Joslyn Blog

Dear Joslyn: Customer-Supplied Tooling

AdobeStock_174991718-1Dear Joslyn:

I’ve been awarded a job where the customer said they would supply their own tooling. What has shown up on my dock appears to be created by Frankenstein himself. I didn’t account for the cost of getting these tools to function. What should I do?

– M. Shelley

Dear M. Shelley:

As Frankenstein’s monster said, “Only someone as ugly as I am could love me.” When we’re not involved in the design of tooling for new projects, it’s easy to look at inherited tooling as though it’s some sort of hideous creation. We’ve been in this position before and think the tips below may help you now and in the future.

1. When quoting a job where tooling exists, ask the customer if they can send you pictures and dimensions. They may not always be able to do this, especially if they are pulling business from their current supplier.

2. Advise the customer upfront that their supplied tooling must be evaluated for function before production can begin

3.  Run a few samples off of their tooling to test for any issues

4 .If issues are encountered, such as loss of vacuum, tool falling apart, etc., supply the customer with a quote to repair or replace the tooling. If they are hesitant to spend the money, let them know what kind of results they can expect (parts out of tolerance, warpage and so on).

5. Lastly, to prevent this situation from recurring, add a note on all of your quotes that says something like, “All expenses relating to repairs or replacement of customer-supplied tooling will be the responsibility of the customer.”

– Joslyn Manufacturing

At Joslyn, we design and build all tooling in-house to ensure your thermoforming products are crafted from the best molds and save you time and money. The right tooling can produce crisp lines, edges, texture and other detailing that stays consistent from piece to piece.

Have a question for Dear Joslyn? Send your inquiry to or use the hashtag #DearJoslyn.

New Call-to-action

Topics: Dear Joslyn

Recent Posts

The Thermoforming Process Explained

read more

Dear Joslyn: Forecasting and Planning

read more

How to Tell if Your Thermoforming Company Is up to the task

read more