Thinking of outsourcing your Electronics Manufacturing? Start here

Posted by: aeadmin
Category: Technical Posts

Are you an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) considering outsourcing your electronics manufacturing?  The decision to review the merits of outsourcing can be multifaceted. Capital constraints have forced all companies to evaluate practices within supply chain and improve their internal processes. Many corporate mandates carry the same message of “do more with less”.

As local OEM’s respond to increased need on technologies they balance the challenges on lean manufacturing practices and reduced overhead, reduction in inventory and most importantly reduction of risk within supply chain model.

The Global outlook is also changing. It was once believed that the Asian-Pacific realm was the only gateway for all electronics manufacturing. With socio-economic, political drivers, currency fluctuation, and even tax and legal variances – it’s becoming more attractive to use local contract manufacturers.

While a decision to find a strategic partner can be daunting, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, this can be an opportunity for you to gain an expert team who is as committed to the success of your product as you are.

With a collaborative and adaptive strategic partner supporting you through the entire product development life cycle, you’re free to focus on your core business activities, which is what you do best.

What you need to know

Your success will be determined by your ability to select the best team; who understands your business goals, direction and desired outcome. More importantly you need a partner that can be flexible and adapt when needed. To help you in this, here are some important things to consider before you move ahead:

  • Outline the best mapping strategy that supports your goals. Identify the key steps that impact your business the most and will influence your decision making process. Within those objectives ensure you develop a pre-qualification or audit of organizations that fit those needs.
  • Commit time to finding the right fit. Word of mouth and an online search can be a great starting point to find a potential partner. Taking the time to learn about an Electronics Manufacturing Service company through site visits, for example, is key to helping you feel confident in your decision to move forward.
  • Verify a partner’s NPI (New Product Introduction) process at the selection stage. All products or product variants being built for the first time must go through a carefully considered knowledge exchange process to ensure accuracy, consistency and efficiency for future production.
  • Understand and discuss all of your products’ Supply Chain requirements with your potential partner. This includes the design process, assembly and testing. While the decision to outsource these processes can take a lot off your plate, it’s a big decision that influences the efficiency and ease of the process as well as the end result. For more information on procurement and questions you should present to a potential partner regarding the supply chain, review our Outsourcing Guide.
  • Ensure the build pack or bill of materials (BOM) you provide is complete and verified.While not all details are required to provide a quote, an assessment of production and delivery times, for example, can be hindered if the data you provide is not accurate or is missing key information.  If products can be flexible among brands this affords greater reach and mitigates supply risk.
  • Connect with a dedicated support person. While various team members will be working on your product, ensure you have a dedicated account manager who understands your needs and knows who to engage in the process, and when. Your account manager is your one point of contact, spending the time to get to know the unique aspects of your business and processes, adapting throughout to ensure efficient and effective delivery.
  • When you’ve identified your potential partners; it’s now time to develop your key evaluation criteria. This is critical to determine scope of work, quality elements, execution and volume capacity. Ensure the valuation comparison among EMS providers aligns to your mapping goals.

By joining forces with the right partner and knowing the discussions to have early on, you can feel confident that your objectives will be achieved, and the success of your project will be realized.

The August Electronics Advantage

At August Electronics, we’re a world-class contract electronics manufacturer – we provide PCB assembly services as well as electro-mechanical assembly, refurbishments and outbound logistics solutions to name a few, and we’ve been doing it for nearly 30 years. To learn more about how we can support you in each stage of the product development lifecycle, visit our Outsourcing Guide and contact us to set up a site visit.