Purchasing 101

Are you new to purchasing in the Manufacturing Industry? Welcome to a brief snippet of what this job is about. From a metal manufacturing view point, everything comes down to Part Numbers and Purchase Orders aka POs. Here at VIP we treat Part Numbers and Prints as one in the same. We like to keep things simple because we always fabricate to print. Fabricating to print is difficult in itself, because there are many engineers that can design parts but can it be built is the question. This is a whole new topic. So staying on topic, you can read more about what a manufacturing print is about by clicking here.

A part number is a print and can also be referred to as a drawing.

Drawing = Print = Part Number

These are all one in the same. A print must have all pertinent information to allow for a manufacturer to quote. The minimum info requirements for a print to allow VIP to quote are the following.

  • Material Type
  • Material Thickness
  • Overall Dimensions
  • Finish such as paint or powder
  • Quantity

Even if the drawing is on a napkin but has all this information, VIP will be able to quote. It is literally impossible for a manufacturer to quote if one of the above details are missing. The drawing will then have a part number which is usually on the bottom right corner of the document. The following image shows the DWG NO (Drawing Number) which is the same as the PN (Part Number).

The Purchasing Agent would submit a RFQ package with prints and quantities for each. The part number is important for Purchasing Agents to familiarize themselves with. After a quote is received from a manufacturer, then a Purchase Order is issued. The Purchase Order is the next key document and the binding contract between supplier and customer. The more details provided during the RFQ the better. This allows for the manufacturer to plan accordingly. What other details can be provided? The following are a few other examples that a Purchasing Agent my define that is not on the print.

  • First Article Inspection Requirements
  • Certificate of Conformance
  • Approved Supplier Lists – Special Processes have to be done by a specific suppliers
  • Source Inspection

We hope you enjoyed this read and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions. Feedback is always appreciated so feel free to comment. Thanks!

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