How You’ll Save on Soft Costs with a US-Based CM

Saline Lectronics Blog

Finding an electronic contract manufacturer located in the United States is beneficial for many reasons: you can generally find better product quality, stock availability, and superior customer service when you choose an onshore CM. Besides, a US-based CM can help reduce your overall budget especially when it comes to soft costs.

Hard costs refer to any expense you can’t avoid, while soft costs are expenses your business doesn’t need to function but can benefit from. Often in budgeting, a smart approach is to see what soft costs you can afford to cut to reduce your overall expenses while still getting results.

Some hard and soft costs can overlap with each other, and it may become complicated to determine what is reducible and what isn’t. And while you may need some services, such as production and shipping costs, the exact amount you need to spend isn’t as fixed as you think. Working with a US-based CM like Saline Lectronics can help reduce a lot of these softer, or less obvious, costs.

Quality Assurance

When you select an electronics CM, you need to know that they provide a quality component so that you can provide a quality product. You may end up spending resources on quality assurance yourself, especially when working with an overseas CM, who often do not have the same readily available resources as local manufacturers.

A US-based CM offers fully trained and experienced engineers to help improve the manufacturability of your product. They can offer improvements in-person and help solve any obstacles in real-time (you won’t be waiting on any time change delays). This means that they can assure the quality of a product ahead of the building process. Having such a skilled group ready to go means you can worry less about the quality of the PCBAs you have and focus on fulfilling your customer’s needs.

Clarity of Communication

Even with English as a global business language, there are still complications when working with overseas companies and their customer service teams. Language barriers and different cultures and communication styles can create barriers that make it much harder to reach a common understanding. Differing time zones can also lead to large gaps in communication, especially when timely answers are needed.

Having a CM based in the United States should provide clearer and timelier communication. Instead of spending time and resources on back and forth email conversations that take too long to resolve, you can have quick, effective interactions that let you get back to work and use your resources on the other elements of your business that matter.

Shipping Logistics

Shipping is undeniably one of the most significant elements of your CM relationship. The amount of time it takes for a shipment to arrive and the condition the printed circuit board assemblies arrive in are critical to maintaining a steady workflow that meets the demands of your business. US-based CMs offer a variety of benefits when it comes to shipping that overseas manufacturers just can’t match.

The closer distance between you and your CM allows for a quicker transit time. As with communication, you don’t have to waste time waiting for your PCBAs to arrive. Faster productivity can keep your production chain in constant motion.

Shipping costs are another concern for many. While it’s true you can’t avoid paying for shipping, you can reduce just how much of an expenditure those costs are. No matter how you slice it, foreign shipments are expensive, and overseas ones are even more so, due to increased travel time and potential tariffs. Working with an onshore CM will help keep your shipping costs reasonable.

Shipments within the US are also a much safer and more reliable means of transit. When you start looking at overseas options, you’re factoring in travel over oceans. Complications can delay shipments significantly, and an accident can easily leave your order damaged at sea. The cost of the necessary cargo insurance coverage can drive up your prices as well.

Local shipments do not have to worry about traveling across the ocean to make it to you safely, and you don’t have to hassle with customs. Ground travel provides a lower risk means of transport, keeping the resulting costs for your business much lower and more manageable.

While there are many reasons to consider working with a US based CM, one of the greatest benefits it may have is the influence on your budget. As opposed to an overseas CM, an electronic contract manufacturer based in the United States will save you money when it comes to quality assurance, communication efforts, and shipping logistics. When you stick with an onshore CM, you’ll open room in your budget to give other expenses a boost to facilitate better business growth.