Do you know how to find a superior electronics contract manufacturing company? Too many small to mid-sized electronics businesses make the mistake of basing their partnership decisions on little more than the lowest bid offered. This, however, can be a fatal mistake. In all cases, you'll get what you pay for in terms of quality of components, parts, production value, and services. As a result, it's important that you have a concrete set of criteria that will help you to pinpoint a "zero" from a "hero" and ensure that you make the best possible decision when hiring a contract manufacturing service. This list of characteristics and qualifications will help to get you on your way to a successful partnership.
History & Experience
For obvious reasons, it's in your best interest to look for a business that is well established. A contract manufacturer that has been able to hold its own throughout the years has done so by proving itself again and again as a reliable service that produces high quality designs and PC board assembly serves. Be sure to investigate how many years the manufacturer has been in operation, and feel free to inquire about their level of industry expertise.
Age & Type of Equipment
You want a contract manufacturing company that is able to quickly and efficiently design and assemble your PC boards, and making use of advanced technologies is one of the best means of accomplishing this goal in the most cost-effective manner possible. Feel free to ask your prospects about the types of machinery and equipment that they utilize, and take a look at what type of condition the units are in. Are they well maintained? This is a good sign that the business is reputable.
The company's employees who will be working on your boards should be either certified on the latest industry standards, or else working towards their certifications. This indicates a level of knowledge and expertise, and also portrays the worker's passion and interest in providing solid work and superior boards.
How much does the contract manufacturing company value training and education for its employees? How does it measure and monitor the training and growth of its staff? These are important questions to ask, as a good company will care about enhancing it's employee's industry knowledge and skills.
ISO:9001:2008 should be the minimum industry standard that the contract manufacturer has established. It's important to find out whether or not the company has reached these and other important standards for quality and safety throughout the board design and production process.
Order Fulfillment Track Record
One of the best ways to get a solid idea about how reliable your prospective contract manufacturer will be is to ask for order fulfillment statistics and customer ref
erences. It's important to learn the company's track record for fulfilling design requests and batch orders within the proposed schedule, as you'll need a business who can meet all of your deadlines in order to keep your clients happy. A reputable contract manufacturing service won't have any problem providing you with this information, or with connecting you with satisfied customers for their glowing references.
Should something go wrong with a board, will the contract manufacturer be there to help you out with fulfillment services? In order to save yourself from a lot of stress and monetary losses, it's wise to seek out a company that will take the time to troubleshoot and repair problems so that you don't have to shell out the money on warranty replacements.
In order to ensure that quality and labor standards are met, and that safe components are being utilized, you should always plan to work with an American company.
Unless your electronics contract manufacturer meets all of these criteria, it's in your best interested to move on with your search so as to find the best fit for the job.