Mueller Blog

Working With Mueller From Start to Finish in 5 Steps

Posted by Mueller Custom Cut Solutions Team on Feb 8, 2021 10:09:00 AM

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When you need an innovative custom cut solution, you should work with a company that can deliver what you want.

From the initial concept to the first shipment, our team has the tools and expertise to create a product that performs.

Here’s what to expect when you’re working with Mueller Custom Cut from start to finish.

What Are the 5 Steps of Working With Mueller?

Our method can be broken down into five stages: customer Q&A, expectations assessment, estimation process, order & inspection, and shipping & follow-up.

Customer Q&A

We want to know everything there is to know about your product, so the first step is a thorough question-and-answer session. 

“Allow Mueller to be a good listener,” said Michael Bryant, Sales Manager. “Equip us with the information to make sure that we’re striving to meet the customer’s expectations from the beginning of the project.”

Our team needs to know exactly what you want the product to do. We must have a clear understanding of your budget, timeline, and any other important details that contribute to the big picture. 

“If we go working on a project with assumptions, there’s a good chance we’re coming back not meeting the customer’s expectations,” Bryant said.

Mueller gathers as much information as possible by talking to your team to find out how the product will be used, received, and applied. We pick everyone’s brains—from engineering to production to quality control—to learn the product’s purpose.

Expectations Assessment

The second step is taking your information, evaluating our capabilities, and assessing your expectations. 

For this, we turn to the team of experts at Mueller. We talk to people in various departments—such as engineering, purchasing, and estimating—who know the most about your product and the potential ways we could bring it to life.

Our goal is to combine economical materials with streamlined processes to give you optimal efficacy and a competitive advantage. We want to make sure you get what you came for.

“If not, we go back to the customer with what we could do before the project gets underway,” said Bryant. “We’ve been a good listener; now we have to be a good communicator and say, ‘Here’s what I heard. Here’s what we can do. Do you want us to proceed?’”

When Mueller says we can do something, we want to make sure we can do it. We’d rather be honest upfront than fall short of your expectations later.

Estimation Process

In the third step, we’re all on the same page in terms of what you want and what we can do. It’s time to go through the estimation process and get you a quote.

Mueller takes all of the documents gathered during the first two stages and makes sure we can get the materials that meet the specifications. We also want to ensure we’re developing a process that gets our quality department’s stamp of approval. Once we determine our requirements are being met, the lead times match up, the inventory is there, and so on, everything is laid out for you in a quote.

“The quotation is our formal document. That’s our contract with you, the customer,” Bryant said.

After you’ve reviewed the quote, asked questions, and received answers, we follow up to see when you want to place your purchase order.

Order & Inspection

Once your purchase order is in our system, the fourth step involves reviewing and monitoring the details of your first shipment.

Mueller does a contract review to make sure the purchase order matches the quote. For example, if your order is for 5,000 units, but our quote required a minimum of 10,000 units, that’s a discrepancy that needs to be addressed. 

“Sales support matches their contract (which is their purchase order) with our contract (which is our quote)—to make sure they’re saying the same thing and there’s no miscommunication,” Bryant said.

Another element we consider in this stage is whether the order requires a first article inspection (FAI) or a production part approval process (PPAP). This allows you to approve the initial part before mass production begins.

When all of the paperwork is in order, and the green light is given, manufacturing starts and quality inspection continues until the order is shipped.

Shipping & Follow-Up

In the fifth and final step, you receive your first shipment, then we follow up to make sure everything is satisfactory.

Mueller wants to ensure this is the product you were expecting and the quality aspects are good. We check to see whether the packaging was suitable for your needs and that you are happy with the order.

“After that, it turns into repeat orders and it becomes routine business,” said Bryant.

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Working With Mueller From Start to Finish in 5 Steps

Now you know more about working with Mueller from start to finish to create innovative solutions for your business. 

Our five-step method—customer Q&A, expectations assessment, estimation process, order & inspection, and shipping & follow-up—ensures our business partnership will last beyond your first shipment.

Let’s talk about your project and get you on the path to a personalized quote. Contact us today!

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