What’s valuable to you? Family? Pizza? A cold beer and a little peace and quiet? Whatever it is, its price probably isn’t the only thing making it valuable.
And the same goes for picking out a pipe support vendor. If you want to have a valuable customer experience, choosing a vendor should mean more than just jumping on the lowest bid.
When it comes to pipe supports, there’s more to pricing than meets the eye. Here’s how to determine the true value of a manufacturer and what to consider when picking a pipe support vendor.
Why Pipe Supports Are Valuable
Before you pick a vendor, it’s important to understand how pipe supports add value in the first place. Pipe supports reinforce piping systems and help you keep your process system working smoothly longer.
Beyond keeping down immediate costs of ruptures or repairs, supports can lower long-term costs. They add value to your whole process system by upping corrosion resistance, stopping corrosive materials from creeping in, and preventing metal-on-metal damage.
How to Pick the Right Pipe Support
An effective pipe support will solve or prevent a problem in your piping system. That means identifying the problem is the first step toward a longer-lasting, more efficient system.
Not sure where to start? Here’s a quick look at how different types of pipe supports help in different ways:
If you want to extend the life of your process system, controlling pipe movement is key. You may want to stop movement altogether in some cases, and other situations call for redirecting movement. Pipe restraints control movement to reduce wear, minimize corrosion, calm vibrations, and keep pipes from crashing into other objects.
Pipe shoes add support to elevated piping. They lift piping off surrounding objects that could cause damage. At the same time, they add reinforcement, stop metal-on-metal contact, add insulation, and get rid of the need for welding.
Once you determine which type of pipe support you need, it’s time to decide how well the specific product will solve the problem. For instance, you might know you need to stabilize pipes that are exposed to heavy vibrations. However, just any old pipe restraint won’t necessarily do the trick. You’ll want to consider how well the restraint holds up in your environment, whether it was built to fit your system, and how well liners absorb vibrations.
When you’ve got a grasp on your needs, you should be ready to browse vendors. But if you want your buying experience to be valuable, there are some key tricks to picking out the right vendor.
What to Consider When Picking a Vendor
One of the biggest mistakes a shopper can make is going into the bidding process cold. Instead, it’s a good idea to nail down your priorities and decide what qualities are most important to your company. Here’s what to consider:
Hidden costs are frustrating, and they’re a mess for your accounting team. If a vendor isn’t being honest and up front about what things cost, it might not be worth working with them in the long run.
You could spend years picking out the perfect pipe support, but if it doesn’t get to the right place, at the right time, it’s all for nothing. Lay out your delivery needs right away and make sure the vendor can meet them.
Piping products are up against scary, invisible forces, including high pressure, corrosive materials, extreme temperatures, and harsh environments. Quality is a must if you want your piping system to last. Make sure your vendor stands by the quality of their products.
Customer service is one of those things that isn’t usually a concern, until there’s a disaster. Want a bit of advice? If you’re worried about a vendor’s customer service, trust your gut. If they aren’t working to meet your needs during the bidding process, it’s probably a good indication they won’t go above and beyond for you in the future.
Once you’ve identified which qualities are most important to your business, assign each of them a weight. Then, rate your potential vendors in each category. This will help you determine the true value each vendor is offering your business.
Clear Up Your Questions
Have questions about the bidding process or products for your next job? We’re here to help. Send us a note here.