Ordering smaller quantities from your fastener distributor may seem like a good idea, but you must understand both the benefits and disadvantages of buying small packs in order to make the best purchasing decision.
When Ordering Small Makes Sense
Small quantities are required when you are working on a prototype with custom fasteners. You cannot accurately assess how the product will test, and whether or not you’ll need a large quantity of the fasteners. In these cases the budget should accurately reflect any premiums associated with purchasing custom-made fasteners on a small scale. You may even need to talk directly to the manufacturer, as opposed to dealing with your fastener distributor, although they may be the best initial contact.
Specialized construction projects and short runs of products may also provide the ideal circumstances for small fastener orders, although it depends on the type of fastener. Industrial bolts made to spec can be purchased in smaller quantities for a unique building or limited edition product, but the fees to design and cast those bolts can be substantial. As long as the client or consumer is willing to cover those costs, smaller orders are possible.
Otherwise it may be wise to ask your fastener distributor for a substitute. In some cases a more common fastener, with similar standards and dimensions, can be used and either picked up “off the shelf” in manageable packages or ordered in bulk and used for projects in the future.
When Ordering Small Makes No Sense
If your product or structure will require maintenance involving the fasteners, ordering extra is a wise and affordable option. Fasteners found in wind turbines, engines and machinery all need to be serviced and replaced on a regular basis. Even if you need a custom-made fastener, it makes sense and saves money to order in larger quantities to have a supply on hand for maintenance.
Your fastener distributor will likely have a pricing structure that discounts larger volumes of fasteners. This may or may not affect your project, depending on whether or not that premium has been covered. Lead-time may also be an issue, but it tends to be similar for both small and large orders. Talk to your fastener distributor and discuss the options. Their expertise is available to serve your needs.
About the Author
Started her career in the fastener world in 1991 working at Melfast as a receptionist, also handling clerical duties. Later on she began training in sales and also taking on purchasing duties. She is currently responsible for all purchasing and also is responsible for the sales of many accounts of Melfast.