Tips on How to Source a CNC Manufacturer


CNC technology has vastly improved the manufacturing and machining capabilities of machine shops. Sourcing a CNC manufacturer for your specific needs can be a real challenge. Each company you look into will have its strengths and weaknesses. You need to make sure that what you need aligns with their specific skills and offerings. It is crucial to look at several options and choose the CNC manufacturer that can handle your project within your budget and help you with any other machining issues you have.


The industry relies on technology to meet the demands of today’s machined parts. Be sure to work with a manufacturer ready to embrace new technology and stay up to date. Shops that resist upgrading their technology will be behind the curve when it comes to overall quality and cost-effectiveness. Working with a shop that stays abreast of the upgrades and technological changes in the industry will ensure you are receiving the most cost-effective production possible. Ensure the standards of communication are high as well. You will need to have open communication with the company to keep up with any production changes.

Spot Buy

When looking for a qualified CNC manufacturing company, take into consideration your specific needs and if you will have multiple projects or if your needs are a one-time thing. CNC manufacturers will offer a spot buy to cover one-time needs, though they tend to be more expensive than setting up a long-term agreement. 

Skipping a long-term agreement gives you the freedom to test out the shop and see if their capabilities meet your needs. A one-time purchase provides a unique opportunity to vet the qualifications and skills the CNC company offer. Keep in mind that shops with design capabilities tend to deliver better results. 

Short-Term Agreements

Entering into a short-term agreement is an excellent way to thoroughly vet the business. You will know the level of quality they can produce after a few runs have been completed. The CNC manufacturers’ full capabilities should be revealed by this time, letting you make the decision to extend into a long-term contract with them or not. 

Another good reason for a short-term contract is to cover yourself financially. Suppose the shop finds itself in financial trouble. In that case, a shorter deal will help you avoid any major setbacks and allow you the freedom to find another manufacturer to conduct business with.

Long-Term Agreements 

Be sure to thoroughly vet the shop before entering into a long-term agreement. They need to be able to scale with your needs. This means the agreement needs to state they can handle increased demand as your business expands. Vetting the supplier also includes getting references from them for similar jobs they have done in the past. This will show that they have a good understanding of your industry and needs. 

A good supplier will offer references right away and will treat you like a potential partner. During interactions with them, keep a note of their interest level. You don’t want to work with a company that just sees you as another job. You will be able to tell right away the type of company they are by the interactions you have with them. The best companies treat you like a partner and will communicate with you effectively with stellar service.

Blanket Orders

Blanket orders work well with the right shop.  Find a company that has excellent lines of communication. There are bound to be issues with market shifts or machining issues. A good CNC manufacturer will communicate these issues to you effectively so you can address them in real-time instead of after they happen. 

Benefits of placing a blanket order include:

  • Fast production timeframes
  • Shorter lead time requirements
  • Possible bulk order discounts
  • Ease of placing repetitive orders

Find the Right Supplier

There are several factors the CNC manufacturer has to have:

  • Commitment to Quality. The company should have proof of quality for you to see. This can be done through a gallery of previous work, testimonials, and in-depth CNC industry knowledge.
  • ISO Certification. This certification shows the supplier follows strict international guidelines that require they meet standards for workplace safety, waste reduction planning, and high-quality.

Professional CNC Manufacturer

When you start searching for a reliable, professional CNC manufacturer, look for a company that actively wants to treat you like a partner. There are always companies that can produce the product, but the better companies have excellent communication skills and will keep you informed of any issues. At Cliffe Metal Products, Inc., we have over 40 years of experience partnering with businesses of all sizes. Whether you are a startup and only require a few machined parts, or you have large orders that you need on a recurring basis, Cliffe Metal Products will get the job done.

We strive to provide our clients with the highest-quality parts at reasonable prices while partnering with you to ensure your complete satisfaction upon delivery. Our clientele covers multiple industries, including:

  • Power Generation and Transmission 
  • Oil Fields and Transportation
  • Railroads
  • Automobile and Aircraft Manufacturing
  • Water Management

At Cliffe Metal Products, Inc., our teams of machinists are experts in their fields, with decades of experience between them. We are committed to straightforward communication to remove any ambiguity. Our clients are repeat customers who refer their colleagues to us regularly. 

Call or email us today, and we will get to work machining the highest-quality custom machined parts to the exact tolerances you require.

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