Your electronic contract manufacturer (CM) is more than just a provider of printed circuit board assembly products – it’s a partner that should be as dedicated to your company’s success as you are. The CM you choose must be one that you feel completely comfortable and confident in creating a long-term relationship with. The right CM can help improve product quality, come up with innovative solutions to unique problems, and facilitate your growth as an original equipment manufacturer (OEM). When deciding which CM to hire, check for these five elements to make sure the manufacturer is working for you.
- Failsafe Non-Disclosure Agreement
First and foremost, make sure the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) has no holes that could compromise your company. The NDA is the single binding legal document that prevents the electronic contract manufacturer from stealing your product blueprints and ideas and selling them to others.
The NDA will also describe the relationship you can expect with your CM, including the types of projects, project capacity, cost, delivery, and many other aspects of your business with the CM. Make sure not to disclose too much information about your project before you sign a failsafe NDA with the electronic contract manufacturer.
With an NDA, you can feel confident that your electronic contract manufacturer is working for you, not for a competitor or for itself. Keep in mind that you can enter into contract negotiations with more than one vendor at a time. This can even be a good strategy, as you can walk away from one and still have a backup, if necessary. Narrow your potential partners down to a primary and a secondary choice before you sign your name on the dotted line. Having options puts you in the power seat.
- Experience Managing Accounts Like Yours
One of the biggest mistakes you can make is selecting a budding electronic contract manufacturer that does not yet have real-life experience with electronics in your industry. If you’re in aerospace, find a CM with experience building for other aerospace companies. If you’re in healthcare, find one that’s created electronics and circuit boards for use in hospitals, etc. Experience in your industry and handling projects like yours can help ensure the contractor will be right for you. Do your homework to find out the contractor’s past clients, testimonials, and results. Prior experience with clients similar to you will give you peace of mind that the CM will work for your specific needs.
- Communication and Responsiveness
If a prospective electronic contract manufacturer doesn’t feel the need to pick up the phone, answer your questions, or agree to an interview, it’s not the electronic contract manufacturer provider for you. To know if an electronics CM is actually working for you, there needs to be seamless communication and responsiveness. You and your CM need to operate as a tight-knit team that prioritizes honesty and transparency throughout every aspect of a project. Your CM should share your goals and sense of urgency and care about your company’s success as much as you do. You have the right to expect a electronic contract manufacturer to respond quickly to your queries, behave professionally, and do what’s right for your company at every turn.
- Unique Solutions Tailored for You
You aren’t like your competitors. You’re one of a kind, with unique needs and company goals. The only way to make sure your electronic contract manufacturer will work is to find one that provides unique, personalized solutions for your individual needs. While you might share similarities with other OEMs in your industry, your CM should look at you as its only client. Only with genuine one-on-one care and tailored project solutions can you “set and forget” your manufacturing requirements without worrying day and night. Successful outsourcing of your printed circuit board, surface mount, and box manufacture depends upon your ability to trust your vendor to come up with personalized solutions.
- Your Instinct About the Electronics Contract Manufacturer Provider
Last but certainly not least, you should always go with your gut instinct about an electronic contract manufacturer. You are selecting a partner who will become an integral part of your business plan. You aren’t just searching for someone to fill your electronics manufacturing needs – you’re looking for a company you can count on to be there for you when you need fast, expert solutions. Choosing the right CM can boost business, increase the quality of your original electronic products, and leave a better impression on your customers. Pick one you personally feel good about to ensure future growth of your company.