Mistakes to Avoid When Outsourcing Your Electronic Manufacturing

Hiring an electronic contract manufacturing (ECM) partner to complete the production of parts in your build is quite common today. With many companies cutting costs by eliminating in-house production, they often turn to manufacturing specialist companies to carry out this work for them.

There are many benefits to outsourcing with the right partner including significant cost savings, better quality of parts, and a more efficient, rapid production process. However, choosing the wrong ECM partner can result in a less than favorable outcome. Avoiding these common pitfalls when searching for an ECM partner will result in a reliable end product.

Close-up of green printed circuit board with SMT

Rushing Your Decision on Selecting an ECM Partner

Looming deadlines often result in rushing your decision to hire an ECM partner without thoroughly researching them first. Not all ECM partners are created equal, and there can be significant differences between ECMs. Before hiring the first available partner, it’s critical to do your homework. Weigh the pros and cons of all potential ECM candidates and note any potential concerns or red flags. The small amount of time spent on research will pay off big in the end.

Failing to Make Your Project Objectives Clear

Communication is key to a positive ECM partnership. One mistake that could sink your project is failing to make your objectives clear up front. All too often an outsourcing relationship suffers because of vague or confusing descriptions or project plans. If you want your ECM to manufacture your design to certain specifications, they need to be clearly communicated from the start. Before signing off on a partnership, ensure that everything is outlined, documented, and clear.

Trusting Your ECM Too Little

Legacy - Square

Outsourcing involves a certain degree of trust. You are handing over your plans, prints, and ideas and trusting a third party to produce results based on your desired specifications. To ensure a successful partnership, you need to be comfortable and confident in giving up some control over your product. Trusting your ECM partner with a healthy amount of freedom and space can result in extraordinary ideas and innovations that will boost your brand. Without trust, you’ll never know the true extent of what your end product is capable of becoming.

Choosing the Lowest Rates on Cost Alone

Finding the biggest bargains may work when making minor purchases like clothing, but it’s not the best game plan when searching for an ECM partner. The lowest price doesn’t always mean the highest quality. You get what you pay for, so be wary of ECM partners who offer lowball prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it often is. Instead of basing your decision on price alone, look for one that ensures profitability in the long term, like consistently high-quality products.

Outsourcing Overseas

Choosing the cheapest option will almost always cost you more in the long run. Cutting corners means materials may not come from vetted suppliers, standards might not be met, and the experts you counted on might disappoint you. Using an overseas ECM could also expose you to communication pitfalls, security challenges, incorrect certifications, missed deadlines, manufacturing errors, counterfeit parts, and more, so it’s not worth the risk. Instead, it’s best to look for a domestic ECM partner for a more seamless process and reliable supply chain.

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Final Thoughts

Avoiding the most common mistakes means you will find a partner who is the right fit for you and your project. When you do your due diligence and feel comfortable with your ECM partner, great things are possible. Our commitment to excellence in everything we do produces great results and has driven us to become a trusted industry leader. Contact Levison Enterprises for a quote on your next project.