Pennsylvania Spring Company Sees Reshoring Trend Due to Quality Concern by Rebecca Carnes, A Design-2-Part magazine - April 2014
Even a $10 spring needs to be of the upmost quality. Because as some customers of Ace Wire Spring & Form Co., Inc. are learning after going overseas, their $500,000 piece of equipment isn’t worth anything if the spring inside of it isn’t of high-quality craftsmanship.
Experienced craftsmen, some with 30 or more years of experience at Ace Wire Spring & Form Co., Inc., help bring a quality of craftsmanship that is motivating customers to return home after having outsourced their manufacturing overseas
“We’re starting to see a lot of our clients whom we haven’t seen in a couple of years start to come back to us and say, ‘Wow, I’m really sorry I left you guys because everything went downhill after that,’” said Bob McCormick, sales engineering manager for Ace Wire Spring, in a phone interview.
Ace Wire Spring (www.acewirespring.com), based in McKees Rocks, Pa., is a custom manufacturer of compression springs, extension springs, torsion springs, and wire forms (see feature, Manufacturer Has Added Value, Technical Capability for 75 Years). The company is ISO 9001:2008 certified and ITAR registered and, along with a quality control manager on staff, its strength in offering high quality products comes from its engineers and craftsmen, many of whom have been with the company for 30 years or more.
Customers who had left Ace a few years ago to go overseas for cheaper prices are now realizing that the loss of quality of product costs them more money in the long run. Anyone can look at five quotes and pick the cheapest one to go with, but a purchasing agent should consider a number of factors when choosing a contract manufacturer, including quality, delivery time, and customer service, McCormick said.
“I think what it all comes down to is people are realizing price is not the only reason you buy things. You buy for quality work, good delivery, and a good relationship with a company. That’s more important than just price,” he said.
Customers are welcome to come to Ace’s plant and McCormick said he frequently will visit customers to resolve issues or just to touch base.
“Just two weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and went to see our customers down South just to say ‘thanks’ and ‘we’re here if you need us,’” McCormick said. “We have certain clients that we have blanket orders with that have been with us for years, and we always touch base with them.”
Engineers on staff help solve any problems a customer might have and also help them pick the right metal for a project. Ace has manufactured products for virtually every industry and in an array of configurations, from complex designs down to basic straight and cuts. The company maintains a close rapport with its customers that helps maintain a tight working relationship, McCormick said.
‘We’re here and we’re a phone call away,” he said. “Overseas, you’re never a phone call away. Plus we speak English,” McCormick said, stressing that Ace is known for its detailed precision, sensible pricing, impeccable delivery, and unparalleled quality.