When outsourcing product assembly to a contract electronics manufacturer, it is important that an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) involves their chosen partner at the right time.
To maximise the benefit of this strategy, an OEM should involve their product assembly outsourcing partner as early as possible. Here’s why.
Why you should involve your outsourcing product assembly partner early
- To maximise the benefit of your CEM partner’s expertise – by involving your product assembly outsourcing partner at the very start, or as close to it as possible, you are creating a real partnership that will be truly efficient. You will maximise the impact of the expertise and experience of your product assembly partner, reducing inefficiencies and unnecessary costs that would be incurred if the contract manufacturer joins later in the cycle.
- For greater supply chain security – by plugging in your product assembly partner at an early stage, you benefit from enhanced security of supply. When developing and manufacturing a product, sensitive information, for example, intellectual property, databases and schedules, has to be shared along the supply chain. Involving a partner with an established supply chain infrastructure composed of trusted suppliers allows for more focused, more secure management of this data migration.
- For efficient transition between product manufacturing phases – the journey from product development to finished product delivery comprises numerous phases. By involving your outsourced product assembly supplier at an early stage, you can ensure that these transitions occur as efficiently as possible. For example, the transition between product development and product assembly can be designed in full knowledge of your product plans and your partner’s manufacturing capabilities. This helps to ensure that product assembly costs are as low as possible.
- For more flexibility in the product development and assembly cycle – by integrating your product assembly partner into your product project as early as possible, you benefit from invaluable flexibility in the product development and assembly cycle. This level of engagement ensures that your partner has greater product knowledge than they would have if they join the project later and that they can input their expertise at every cycle stage. This in turn allows for quicker and more cost-efficient testing, assessment and refinement of products. This results in you and your customers receiving a higher-quality end product.
- To increase your product’s speed to market – involving your outsourcing product assembly partner early results in a quicker and more efficient product assembly process. In turn, this means that your product gets on to shelves and to customers faster. This enhanced speed to market gives you a competitive advantage over your rivals and, combined with increased customer satisfaction, helps to strengthen your market reputation and performance.
- To lower overall costs – the end-to-end product assembly cycle efficiencies that you benefit from by involving your CEM partner early in your product project mean your overall costs will be lower. By using a contract electronics manufacturer, you are ensuring that the product assembly cycle runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. And by streamlining your product assembly process, manufacturing costs are kept lower, optimising your profit margin.
There are a number of myths about contract electronics manufacturing that led to OEMs missing out on the benefits of outsourcing.