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Why do so many OEMs get complacent with their contractors? Why are they so reluctant to shop around? And why does it often take catastrophic disappointment with an existing contractor before they take action?
A CEM’s procurement processes are vital. Does they approve all of their suppliers? Is their purchasing reach global? The ability to purchase at low cost, from reliable sources, with consistent component availability, is key to offering the service you need.
2. Quality Management
Your CEM should view quality as paramount. Do they adhere to an appropriate quality management system (ISO9001, AS9100)? Do they work to recognised standards (IPC J-STD-001, IPC-A-610)? What KPIs do they work towards?
3. Business Relations
Timely and accurate communication is fundamental to a successful working relationship. Does your CEM offer a personal account manager, responsible for managing the whole process from quotation, through production, to invoice?
4. Business Security
When you are about to commit to a contract electronics manufacturer, you will want to know that you will be in safe hands. Don't hesitate to ask your prospective manufacturer for a company history, or ask for testimonials from previous or existing customers.
5. Technical Capabilities: Design & Production
Lastly, assess the company’s technical capabilities. Do they have in-house engineering expertise? Do they invest in equipment to stay at the leading edge of the industry?