Finding the ideal EMS provider is a strategic process. Changing EMS partners can be costly in time, effort and funds. Making the right choice in the beginning, even if it isn’t the least expensive option, will pay off in the long run. Making the wrong choice could damage your company’s relationship with its customers and reputation.
Why outsource to an EMS partner? The following reasons were identified by one company in their decision-making process:
- cost effective entry into new markets
- time to market
- mitigation of risk
- decrease in total product cost
- extra cash for strategic reinvestments;
- increased supply chain flexibility and responsiveness
- access to advanced manufacturing technology
When you have made the decision to go with an EMS provider, considering the points below as you begin your search can save time and money:
- You should devise an outsourcing strategy, establishing the growth of your outsourcing strategy and selecting an EMS Provider that can evolve with you in capability and size.
- It is vital to understand your competencies, i.e., the products or services in which the company has or could have supremacy and provide an exclusive value proposition.
- Compile a list of the necessary capabilities of your ideal EMS Provider. A sample list might be:
- First and foremost, Enterprise Resource Planning is a must.
- Manufacturing Process
- Equipment Available
- Quality Certifications/Facility Approval
- Quality Systems
- ECN Process
- Testing Capabilities
- Tooling Capabilities
- Design Support and Validation Testing
- Prototype Availability
- Volume Levels
- Conformal Coating
- New Product Introduction Process
- The EMS provider’s profile and capabilities should match yours, and there should be a cultural fit between the two companies. Suggested criteria for determining this important factor might include:
- MRP/ERP System Capabilities
- Purchasing Strength/Supplier Relationships (On Shore & Offshore)
- One common mistake companies make in the selection of an EMS provider is not narrowing the field to a manageable number. In this regard, you might wish to think about:
- Experience with projects of a comparable size and scope
- Resist the urge to over-survey
- Get to know the best of the narrowed field
- Check references
A thriving long-term relationship can result in reduced costs, increased productivity, more creativity, and faster factory to market speed. With these considerations in mind, choose wisely, and the EMS provider can be an integral part of your business.