The rising demand for electronics and automation in the manufacturing sector pushed most of these businesses to seek the help of electronics manufacturers. For instance, players making hardware parts with chips or PCBs inside do not have the knowledge of making and assembling PCBs. So, it is a good deal for them to outsource that part of the product making process to contract electronic manufacturers. While outsourcing is not a bad idea, some common mistakes OEMs make in the outsourcing process and choosing the right partner in their business. This post discusses these errors and some important factors OEMs should consider before signing a contract.
Common Errors Businesses Make When Choosing an Outsourcing Partner
Here are some common errors businesses make, which you can carefully avoid:
- Selecting a Partner Offering the Cheapest Costs: Budget and cost are important criteria when choosing a partner; however, they are not the most important ones. Choosing the most inexpensive partner may lead you to losses in the long term and added costs in terms of system upgrades and training.
- Poor Communication: Open communication is extremely important, and if you fail to communicate properly, it may mislead your prospective outsourcing partner in terms of requirements. Most OEMs have a tendency to change their requirements or not sharing them precisely. Fix a time to call them or meet them once in a week to get a status update and ensure they are on the right track.
- Delayed Payments: Some OEMs have a tendency to delay the last one or two installments of the payment. The last installment is paid just when the product is completed and delivered. This is certainly not a good tendency and only keeps the project incomplete or undelivered. This way, both parties suffer.
- Not Using Appropriate Tools: There are many project management tools and websites available, such as Google Apps which help finish your projects effectively and on time. These tools auto update the project tracker help the parties communicate and upload documents. By not using these tools, you may have to depend on emails, tracking them back and forth, and missed calls as well.
- Micromanaging Your Outsourcing Partner: While it is essential that you track the status of your drawing or design, it is not appropriate to micromanage your prospective outsourcing partner. The partnership, in such cases, would not go ahead, as constant calls and emails be intimidating for the other party. Most professional contractors would send you periodic updates on their own.
- Not Doing a Proper Requirement Analysis: Knowing your requirements and sharing them with your prospective outsourcing partner in a precise manner is crucial. However, in some cases, requirements keep changing or the SPOCs don’t have a clear vision. This leaves the contractor confused leaving scope for errors and miscommunication. A phone call or an in-person meeting is a must and the OEM should not merely rely on emails for such communication.
Factors You Should Consider Before Signing a Contract with an Electronics Manufacturer
Here are some important factors you may want to consider before you outsource the PCB making and assembling portion to an electronics manufacturer:
- Experience of the Contractor in Your Industry/Application: It is essential that you refer to the previous projects of your prospective outsourcing partner. Check their experience and expertise in your industry.
- Meetings with the Contractor Before the Drawing Stage: You can give them your drawings in the file formats they accept, else you can take their help if you are looking for end-to-end services. Have several meetings before you actually sign the contract.
- Technical Feasibility: Before you even approach the contractor, do carry out a technical feasibility study. This should include the tools, materials, operating systems, and technologies you would require for your product to be made. Discuss this with your prospective partner. Check their technical capabilities and if they match your requirements. Check if there is any scope for a technical upgrade after a few years.
- Financial Feasibility: Plan your budget for that particular product including the estimated outsourcing costs. See if it is profitable in the long run. Also, check the financial viability of that product from the market point of view.
Are you an OEM looking for the right kind of electronics manufacturing partner who will meet your PCB requirements efficiently? Ensure you consider all the above points and choose the partner based on your requirements. Janssen Engineering Group has an expertise in providing end-to-end services in product development and manufacturing, customizing, mechanical assembly, PCB layout and fabrication among others.