Can your tooling provider keep up? Look for these 2 red flags.


Unresponsive tooling providers don’t do your business any service. Sure, they have your orders in their system and routine deliveries run smoothly.

But the second you need a hand, their operational inflexibility becomes apparent.

We saw this firsthand with a large provider of medical-grade equipment. The customer needed a special tool, and they couldn’t afford to wait weeks for a non-standard.

In the hands of another partner, this opportunity may have come and gone. They could’ve cited low part availability or simply said, “That’s not possible.”

Though it was a special part, the actual order was quite simple. This caught the attention of the technical service representative as it came across their desk.

“It was a simple solution,” said Steve Oszust, Product Development Manager and Lead Tool Design Engineer at Fullerton Tool. “To help save time, we shipped the customer some uncoated tools. But the customer didn’t even think to do that. We just thought of offering it to them right out of the gate.”

So, how can you identify a flexible, responsive tooling provider before ever running into a problem? Keep reading. We’ll point out two red flags and share our perspective on questions to ask a potential tooling partner.

Red flag #1: You can’t get assistance with late-in-game problems.

Emergency stoppages strike when you least expect them. No operation has time to spare — you need solutions in hours, not days.

Ask your tooling provider:

  • Who will be on call if I need after-hours help?
  • How much experience does your sales team have with troubleshooting processing problems?

The answers to these questions will give you a good idea of how your tooling provider will respond to late-in-game processing issues,

When an automotive customer came to us with an urgent request to make an order of saws, they didn’t have time to waste. Their current supplier’s parts led to above-average tool usage and unexpected tool failures. The frustration of quality issues that resulted in damage to expensive custom arbors wasn’t helping, either.

The Fullerton team was able to keep their plant running by making design changes on the fly and creating a new custom part. Generating a fully customized saw required to-the-minute coordination across engineering, manufacturing and outside sales team members. The resulting part was created specifically for the automotive customer’s manufacturing process, and we got it out the door on-time.

With our fully customized tool, our efforts have since stabilized the unexpected failures and we have more than doubled tool life. By saving 87 processing hours, we helped the customer generate over $177,000 in cost savings.

And because our operation could bend to meet the problem, we saved the customer from a major headache.

When engineering resources are only a phone call or a text away, there’s no excuse for not enlisting a deep bench of specialists to help you solve the problem. That way you can get back to 100% operational.

Red flag #2: Ordering and quoting is inefficient and slow.

Efficient, one-click ordering is what we’ve come to expect from our shopping experiences. More and more manufacturers are digitizing their ordering process. It takes investment to make these resources not only available, but workable for day-to-day-use.

Ask your tooling provider:

  • Where can I access pricing and/or quoting tools?
  • Can I place orders and track shipments online?
  • What about quotes for non-standard parts?
  • Can you complete custom orders in tight turnarounds?
  • How can I stay up to date on stock?

The answers to these questions will give you an idea of how easy it’s going to be for you to get quotes and order tools from your provider. If it’s going to be a headache, you want to know that up front.

Custom orders for non-standard parts are notorious for eating up the time of both parties, to the point that shop managers avoid even quoting them altogether.

At Fullerton, our team works to provide custom quotes in as quick as 4 hours.

“We’re doing our own web development to make it really easy for customers to order tools, get quotes, and find information,” said Jeff Hogya, North American Sales Manager at Fullerton Tool. “We’re working on the other side of the business to digitize the shop and make some of these flows even more efficient.”

Place your trust in a proactive tooling provider

At Fullerton, we put in the work to make sure your problems get solved faster.

Interested in quotes that take less time and tools that arrive quicker? Start a conversation with our tooling experts today.

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