Common Mistakes to Avoid in Outsourcing to an ECM

There are many potential electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) partners to choose from when you are looking to outsource your build. Choosing the right partner can mean a successful project, but choosing the wrong partner can create nothing but headaches. When looking for a partner, make sure you avoid the most common mistakes.

Close up of printed circuit board built by a qualified ECM.

Rushing to Choose an ECM

When you are on a deadline, it may seem easier to simply choose an ECM without thoroughly researching the potential partners. If a deadline is looming, you may think that any ECM is good enough. But there is a big difference between potential ECM partners, and that difference will seriously impact the quality of your product. Do your homework, weigh the benefits and drawbacks of all potential ECM partner candidates, and note any potential red flags. A little bit of time spent on research in the beginning may save you time wasted by choosing the wrong partner.

Failing to Make Objectives ClearBox Build Square

Communication is key. If you want your ECM to manufacture your design to your specifications, you need to communicate all those specifications up front. If you are vague or fail to include everything you want up front, your ECM may not give you what you were hoping for. Before you sign off on a partnership, make sure that everything is outlined, documented, and clear.

Not Trusting Your ECM

Trust can be a tricky thing. When you outsource your project, you need to trust the partner you’ve chosen. If you don’t trust your ECM, the project may be doomed to fail. You need to feel comfortable and confident with your ECM. When you trust your ECM, your project can rise to new heights with the input you’ll get from the on-site engineering team.

Choosing Your ECM Based on Cost Alone

Choosing the cheapest option will nearly always cost you more in the long run. You will always get what you pay for. If you choose the lowest cost, you will likely get the lowest quality. Corners may be cut, materials may not be from vetted suppliers, standards may not be met, and the experts you are counting on may not be the best for your project. When you look at the quotes on your project from potential ECM partners, look at the value, not simply the dollar amount.

More Than Design

Outsourcing Overseas

Many businesses are tempted to outsource overseas due to the promise of savings. Overseas ECMs are not necessarily incapable of your project, but choosing a domestic ECM will far outweigh any potential savings you’re expecting. You will have no issues in communication, certifications, missed deadlines, manufacturing errors, counterfeit parts, industry regulations, supply, or security when you choose a domestic partner.

Finding Out Too Late That Your ECM Isn’t Capable

Not every ECM can handle every project. Some ECM partners don’t have the capabilities or certifications to work with certain industries. If your ECM doesn’t have the correct certifications or capabilities to work with your project, your end product may not be in compliance with industry standards and regulations. Look at previously completed projects that are similar to yours and ask questions to ensure that the ECM you choose has the credentials, experience, and equipment necessary to complete the project well.

Choosing an ECM Without a Vetted Supply Network

Vetted suppliers are necessary to a quality product. When you use non-vetted suppliers, you risk parts being incorporated into your product that are at best low quality and at worst, counterfeit. An ECM with a network of vetted suppliers will help with parts procurement and can make certain that all parts have been tracked through an established supply-chain management process. You will know the parts used are high quality and legitimate.

Choosing an ECM Without Turnkey Services

A turnkey facility is one that can handle everything you need to outsource. They will have a dedicated team of on-site engineers and professionals who can handle your project from design, to prototyping, to manufacturing, and even shipping. When everything is handled together under one roof with one project manager, you will know that your build is in excellent hands from design through delivery, and that if any issues do arise, your ECM partner will be able to handle them right away without any loss of time or errors in communication.

Start Your Quote Now!

When you have done your research, weighed the bottom line, and feel comfortable with your ECM, you can be confident that outsourcing your manufacturing is the right decision and your project will succeed. Avoiding the most common mistakes means that you have found a partner who is the right fit for you. We have the capabilities and experience to handle your next project. With our extensive industry knowledge and state-of-the-art turnkey shop, we can assist you in the design phase all the way through to product delivery. Contact Levison Enterprises to discuss your next project.