The quality of your materials often makes or breaks a project. You can’t afford to risk investing time and money in a steel and metal service center that sources from low-quality providers or skimps on quality control measures.
At Mead Metals, quality control and customer satisfaction are our driving purpose. We always prioritize trust and transparency when communicating with clients about our sourcing practices. So here’s an inside look at how we identify, correct, and handle “reject” materials before they have a chance to leave our warehouse.
WHAT IS MEAD METALS' QUALITY CONTROL PROCESS?
How do we make sure that a low-quality or incorrectly processed metal supply never makes it out the front door?
The first step is that we are ISO Certified and ROHS and DFARS compliant. We won’t go into depth here on what exactly these standards are, (click on the links for more details,) but they give us a starting roadmap for staying accountable to our customers. They also help us stay on top of what the best practices are and when standards change.
We’re not content to rest on our laurels, though. ISO, ROHS, and DFARS are just the starting point. Mead Metals checks all orders three separate times before they leave our warehouse. Our metals have a 99% quality rating — and we’re immensely proud of that.
With all that in mind, this commitment to quality doesn’t affect our lead times at all. We have an impressive on-time percentage of 99%.
When we check metal we perform a visual inspection for:
We also perform a processing inspection for:
- Mill marks
Finally, we understand that when a customer gives us specifications, it’s our commitment to adhere to them. Whether it’s the material’s width, thickness, or tolerance, the accuracy of those parameters is crucial to the success of our customers’ projects.
Sometimes those specifications are so tight that it may not be immediately evident if a mistake has been made. So we always send out a sample piece with all of our slit coil shipments that reflects the quality, gauge, and other specifications. This makes it easy to check if the material complies without having to open the package.
WHAT ARE REJECT MATERIALS?
To put it simply, reject materials are defective products that fail to comply with the needs of the customer. In rare instances when a problem occurs with a material order, it usually falls into one of two categories: specification errors or rust issues.
When a material doesn’t conform to the desired specifications called out in an order, we do everything in our power to honor the original commitment. As many times as we “measure three times and cut once,” sometimes a slit size comes out too narrow or material comes through with excessive burring. If it isn’t workable or it’s getting jammed in a customer’s equipment, there’s an issue there. Though this is an incredibly rare occurrence, we encourage our customers to contact us immediately so that we can fix these errors.
While specification issues are pretty easy to nail down and correct, rust issues can be a little more grey. We’re very attentive to the quality of our metal material before it’s shipped out. That being said, once it leaves our facility, we have little control over how the material is being stored or handled.
Different metals will develop rust in certain conditions, and if materials were delivered already rusted, we want to know about it as soon as possible. However, if the material rusts days or weeks after delivery, that could just as easily be due to storage practices or environmental factors.
HOW DO WE HANDLE REJECT MATERIALS?
Because every order and customer relationship is different, our approach to defective materials is unique too. Sometimes we take back material and rework it. Other times, it might be that the order needs to be replaced. In other instances, the error may not be on our end, and we can’t accept liability for the issue.
Whatever the problem or circumstance, our policy is to find solutions for our customers. We always listen to their needs and help them as best we can. This is just one example of how we strive to give all of our customers what we call The Mead Experience.
One of the benefits of being a smaller metal supplier is the ability to give our customers the time, attention, and service they deserve. It’s what we do when things are going great. And whenever something goes wrong, we see it as an opportunity to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Don’t delay that project that’s been on your to-do list any longer. Reach out for a quick quote today to see just how much we care about delivering a high-quality product, every time.