5 Checklist Criteria when Qualifying your Contract Electronics Manufacturer

You wouldn’t stay with your domestic gas and electric supplier year after year if you weren’t happy with the service, so why do so many OEMs get complacent with their contractors? Why are they so reluctant to shop around? And why does it often take catastrophic disappointment with a current contractor before they take action?

We have outlined 5 checklist criteria to consider while shopping around for the perfect CEM.

  1. Procurement & Materials Management
  2. Quality Management
  3. Business Culture
  4. Business Security
  5. Technical Capabilities: Design & Production

Procurement & Materials Management

What makes a successful procurement team? Most probably a large scale global reach combined with a long list of suppliers with whom the team have built a great working relationship. The smoother the working relationship between supplier and customer, the chance of agreeing on the most reasonable prices is most likely. Companies with a longer history will generally have a larger list of suppliers, as well as closer and more trustworthy working relationships.

Consider asking your prospective contractor:

  • Do you have an MRP planner?
  • Do you operate an ESD policy?

Quality Management

When discussing what’s of paramount importance to a manufacturing professional, whether customer or supplier, the subject inevitably turns towards quality control. This is crucial in the electronics industry, where poor production standards can lead to product failure modes that are hard to diagnose and that often do not become apparent until a product is in the field. At best this causes end-user dissatisfaction, at worst potential safety implications that could cause serious injury.

There are various standards in place across the globe to aid companies in adhering to best quality assurance practices. Check to see what standards the contractors in your search follow, considering the below:

ISO9001 sets out the criteria for a quality management system, providing companies with guidance to ensure that their products and services consistently meet customer’s requirements, and that quality is consistently improved.

IPC have set out globally recognised industry standards and training aimed at eliminating failures in the manufacture of electronics. IPC-A-610 is one of the most widely used inspection standards, and demonstrates commitment to continuous improvement of product quality and reliability.

The IPC J-STD-001 accreditation is a supplement to the IPC-A-610 standard, and gives assembly operators clear guidelines on how to meet recommendations and requirements of IPC-A-610.

Business Culture

When a customer experience is controlled by the supplier as much as possible, it is most likely an easy solution and smooth experience for the customer. If this is the case, the customer rarely sees it necessary to doubt their experience with a contractor. That is, of course, as long as that business is doing it right.

When you are about to commit to a contract with a contract electronics manufacturer, you will want to know that you will be in safe hands. Most CEMs will provide each customer with their own personal account manager, who will be responsible for managing the whole process including stock control, ordering and accounts.

Consider talking to your prospective contractors about their customer relationship management, as part of your decision making process.

Business Security

It should be in your best interest to hire a contract electronics manufacturer with an extensive history in the industry. Those businesses that are well-established can be counted upon to provide high quality work, and will take pride in each board that they design and produce.

Don’t hesitate to ask your prospective manufacturer for history of the company, or ask for testimonials from previous or existing customers. Consider asking about any disaster recovery plans and capacity planning tools they use, too.

Technical Capabilities: Design & Production

Your contract electronics manufacturing partner should have the ability to help you throughout your design processes; whether you are starting completely from scratch, or simply need a fresh set of eyes to review your current specifications, the best manufacturing companies can help you to streamline your plans and make them as efficient and effective as possible at any stage of the process.

What type of machinery and equipment does your prospective electronics manufacturing service utilize? Businesses that take advantage of all of the latest technologies are worth strongly considering in your decision. If a company is investing in state-of-the-art equipment, it is apparent that company has a high level of care and pride in their production.

Corintech are industry-leading electronics manufacturing specialists, with an impressive track record in all 5 of the criteria mentioned above. Visit Corintech (Stand E135) at the Southern Manufacturing & Electronics Show to further discover the benefits they could bring to your business.

Stand E135     www.corintech.com   01425 655655    info@corintech.com

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