Whether you are looking for a product designer or sourcing a PCB manufacturer, developing and maintaining a strong and productive relationship with your chosen CEM is key. Not only is it more enjoyable to work with someone who understands and is invested in your business, but a good relationship can save time and money in the long run, boosting your bottom line, giving you opportunity to focus on the important things – like growing your business.
We’ve thought about what you should look for in a CEM and have put together the following tips on managing your relationship and getting the best out of your supplier when outsourcing elements of your manufacture and build. Needless to say, working with FermionX as your contract electronics manufacturer covers all of these!
Understanding business needs
A supplier who understands your business is invaluable. If your supplier knows and appreciates your overall supply chain, they can work with you to make your life easier. For example, once your supplier knows your usual or in-season demand for regular bulk items, they can anticipate and flex their resources accordingly. Similarly, their knowledge of your preferred manufacturing and design techniques will make ordering one-offs a more seamless process. When it comes to obsolescence planning and management, they can help you to reduce waste. FermionX is unique in that we manufacture our own products, so we know the issues faced in supply chain management from a customer, supplier and manufacturer perspective, meaning that generally nothing comes as a surprise and if it does, we have the experience and knowledge to deal with it quickly and effectively.
Minimising the number of parties involved in the supply chain has a number of advantages. Communication between multiple parties can be fraught with tensions as each has their own priorities, as well as trying to accommodate yours. FermionX can handle large parts of your product manufacture, from design through to distribution. This leaves you free to grow your business as you spend less time in managing
multiple external suppliers.
Good communication and long-term commitment
When purchasing contract electronics, it is important to work closely with suppliers from the outset of the enquiry to delivery of the end product. Two-way communication based on trust and an openness about how products work and interact is critical; teams work to establish and nurture relationships. Spending some time establishing the rules and boundaries for your relationship at the start can pay dividends in the long run.
Work out how to resolve issues in advance
Particularly important is to discuss how you will process and manage any issues, from quality to un-met expectations. Who will be the first and second contacts for escalation in each organisation? Who is responsible for sitting down and discussing any issues or concerns and within what time frame? FermionX are ISO 9001-2015 registered, which means that we have robust processes and quality management systems in place. These systems and processes are checked and monitored to make sure they are working for our customers and for our teams by our dedicated quality team.
Establish key performance indicators
Managing your alliance with CEM suppliers is far easier if you’ve agreed on a set of fixed parameters within which to measure their service. Having performance management objectives in place makes it easier to anticipate and resolve issues quickly whilst minimising consequences. Our recommended metrics include time to delivery, QC waste %, fault % and adherence to specification. In fact, we are so confident of our performance, you can download monthly stats to see exactly how we are performing.
Why not contact us today to see how we can support you and your business in all your CEM requirements? Contact us at 01903 524600 or see our website www.fermionx.com to meet the team and download our latest performance information.