Filling out a PO, or purchase order, is a standard task when working with a precision machine shop. Once you’ve submitted plenty of them, it’s easy to make a habit of rushing through them. After all, a PO is just for record-keeping, right?
A PO is more than a commitment to purchase. The document is a contract between the customer and manufacturer, detailing what, how, and when parts will be made and stating the agreed-upon price.
A PO is a customer’s last chance to confirm these details before handing the project over to the manufacturer. Errors or missing information in a PO can result in costly mistakes down the line.
Details matter, and POs are no exception.
Common Mistakes on Incomplete POs
Filling out a PO might not take long, but that doesn’t undermine its importance. This document serves as the backbone of many manufacturing processes. Treating the PO like an afterthought results in missing information crucial to receiving correct parts on time, especially with jobs involving complex CNC machining.
Here are common mistakes made when filling out a PO:
- Forgetting to update the revision number increases the chances of getting outdated parts and dealing with associated delays.
- Providing unclear due dates hampers production schedules and delivery times.
- Leaving out quality clauses leads to unnecessary back-and-forth, miscommunications, and delays, especially for aerospace machining jobs.
- Miscommunicating pricing results in unexpected hold-ups and tense disputes.
The ripple effect of miscommunication
The consequences of an incomplete PO are often far-reaching. For example, neglecting to clarify a specification like domestic material requirements can lead to a scenario where a shop quotes inaccurate costs and lead times or can’t plan ahead to find the actual material you need amid ongoing supply chain issues. Forgetting to note a specification in aerospace machining can lead to a complete freeze in manufacturing while the shop resolves the problem.
Even minor oversights like missing part marking information can delay processes, as workers spend time chasing down correct information or recreating it from scratch.
Our team excels at manufacturing complex parts, but we’re not mindreaders. Clear, proactive communication is essential when working with a precision machine shop—especially when it comes to POs.
PO Accuracy in Complex CNC Machining
Providing a comprehensive, accurate PO at the time of quote ensures a smooth workflow from day one, reducing chances of error, delay, and miscommunication.
Here are some tips for submitting an effective PO:
- Provide a print and a CAD model with the PO to expedite the process.
- Call out any deviations from standard processes in the PO.
- Include required critical quality clauses with the PO or offer a clear link to access them online.
And when in doubt, overcommunicate. The more information a precision machine shop receives, the more prepared they are to meet expectations—or, in Reata’s case, exceed them.
A PO is a roadmap to success
A PO is more than just a buying agreement—it’s a roadmap to a successful partnership between the buyer and the manufacturer. Providing an accurate and comprehensive PO protects all parties involved and guarantees the delivery of a product that aligns with expectations.
Working with an experienced manufacturer like Reata means you handle the PO, and we take it from there.