Every company is different and each business faces unique challenges, needs and demands.
So, although here at Locker Group we have an impressive range of stock products available off the shelf, we are not under the false impression that we can get away with treating each client the same. When a customer comes to us with a need, it's our job to determine which solution will best achieve his or her objectives.
An off-the-shelf product could be just the right fit, but in many cases, a custom-manufactured solution is the best way to achieve business-specific requirements. Not only should products be tailored for each customer, but the full service needs to be customised to provide the very best experience and result for the client. Expert advice and tailored service from the first contact all the way through to packaging and delivery are what makes the difference.
So, what does this mean for perforated metal?
Perforated metal is an extremely versatile material and is used across a very wide range of industries from food and beverage, to pharmaceutical, automotive, mining, electronics, HVAC, security, and the list goes on.
Equally, the potential range of end-uses is vast. In the case of architectural applications the desired outcome is often largely driven by aesthetics. In contrast, for 'industrial' applications the performance criteria are extremely diverse. Often the material needs to be some combination of strong, non-reactive, ant-slip, wear resistant, hard, smooth, porous, sound attenuating and maybe attractive as well. Only by careful combination of material, finish and perforation profile can these varied demands be met.
Delivering the right solutions requires the right tooling
Whether creating a fully customised solution or providing a pre-punched sheet, the ability to take on a given job and produce it to a very high standard, is reliant on the range and quality of punching tools you have available to you. Having the right tools for the job go a long way to getting the best outcome for the customer.
This principle extends far beyond just being able to punch the right sized hole. The quality of the tools and machinery and the experience of the people running them have a huge impact on the quality of the finished product. Perfect flatness, clean, burr-free perforations, scratch-free surfaces and tight tolerances are all consequences of getting things right in this regard, but are far from a 'given' in our industry.
Offering the right services requires the right knowledge
Our customers are rarely experts in perforated metal and so often they don't know what is actually possible. Without guidance, they may end up with a product that is fit for their purpose but falls short of meeting the full potential the material can offer.
Catering to all ends of the industrial spectrum requires an in-depth knowledge of how each product performs and contributes to the solution. The key is understanding the application and what the customer wants to achieve, combined with understanding the capabilities and potential of the perforated material. What happens when hole sizes change? How does a different material affect the performance of the final product?
This is where the best technical teams in the business come in. With a huge amount of know-how and experience, technical sales reps, estimators, toolmakers, programmers and highly skilled machine operators consult with customers to offer more than just an off-the-shelf solution that 'does the job'.
It's about helping clients hit the criteria that are really going to make a difference to them and their operations – whether this is optimising their own manufacturing processes, maximising lifespan or reducing operating costs. High-quality perforated metal products need to not only meet objectives, but also improve processes and solve problems.
Working with Australian companies requires local experience
Only those with very best technical know-how and the widest bank of tools can effectively meet the demands of Australian businesses. Perforated metal is not an out-of-the-box purchase – even if the product itself is. Even the most standard solution requires a tailored service.
It's clear that our industry needs to be about more than just manufacturing a mass-produced solution and hoping for the best. Instead, perforated metal sourced from a capable and flexible business has the potential to meet many specific needs and objectives.
And this requires in-depth, local knowledge and experience. Not only are we active where you are, we've been here for a long time and we aren't going anywhere. As a large company with a national footprint, offering local, industry-specific solutions is easy.
By Mike Back, National BDM, Locker Group