When should you look for a new manufacturing partner?

One of the more complicated items in business is the decision to make a change in any of your core partners. And perhaps no area is more complex than switching manufacturers. You have a comfort level with your current partners, you’ve overcome any obstacles that comes with building a new relationship, and you’ve learned to accept both the good and the bad.  But sometimes you hit a point where you recognize that it’s just time to make a change.  But how do you know when that is?

Based on our experience working with hundreds of companies over the past two decades, there are several reasons why you may need to change your PCB assembly vendor. Here are some of the most common situations:

  1. Poor Quality: If your current PCB assembly vendor consistently delivers products that have defects or fail to meet your specifications, it may be time to consider changing vendors. Quality issues can be costly and may result in customer dissatisfaction, product returns, and lost sales.
  2. Price and Lead Time: If your current vendor’s pricing is too high or if they cannot meet your required lead time, it may be time to look for alternative options. However, it’s important to balance cost and lead time with quality.
  3. Lack of Communication and Support: If your vendor is unresponsive to your needs or does not provide adequate support, it may be time to consider a new vendor. Communication is crucial in PCB assembly, and you need a vendor that is responsive and able to work with you to solve any issues that may arise.
  4. Capacity Constraints: If your vendor is unable to keep up with your production demands or if they lack the necessary equipment or capabilities, it may be time to find a vendor with more capacity.
  5. Changes in Requirements: If your product requirements change, and your current vendor is unable to meet those new requirements, it may be necessary to find a new vendor who can.

In summary, you should consider changing your PCB assembly vendor if they consistently deliver poor quality products, have pricing and lead time issues, lack communication and support, have capacity constraints, or are unable to meet new product requirements. However, before making any decisions, it’s important to thoroughly evaluate potential new vendors and ensure that they can meet your needs in terms of quality, pricing, lead time, and communication.  We’ll touch more on that next month, but in the meantime it never hurts to explore your options.

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