When you start working in the electronics industry, the single most important decision you’ll make is selecting your electronics contract manufacturing partner. CMs take care of the production of your printed circuit board assemblies so that you can focus on designing and developing new products.
Since the quality of your CM directly affects the quality of your product, it’s important to find a convenient, skilled, and affordable option that gets deliveries to you on time without any hassle. And while all those elements are necessary, you may find yourself wondering just where you should look for your CM.
There are numerous overseas CMs that can handle your electronics manufacturing for you, but it’s better to find a local manufacturer you can trust.
Some electronic components see more use than others, such as generic capacitors and resistors. No matter what your most frequently used components, you’re going to want to have stable, ready access to them so that there are no delays in your manufacturing process. Find a local CM that offers consignment programs with major electronic component suppliers (like Digi-Key and Arrow). In fact, local CMs are more likely to hold ready stock of commonly used components.
It is also easier to work with a US based CM to have components ready in advance. These CMs can help you with planning and forecasting your business needs and will use that information to prepare for precisely what you need. As your business changes, a local CM is typically agiler and will easily adjust to your forecasts to meet your latest product needs.
The quality of an overseas CM is often much lower than a local manufacturer. No matter how impressive the product concept is, low-quality will drag down its performance. A local CM will offer a better quality of training, engineering talent, and customer service support to make sure your product is the highest quality in every regard.
Language barriers and communication styles influenced by cultural differences can make for a very frustrating experience when you need help or answers in a timely manner. Depending on just where an overseas CM is, you’re likely to face large differences in time zones, which can lead to delayed response times.
Keep an eye out for these common customer service pitfalls when you’re selecting your next CM.
Local CMs provide customer service from the same country, allowing for easier communication and faster response times. When you have a question or concern, a local CM will be able to provide a timely response, so that you can fix your problem and get back to the work that really matters.
Even as technology advances, there is still a huge advantage to meeting in person. When you have an overseas company as your CM, the chances of you being able to meet anyone face-to-face will be low, at least without sinking a lot of money into a very costly trip. Visiting with a foreign company quickly becomes highly improbable.
Local CMs are much more accessible. If you want to have an in-person interaction or take a tour of the factory, it’s much easier to arrange. Visiting the manufacturing site can be a great boon to understanding the quality of the company you work with, and in-person interactions allow for better relationship building to strengthen your business bonds.
If you have complications, a US-based CM will also be able to visit you on-site to better understand the problem. This level of service is only possible when you don’t need to worry about the costs and time needed for overseas travel.
Lots of factors are going to play a role in finding the best CM to fulfill your electronic manufacturing needs. No matter what other business elements play a role in selecting that manufacturer, you want to limit your search to CMs within a reasonable geographic range. The benefits of better stock availability, quality of components, and level of customer service and interaction over an overseas alternative is clear. Don’t waste your efforts on looking into a foreign manufacturer when you can find everything you need at home.