There is a world of electronic contract manufacturers out there, all fighting for your business. Thanks to the boom of the 90s and 00s, there is a true glut of options for firms who need to outsource their electronic manufacturing. However, as with all things in this world, they are far from equal.
How do you know which ones are going to give you the best return on your manufacturing investment? And how do you know they'll stand by their work after the production run?
Let's take a look!
Five Things To Look For In An Electronic Contract Manufacturer
The truth is, the base price that electronic contract manufacturers quote is only one option to consider among many. Simply going with the cheapest option can often prove far more costly down the line.
The problems with working conditions in many off shore factories are becoming increasingly well-documented. Working conditions are poor, the workers are overworked, and the final products often reflect this. And this is, of course, leaving aside the PR and ethical problems involved with hearing about how people have died in a fire while creating your products.
A bit more money paid up-front for better products and more guarantees is going to pay off in the long run.
II. Testing Services
This is one of the big ones. If you want reliable electronics, take your manufacturing order to a group with robust testing options. This is another of those services that costs a little extra upfront, but will significantly reduce your TCO as time goes on. Better testing beforehand means fewer returns/replacements, less costly after-sale support, and better word-of-mouth among your customers.
Reputation matters increasingly in this social media-linked world. Companies who put out poor products are called out on it, and will have an increasingly hard time finding market share.
III. Supply Chain Management
This is another reason to beware of super-cheap foreign factories. Counterfeit components are making their way into the manufacturing supply chain at record setting rates, and poorly-supervised foreign manufacturing centers are one of the primary reasons for this.
It's sad to say, but there are plenty of companies in this world who will bill you for name brand components, while paying for knockoffs and pocketing the difference. Further, without detailed supply chain tracking, even honest manufacturers may be taken in by unscrupulous manufacturers.
If you can't trust the components going into your product, then you can't trust the product either. Make life easier for yourself, your customers, and your post-sale staff. Spend a little extra to guarantee you get authentic components.
Any manufacturer who's serious about doing business in dedicated sectors of electronics manufacturing - such as military contracts, medical equipment, or aerospace components - is going to have a collection of standards and capabilities showing their expertise.
While these certifications are not guarantees of quality, they do mean that qualified experts
have overseen the facility's production processes and vouch for their effectiveness.
Even better, look for a combination of certifications and positive customer testimonials. Then
you can rest a lot easier.
Hey, you probably figured this was all going somewhere. If you want the simplest guarantee that you'll be getting high-quality builds that are made from authentic parts and designed by true specialists, you want products that are Made In America.
Even though plenty of factories fled the US to go overseas, there are still plenty of us who stayed home, knowing that one day people would realize the need for American-made goods. That day has come.
American-Made Means Reliable Quality
Don't gamble on goods made by foreign electronic contract manufacturers with poor labor conditions and inscrutable supply chains. Have your goods made at home, and you'll be helping guarantee that the product you put on store shelves will be one you're proud to sell.