How to Choose the Right Electronic Manufacturing Services Partner

April 13, 2020

When it comes to electronic manufacturing services, OEMs will need to consider many things before they decide which electronic manufacturing services company to partner with. There are a lot of choices offered, whether you want to replace the company that you are currently working with or partner with a second company for support.

Here, our focus will be on what you should look for when looking for electronic manufacturing services in Toronto.

Fit Matters Most

The first thing you need to realize before deciding on which EMS to go with is that every EMS is unique. You will need to perform some due diligence work to find an EMS that speaks directly to the needs of your enterprise.

Assess the size of the EMS in relation to your company, as well as the complexity of the items they fabricate. You should also analyze the conventional volumes that they construct and go over their previous accounts to see if they are performing well enough to meet your high expectations.

Who visits who?

Here, we’re referring to the age-old chicken and egg dilemma, whereby you need to decide if you want to go to their HQ to visit them or if you would prefer to have a representative from the EMS come to your office and have a chat.

More often than not, the best option is to handpick a few prospective partners and then visit each of their offices to get a better feel for their business and how they operate. By physically seeing each prospective supplier's facility, you’ll be able to assess their operations firsthand.

Then, go with your gut, as it will often guide you towards the right choice, helping more than justify your initial time investment in surveilling each EMS operation in person.

Always Trust Your Instincts

As soon as you enter the vicinity of the EMS, you should look for red flags. For instance, you look for weeds in the car park. No — we’re serious. Perhaps we should explain why weeds in a car park are relevant.

In reality, if a company does not tend the upkeep of their building and its surroundings, then it’s a telltale sign they don't really care about how the public perceives their work. In other words, attention to detail is everything in business, especially when it comes to manufacturing electronics and ECBs. Given the fact that you’ll be heavily dependent on your EMS to tackle any hassle and cost issues on your behalf, take note of how they handle the little things in their facility.

The Who, What, and How Trifecta

Once you have set foot into the venue, you should bring out your who, what, how playbook. You will first need to assess who is working at the EMS by establishing who your daily contact will be. As well, who’s in charge of daily engineering and production.

You will also need to determine who is in charge of the supply chain. You will need to have a candid and open conversation will all relevant personnel to better gauge their level of competence, expertise, and dedication to the project at hand.

Next, comes the “what”, which entails the actual equipment and systems that the employees will be using. Here, you will need to thoroughly go over the currency and capabilities of, say, the pick and place apparatuses that are surface mounted.

You will also need to evaluate test and inspection equipment, and test the IT systems to gauge their functionality. Ensure that the systems that will be monitoring and tracking all elements of your components as they are moved through the enterprise are fully operational.

Finally, comes the “how”, which involves the procedures and processes that connect all of the elements together. You will need to determine if everything is controlled and organized to your exact specifications. The quality accreditations of your EMP may help you in your decision-making process, but they are not the only factor.

For instance, you will need to determine if their quality accreditations are actually being implemented as promised, and will also need to ascertain if they are providing better services. Every EMS worth their weight in gold will measure their On Time In Full (OTIF) performance, and the ones that don’t should be avoided at all costs.

The Cost Analysis

Last but not least is a matter of cost. It will likely be difficult to get any substantial cost information during your initial visit. However, during subsequent visits to the facility, you should work with your EMS partner to put together a quote for your business.

In order to truly determine the cost to you, it’s best to push further past mere quotes or invoices. Instead, you should opt for an EMS that goes above and beyond the call of duty and not only meets expectations but exceeds them.

The company that you go with should be very well organized, focused and should prioritize the needs of its clients above the bottom line. This will likely result in substantial expenditures being taken out of your company’s supply chain, and fewer resources required to monitor and manage them. What’s more, you will also avoid many pitfalls down the line, such as line-stops and other related issues.

If you would like to learn more about choosing the right electronic manufacturing services provider, call Circuits Central at 416-285-5550 or contact us here.

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