Contract Electronics Manufacturing and PCB Assembly Blog

When Your Electronics Manufacturer Offers Repair Services, That Brings Long-Term Value

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Tue, Jun 23, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

surface-mount-technology1If you haven't recently looked into the advantages of American-based electronics manufacturing, it might be time to do so.  US manufacturers have been hard at work improving their service offerings, to compete in a global market against cut-rate manufacturing options.

America is already a highly-competitive option for electronics manufacturing, and when you partner with domestic firms, you can get services far beyond what most overseas partners can provide.

Of these, the inclusion of PCB repair services and other post-sale support is perhaps the most crucial, as it addresses a huge ongoing cost in electronics that's rarely factored into the initial manufacturing decisions.  Rather than treating post-sale as an afterthought, American electronics firms can bring you a fully-integrated all-in-one solution for introducing new products to market.

In-House PCB Repair Services Bring Value Throughout The Process

There are numerous benefits to having integrated repair and support services within your electronics manufacturer, which can ultimately pay off with reduced savings at practically every stage of the process.

1 - Genuine tech support expertise.

If a company hires Outsourcer A to produce the equipment and Outsourcer B to support it, that means B is starting from scratch.  Their people have to learn the hardware and the software, and are often left using second- or third-hand materials.

When the support services are in-house, the expertise is right there and ready for use.  If a tech support agent needs in-depth information, they have the ability to contact the actual engineers who created the product.  This immediately pays off in improved customer relations.

2 - Repair can be cheaper than replacement.

One of the most unfortunate trends we've noticed in this sort of outsourcing buffet is companies sending out entire new units to deal with relatively simple hardware malfunctions.  It simply costs too much in time and money to ship products to an overseas manufacturer, fix them, then ship them back.

Why swallow the loss of a $100 unit because of a $1 defective component?

When the PCB repair services are in-house, that means actual repairs are cost-effective and can be done in a timescale that fits the needs of customers.  Additionally, it means customers get their own device back, which can be critical in cases where the device is customizable or might have irreplaceable data on it. 

3 - Predictive failure analysis.EMS-Electronics2

When everything is in-house, including manufacturing, testing, and repair services, that means a manufacturer can produce highly-accurate estimates of per-component failure rates as time goes on.  This, in turn, allows you to pre-produce only the extra components which are expected to be needed, rather than over-producing everything "just in case."

This allows much more precise and cost-controlled component buys, with an eye towards their future ROI.

4 - Integrated feedback loops.

Engineers do their best to predict the failure rates on components but, of course, sometimes things don't go to plan in the real world.  In-house servicing options allow a direct feedback loop between post-sale support and the engineers.

If a particular component inspires too many customer calls, this information can quickly make it back to the engineers, and allow them to refine the design for future production runs.  Disconnected outsourcers can't offer this level of feedback integration.

ZenTech can bring fully-integrated electronics manufacturing to any organization.  Contact us today for a free consultation on our service offerings.   

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Topics: repair electronics services, Re-Shoring, electronics manufacturer

Electronics Manufacturers With PCB Repair Services Bring Great Value

Posted by Matthew Turpin on Thu, Jan 08, 2015 @ 10:00 AM

Electronics Manufacturers servicesAre you still using a "what you see is what you get" electronics manufacturer, who do nothing but assembly?  If so, you could be losing a lot money on one of the most costly aspects of electronics retail - post-sale support.

No one really likes to consider post-sale costs, but they're a real factor for any product, especially electronics.  Even the best-designed product is going to have the occasional dud, or ends up being creatively abused by consumers in ways you weren't expecting.

For most companies, this turns into a hugely expensive process, especially if they're doing their work overseas.  There's a separate call center that has to be staffed and trained, supply lines have to be overstocked to account for possible parts shipments, and a run on a single component could create a months-long backlog.

However, there's now an alternative!  Some electronics firms now offer PCB repair services, along with other customer support, because it's the most efficient and practical solution to the problem.

Ways You Benefit From A Manufacturer With PCB Repair Services

1 - Save Money In Replacements

A lot of companies using offshore support and manufacturing end up having to ship out entirely new products even in the case of minor component defect.  They simply don't have the facilities and services to handle repairs, especially since customers wouldn't accept months-long turnarounds for overseas shipments.

If your electronics assembler handles the repair jobs, they have everything they need right there in the shop.  It becomes extremely cost-effective to replace components rather than full products, even if you're picking up the tab for shipping costs.

2 - The Best Possible Technicians 

Just ask yourself: Who could possibly be more effecting at supporting or servicing a device than the same people who designed and manufactured it?  They already have all the documentation, all the specs, AND complete information on the equipment being used to create it.

That means lower training costs, and creates better end-user support.  Period.  Support is a big part of customer loyalty, and this can easily pay off in better customer retention alongside the direct financial benefits.

3 - Faster Defect Reportingpcb repair

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go astray, and likewise even the best-planned device may have problems that crop up months -or years- after production that no one could have reasonably predicted.  

When your manufacturer is also your support service, that means they'll know exactly what problems are cropping up, and they'll be in a perfect position to spot defects before they become major issues.  An offsite or offshore support service really has no incentive to collect or report that sort of usage data.

Plus, of course, since they know the equipment used in manufacturing, they'll also be in a position to quickly suggest improvements to fix the flaw in future production runs.

4 - Guaranteed Parts Supply

Another major issue in using outsourced tech support and repair services is the parts being used.  It becomes difficult (if not impossible) to ensure that they're using nothing but the legitimate components you designed the device to utilize.  For that matter, it's becoming easier for counterfeit parts to slip into supply lines without anyone noticing.  

When your manufacturer already has robust parts-tracking systems in place, this concern in greatly reduced.  They'll be using the exact same parts that are on the assembly line, because they're usually in the exact same facilities as the assembly line.

Don't Gamble Your Long-Term Outlook On Short-Term Savings

Customer service is being rediscovered as a valuable business expenditure specifically because of how important steady customers are to companies today.  When a new customer costs five times as much to acquire as holding onto an existing one, it's hard to justify cutting corners on customer support from a long-term perspective.

Are you ready to take your electronics manufacturing to a new level?  Contact ZenTech today for a free consultation on our service options!

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Topics: PCB Repair Services, pc assembly, electronics manufacturer