Are you looking for a company or a manufacturer that will help you manufacture different types of products, including electronics?
You shouldn’t look farther because an electronics contract manufacturer is a one-stop designer you can rely on.
This article aims to give you a headstart on what it means to hire the services of an electronics contract manufacturer for your next product design and manufacture. You will also find out the factors and the considerations you must have in mind so you will get the best manufacturer for the job.
What Does an Electronics Contract Manufacturer Do?
In continuation of our commitment to teaching you all you need to know, we want to explain what the electronics contract manufacturer does. When you understand this, it will be easier for you to understand all there is to using the manufacturer the next time you have a product to be designed and manufactured.
An electronics contract manufacturer is a company or a manufacturer that specializes in using the designs you submitted to design and manufacture the product (usually electronics) that you want.
So, the electronics contract manufacturer is more of an on-demand electronics manufacturer that is ready to take your designs and make the most out of the same so the desired product will come out as expected.
Aside from making the products on your behalf using the designs you submitted, the electronics contract manufacturer can also offer different services. If you are considering that, then you should look for the manufacturer that focuses on the specialty or the area you are considering,
How to Select the Best Electronics Contract Manufacturer
Of course, we are sure you are at a crossroads on what you should be looking for when you decide to use the services of an electronics contract manufacturer.
To that end, the guide we have below is all you will need to stop searching and go straight to find the ideal electronics contract manufacturer that will handle your next electronic device production.
There are many reasons why the location of the electronics contract manufacturer you want to use should be a top priority. If you don’t have this in mind and work with it, you may just end up spending more money than you budgeted.
In case you are wondering why the location of the electronics contract manufacturer should be a priority, the few explanations below will give you the insights you need.
First, you need to find an electronics contract manufacturer that has a location or its factory close to you so you can always go for inspection. The chances are that if you are looking at only outsourcing the design and waiting for the production, it may not always happen as you expected. That is because the manufacturer may have lots of work at hand, and may not work on yours except a little pressure is exerted.
The other reason why you should prioritize the location of the electronics contract manufacturer is to establish trust and confidence. This is usually the case if you are looking to have a long-term collaboration with the manufacturer. When you visit, you will mention your expectations and expect the electronics contract manufacturer’s response to seeing if the latter can deliver what you want.
2. Health and Safety Codes Compliance
If there is anything that must not be ignored when looking for an electronics contract manufacturer, it is the compliance with the health and safety codes.
The idea behind this is that not all the electronics contract manufacturers out there take care to comply with the laid-down health and safety codes and guidelines.
Of course, if you are opportune to visit the factory, you might just have firsthand insight into the operations of the electronics contract manufacturer. From what you see, you can conclude if the manufacturer is indeed complying with the health requirements.
Also, you may want to take it a bit further by checking how the electronics contract manufacturer uses the best practices in terms of treating the workforce, as well as caring for the machinery used for the productions.
3. Turnaround Time
You must consider the time or the duration it will take the electronics contract manufacturer to produce the electronic device or appliance using the design you submitted or uploaded via the website.
Sometimes, it may take a long while before the design will be finally produced. It depends on many factors, such as the volume of productions the manufacturer already has at hand, and the volume of the design you want to be produced.
A good way to determine the potential turnaround time of the electronics contract manufacturer is when you are requesting a quote. Ideally, you know that the manufacturer is likely to deliver the project in a few weeks if the quote gets to you after a few days.
However, do not fully rely on that because the fast delivery of the quote may not explicitly imply that the manufacturer can deliver the finished product on time.
Instead, what you want to do is to ask the electronics contract manufacturer to give you the timeframe it will take for the design you uploaded/submitted to be completed and delivered to you.
4. Engineering Experience
The expertise or the experience of the electronics contract manufacturer is of the utmost importance anytime you are looking for the one to handle your next design.
The idea here is that a contract manufacturer that has been in the business for long tends to have some leverage to make your product better from what could have been tenable if it were handled by a novice.
There are some considerations that you should have in mind at all times if you are hiring an electronics contract manufacturer based on the engineering experience.
The first consideration is the mastery of the Design for Manufacturing (DFM). The concept behind DFM involves the series of steps and approaches that must be adhered to when building products out of the designs.
The second consideration here has to do with the reviews of the board’s layout. The reason why the board review must be in place at all times is because is the perfect time to find out the potentialities of errors resulting from the design and the production.
Also, when reviewing the board, the electronics contract manufacturer will brainstorm and find out other simplified ways that the product can be designed.
That is not leaving out the fact that reviewing the board affords the designer the opportunity of identifying the components and parts of the electronic device that may require special handling or advanced designs.
5. Consider the Threshold
You may just be paying more for less when you don’t have an idea of the electronics contract manufacturer threshold. The threshold here simply means the quantity that the designer is ready to handle.
Ideally, we are looking at low, medium, and high. Of course, your major concern is to see how that correlates to what you expect. Does the electronics contract manufacturer’s threshold correspond with what you want to be produced? If it doesn’t, is there any way that you can request for modifications?
To give you some instances, the threshold in view is often determined by the electronics contract manufacturer and set for a particular audience. For example, the manufacturer may decide to keep the threshold at a higher volume. In such an instance, the target audience or market tends to be the larger corporations and companies that are looking to produce multiple electronic products every month.
6. Availability of Trial Run
What happens when you finally find an electronics contract manufacturer that can handle the designs you have and at the quantity you expected?
Perhaps, you are considering handing over the entire design at once. Well, you may want to take some precautions to be sure you are on the same page as the electronics contract manufacturer is.
The rule of thumb is to ask the designer if it can offer you a trial run. That will allow you to produce only a small quantity of the design. And if it comes out as you wanted, you will want to commit the remaining designs to the manufacturer to produce that too.
7. Hire a Third Eye
You should not rule out the option of hiring someone else to help you check the quality of service that your preferred electronics contract manufacturer has to offer.
The reason is that you are not fully experienced in the contract manufacturing industry. So, you may not know what works and what doesn’t.
However, when you hire a qualified engineer to vet or check up on the electronics contract manufacturer, you will be in a better position to determine if the manufacturer is the best for the job.
8. Product Testing
You shouldn’t take the electronics contract manufacturer’s words alone. Sometimes, you have to check to see that the quality of the electronic product is the same as what you had in mind.
Therefore, it is pertinent that you ask the electronics contract manufacturer to allow you to test the product in its factory.
Among the many benefits of testing the product are that it helps to reveal the flaws and the mistakes the designer may have made, as well as the quality of the product. That is not leaving out that product testing is one of the steps to quality assurance, as it helps the electronics contract manufacturer to confirm that the products meet the expectations of the consumers.
9. Post-Production Services
It wouldn’t be a bad idea to hire an electronics contract manufacturer that offers you additional services even after the products have been manufactured. You will be lucky to get such a manufacturer because they are rare to find.
Ideally, your contract with the contract manufacturer ends after you must have confirmed that the products are as you expected and after you must have settled the bills for the same too.
However, the beauty of looking for an electronics contract manufacturer that offers post-production services at the onset is that it helps you to enjoy additional services even after the main job has been completed. That way, you will save some money.
There is no denying that the price or the cost of the product you want to be produced is an important factor that must be considered anytime you are looking to hire an electronics contract manufacturer.
Of course, the pricing or the cost of converting the design to a product depends on several factors. Some of these are the volume or the quantity of the expected product(s), the additional details you want on the product, as well as the manufacturer’s quote.
For that reason, it makes sense that you check with different electronics contract manufacturers so you can have varieties of pricing plans. In the end, you will hire the manufacturer that can offer you what you want at the best rates.
Things to Have in Mind
We commend you for taking the bold step of going abroad to look for an electronics contract manufacturer that can manufacture the electronic products you want.
However, there are some things we will like you to have in mind. The reason why you should have these factors in mind at all times is that they will help save you some avoidable expenses and the potential challenges that may be involved.
The Volume of the Design
It is thrilling to go abroad to get your electronic designs done. However, have you checked to see that the volume is feasible?
It would cost you more to manufacture only a few quantities (say 100 pieces or units) abroad. The cost of shipping and other underlying costs may eat deep into your budget.
The Manufacturer’s Expertise
Once more, you have to pay important attention to the electronics contract manufacturer you want to use.
You wouldn’t want to hire the one that doesn’t have the expertise and accreditation to manufacture for your target market.
Finally, you have to make your background checks to be sure that the electronics contract manufacturer can be trusted. The reason is that language and communication barriers, as well as the timeframe for the production, may cause you to get worried.
Therefore, iron out the factors that may stall the progress of the job before you proceed to hire the services of the electronics contract manufacturer.
You wouldn’t have any challenges in getting the best electronics contract manufacturer for your next electronics design.
The ideas we just shared will help get you started on the right path so you can get the best manufacturer for the job.