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Go back January 2,2024

Questions about business in contract electronics manufacturing

Choosing the right companies to work with should not be based solely on comparing the proposed prices. Tables are important, but not the most important. Before making a decision, it’s a good idea to get to know a potential supplier and see what they can actually offer. This business approach allows you to find a true partner, so that you can free up time, resources and focus on further development of your own business.

Many company representatives, when looking for a supplier that offers SMT assembly, THT assembly or box building assembly, for example, focus only on price. They are not interested in learning about the organization as such. As a result, they are missing out on opportunities related to the additional value that working with the right business partners brings.

What should you ask to find a manufacturer that is a business partner, not just a supplier?

Where to start? Step 1. Business meeting

To begin with, let’s make one thing clear – a business inquiry is not a request for quotation. It’s an attempt to get to know a potential supplier. If you want to find out what kind of approach to business a Polish electronics manufacturer has, what his company’s contract manufacturing of electronics looks like, or whether he provides box building services, start with a short but specific meeting.

It does not have to be on-site. An online conversation will be just as effective, with both organizations presenting their business models, talking about the size of the companies, expectations and key needs. With this introduction, the next stages of cooperation can be put into perspective.

Below is both a list of questions to ask at such a meeting and those to prepare for.

Sample questions for a contract electronics manufacturing supplier:

Sample questions for an electronic device manufacturer that uses electronics suppliers on a daily basis:

What’s next? Step 2. Information, materials and files necessary for the smooth preparation of the offer

The meeting is a start. However, in order to prepare a quotation and estimate how much it will cost to manufacture PCBs, a range of information must be obtained. A potential supplier may ask to, among things:

In addition, you will need files such as a completed PCB sheet, Gerber 274-X format files, Excellon 2 drill format files, Pick&Place files, a BOM file for assembly, a functional test procedure (if one is to be conducted), and requirements for final assembly (if one is to be commissioned).

Only on the basis of all the collected data will the manufacturer determine how long the project will take and what the costs will be. PCBA manufacturing is a complex, multi-step process that requires careful analysis. The more information a potential supplier obtains, the greater the chance of creating a favorable quote.

What to keep in mind before deciding? Step 3. negotiation and selection of a business partner

The last step is possible negotiation and final selection of a supplier. Again – the analysis of the offer should not be based on price alone. When making a decision, it is worth taking into account the above aspects and the information you obtained during the initial discussions. Why? Because a business mismatch can result in dissatisfaction with the final cooperation.

Equipment manufacturers often fail to realize that choosing the wrong supplier usually results in increased operating costs. What costs are involved? If components are not received on time, or the components are defective, there may be a need to reschedule production, pay overtime, incur contractual penalties, or incur operating costs for handling additional orders, among other things. In addition, there is a real risk of business costs, that is, a drop in sales, a weakening of trust in the company or an increase in complaints.

In conclusion, before you make a final decision, look for a supplier that will also become your business partner. One that will not only produce the necessary components, but also offer the best solutions, ensure the highest quality and act comprehensively. This will allow you to free up more time and resources to develop your own business.