When it comes to choosing an electronics contract manufacturer, you’ll want to do your research. Who you choose could not only affect the cost of your electronics production, it could affect its quality as well. Keeping that in mind, the following are eight important things that you should look for in a reputable electronics contract manufacturer:
- Operator and quality system certifications – A good indication of quality is a manufacturer that holds numerous operator and quality system certifications. Find out what operator certifications they hold and whether they are relevant to your product. Quality system certifications ensure that quality controls are guaranteed, so look for manufacturers that hold universally-recognized quality system certifications such as ISO:9001 2008 and AS9100.
- Financial stability – You’ll want to be assured that the manufacturer is financially stable since they will need more than just the up-front payment you provide for their initial outlay. If they don’t have the resources needed, they are going to have a tough time putting together your order on schedule.
- High-quality PCB assembly environment – Take a look at their PCB assembly environment. It should be clean and well-managed. Inquire about humidity and electrostatic discharge protection. A poor assembly environment can affect the quality of your product.
- High-quality equipment – The equipment being used can also affect your product’s quality. A manufacturer that uses higher-precision electronics will be better equipped to fulfill your contract not just today, but into the foreseeable future.
- Data management capabilities – Make sure that the manufacturer uses an integrated resource planning system. This helps guarantee a high level of quality throughout the production process.
- Inventory management processes – You will want to know how the manufacturer tracks your items throughout production. Where do they source their parts from? How can they guarantee that your products are being built using the components you requested? How do they prevent counterfeit parts from being used? All of this is extremely important to the final quality of your product.
- References – Be wary of any manufacturer that is unable or unwilling to provide references. A reputable manufacturer will have a list of references that they should be willing to share with you. Call up their references and ask about their relationship with the manufacturer. Are they happy with the work they are doing? What is their customer service like? Have they had any issues working with the manufacturer? How have they solved any problems that arose?
- Transparency – The more transparent a manufacturer is about their processes, the more trustworthy and reliable they are likely to be. Take note of the kind of information that they provide to you without having to ask for it and if they hesitate or refuse to address any questions or concerns you might have.
The quality of electronics contract manufacturers varies wildly. It’s important that you do your due diligence when it comes to choosing a manufacturer to work with for the sake of your product’s quality. Making a poor decision in this regard could hurt you financially in the long run, whether it’s because your product becomes too expensive to produce or because your reputation takes a hit as a result of a lack of quality control. To ensure that you end up with a reputable electronics contract manufacturer, look for these eight things.