Original equipment manufacturers (OEM) who outsource product assembly do so for the host of benefits that they gain from partnering with a contract electronics manufacturer.
Like any business relationship, the one you have with your contract electronics manufacturing partner should be built on a number of core principles.
How to create a successful outsourced product assembly partnership
To get the most from your outsourced product assembly partnership – for it to function well and be profitable, yielding cost savings and product-development benefits – the relationship needs to be based on the following:
- Trust – having carefully chosen your product assembly partner, it is important that you let them do what you’re paying them for. Give them the freedom to apply their expertise to your product. This will allow a trust-based relationship to grow in such a way that your partner considers themselves an integral part of your business. This level of engagement and investment will see you benefit from expert input into your product development and business strategy.
- Communication – a strong partnership is built on open, regular and honest communication. Operate a dedicated communication channel from the beginning and put an emphasis on frequent and clear two-way communication. As an OEM, it is important that you are at ease communicating with your product assembly partner. And they should be comfortable communicating with you, especially about crucial events and decisions that could affect your business. Regular meetings provide the chance to raise issues, discuss opportunities and talk strategy. Their expert input also has the potential to make your product even better.
- Transparency – a successful product assembly partnership depends on transparency. Openness between you and your partner creates an engaged, informed working environment that can only benefit your product and company. Your contract electronics manufacturer is your partner and the more they know about your product and its context in terms of your company and your market, the more invested they will feel and the more powerful their expert input will be.
- Flexibility – this is a key ingredient of a winning partnership between you and your contract electronics manufacturer. From your side, by being open to advice from a specialist service provider, you can benefit from expert input that could improve how you do things. On the other side, your product assembly partner should have the flexibility to apply their expertise and resources to the specifics of your product manufacturing process. This versatility has the potential to generate competitive advantage for you in your industry.
- Engagement – to get the most from your product assembly partnership, full engagement is essential. Staying involved and providing regular input and guidance will mean that you get the most from the expertise that your contract electronics manufacturer offers. Furthermore, the more engaged you are, the more engaged your product assembly partner will be. This translates into a better, more productive relationship that will generate numerous benefits, such as enhanced product development and faster innovation.
- Reliability – it almost goes without saying that you should choose a reliable outsourcing partner for your product assembly. You should look for industry- and project-specific experience and a proven track record. Search or ask for testimonials. Another barometer of reliability is your outsourcing product assembly partner’s ability to consistently manufacture your product to the highest standard and to rectify any errors quickly and efficiently. They should also be able to keep to service and delivery timescales.
- Planning – to maximise the expert contribution that you receive from your product assembly outsourcing partner, you should have a planning system in place that provides your contract electronics manufacturer with regular product-related forecasting. You should give your partner at least three months’ notice with regard to your product assembly requirements. This gives them the time to organise stock, manufacturing and delivery schedules that ensure that you always receive products of the highest quality when and where you need them.