There are several factors to consider when trying to find a reliable metal manufacturer in Vietnam. Vietnamese manufacturing is different from China and developed countries.
We have seen some significant differences when visiting and discussing with hundreds of metal factories. The final choice depends on several factors we verify and analyse when providing our Supplier Search services in this industry.
The customer has to present a good share of the metal factory’s turnover. As a rule, you can say that the % of the total turnover is the same % you get attention for your production. The ideal could be somewhere between 10-20% yearly. Vietnam has all sizes of metal manufacturing factories, and many have low minimum order rules.
The factory must have a competent sales, engineering and quality control team.
Although Vietnamese metal factories and the industry are generally very export-oriented, the language skills are not always adequate.
This can be a problem when dealing with the supplier by email and from a distance.
We have seen several times that in the first meetings, metal factories bring in external people who speak English but are no longer available at the later phase of production.
In our role, FinnSEA follows the communication between the supplier and customer, and we intervene in case of linguistic or cultural misunderstandings.
The engineering team in metal factories is also essential for the customer. They can find small mistakes in the customer’s drawings and propose better technical manufacturing solutions. If the customer does not have final 3D-drawings, they can be done by the metal factory’s engineering team.
Many Vietnamese metal factories do not have a complete ERP system. Production is run with Excel, and quality control documentation is not adequate. It is vital to compare the documentation needed and what is available in the supplier selection. It starts with production status weekly reporting to quality control documents, including raw material controls.
Location and factory premises
Metal manufacturing factories in Vietnam are often in industrial parks and nearby water for factories that provide large components to power plants and marine businesses like offshore rigs and boats. Depending on the customer, the choice of the factory has to consider the mode of transport for the ordered goods.
If products are shipped in containers, there must be suitable access for container trucks and enough space for storing the goods before container loading.
Distance from the nearest port is less critical than people think. If the production goes as planned, a 2-hour difference in transport to port does not play a role, either from time or cost. If the products are shipped by boat on the deck, the supplier needs to have direct access to barges through their port. Products will then be off-loaded from barges directly to vessels on the shore.
Metal manufacturing factories in Vietnam mostly have the ISO9001:2015 certification.
Depending on which industrial sector they are doing their primary business, they can have special certificates like pressure vessels. FinnSEA has noted that some companies have their own QMS, and most of our customers have accepted it as they also have trusted the inline and final inspections of FinnSEA.
Metal manufacturing company welders can be junior-level trainees, but most of the workforce has welding certificates. Our customers specify the minimum certificates needed for their production.
The Vietnamese metal fabrication industry is a competent outsourcing industry. All major manufacturers have a large portion of their business, which is outsourced by foreign companies and will be shipped out of Vietnam. There is no rule where the goods go, sometimes back to customers’ premises and often directly to the final destination where they make part of a larger installation.
There are differences in exporting to the USA, Europe, or other countries, especially in needed paperwork and documents. Therefore, suppliers already shipping to customers’ locations have a slight advantage over others. This, however, must be a disqualifying factor neither weigh too much on the final supplier selection.
For some customers, having their competitor as a reference is a good sign; some customers fear technology leakage possibilities and do not want their products manufactured in the same factories as their competitors.
At FinnSEA, we have noted that factories often tend to have customers from the same industries, like manufacturing for pulp-and paper mills, for powerplants etc. This, of course, has advantages as the solutions and products often are similar and have experience.
All the above and several other factors are part of the FinnSEA Nordesks Supplier Search process.
We have provided several high-quality supply chains for our customers over the years in Vietnam. Our expert and independent third-party approach, step by step, moving with questioners and contacting from a large pool of suppliers to a selection of companies to be audited and visited jointly with you, guarantees a successful result. Contact us to find your best supplier(s) in Vietnam.
What products are, amongst others, suitable for outsourcing and sourcing in Vietnam? Here is a list of some of the most common products:
In Vietnam, you can produce
- products made by aluminium extrusion
- stainless steel
- cast iron
- mild and hard steel
- metal stamping
- copper and steel wires
- electrical cables
- copper sheets and busbars
- cabinets and metal sheet boxes with powder coating
- metal pipes
- copper pipes
- fittings for pipes
- anchors and fasteners
- sheet metal products