At Wilson-Garner, we pride ourselves on being a global supplier of specialty fasteners manufactured via short-run production — but what does “short-run production” even mean?

In this article, we’ll discuss what short-run production is, what benefits it can deliver, and how to find a short-run production manufacturer you can trust.

What Is Short-Run Production?

Short-run production (also called limited-run production) is the process in which a manufacturer accepts and fulfills orders involving relatively small quantities of desired products. While regular manufacturers generally produce bulk orders containing hundreds of thousands of parts, short-run production manufacturers deliver small batches of the materials you need, as you need them. This is an especially popular choice for customers who want parts with unique specifications, but only need a few hundred or thousand of them at a time.

RELATED: Need a specialty bolt, screw, or stud? Wilson-Garner can help.

5 Benefits of Short-Run Production

Most manufacturers don’t offer a limited-run production option for their customers because it’s more cost-effective for them to produce parts in large quantities. That system just doesn’t work for some customers and situations.

Sometimes you only want (or you can only manage) as many parts as you truly need, leaving no room for excess materials. Other times, you need a specially designed part that doesn’t fit into many manufacturers’ product lines. In cases like these, short-run production can deliver the five following benefits:

1. You Get the Exact Part You Need

Most short-run production manufacturers operate like a job shop. Instead of having set product lines, they quote jobs per customer requirements and specifications. This way, you’re able to submit a blueprint or specification for quotation, and be sure that you’re getting the exact part that you need, in the quantity that you need.

2. Unique, Specialty Designs

There are many applications that require unique, specially designed fasteners, including service parts, specialty vehicles, prototypes, and more. If your application is one of them, short-run production is the way to go because specialty fasteners can be difficult to source in small quantities elsewhere. By working with a limited-run manufacturer, you’re working with a company that specializes in the small orders you need with the specifications listed on your blueprint — all while maintaining excellent quality and consistency.

3. Cost Efficiency

This is the most basic, but arguably the most beneficial, aspect of short-run production. When you order parts made via short-run production, you only buy what you need. By eliminating the need to overpay for an excess of materials, you can dramatically reduce overall costs. You can also cut down on the storage and warehousing you’d need to house those extra products.

4. Faster Production Times

In many cases, the short-run production process moves faster than regular production. Due to smaller product quantities and a closer relationship with your manufacturer, fasteners are often manufactured and shipped in shorter periods of time, helping you streamline your own production and distribution processes.

However, this can all vary depending on the scope of your request and the state of the industry. For example, you may experience a longer lead time if you have a highly technical request or if there are material shortages that affect the manufacturer’s bottom line. Either way, a trusted short-run production manufacturer will communicate effectively and share realistic timelines with you throughout the process.

5. Smaller Commitment

The small-batch aspect of short-run production gives you a great opportunity to “test-run” a new part. Often, facilities want to avoid ordering a large quantity of fasteners, only to receive them and find out they don’t work quite as well in their application as hoped. With short-run production, you can order a part in a smaller quantity and make sure it works before you go ahead and spend the big bucks.

How to Choose a Short-Run Production Manufacturer You Can Trust

If you believe short-run production could benefit your facility, it’s time to find a short-run production manufacturer you can trust to consistently deliver quality fasteners. While looking for a manufacturer, here are a few things you should look for:

  • Has experience manufacturing fasteners needed for your specific industry
  • Is certified to a Quality Management System that is either general or specific to your industry, such as:
    • ISO 9001 (general) *Wilson-Garner holds this certification.
    • IATF 16949 (automotive) *Wilson-Garner holds this certification.
    • ISO 29001 (oil and gas)
    • AS 9100 (aerospace)
  • Provides personal and professional customer service

Tired of paying more for an excess of fasteners? Discover the benefits of short-run production by working with Wilson-Garner. Our limited-run screws, bolts, and studs are made specifically for your application, to your requirements. Contact our team to learn more.


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