Electronic Manufacturing Partnerships for OEMs

Electronic Manufacturing Partnerships for OEMs

Why do long-term electronic manufacturing partnerships make sense for OEMs?

With a few hundred electronic manufacturing companies in the UK, it’s fair to say that most EMS suppliers can put together a PCB to power your product. Sometimes you’ll choose a provider who can get the job done quickly, or one who can give you a budget price. But for OEMs that really mean business, building a long-term partnership with a trusted electronic manufacturing specialist can make the difference between a fast move to market, and a product that doesn’t quite meet your criteria…

And that’s just the start. Moving from one provider to another - or not asking the right questions when sourcing - can create a range of business problems when your focus should be on producing the highest quality consumer products.

On the other hand, developing a strong, long-term partnership with an electronic manufacturing company who ticks all the boxes will add nothing but value to your operations.

Here’s a look at the things you should be thinking about before committing to an EMS partner, and how the right one can contribute to building a better business.

Key questions for a potential electronic manufacturing partner

What’s your consultation/production approach?

From the outset, you should have the opportunity to meet directly with the technical team working on the design and manufacture of your boards. The first consultation should be incredibly thorough, covering your journey from concept to current position, challenges you’ve faced and any future concerns, plus your plans for the product (and your business overall) further down the line. They should be prepared to get right to the nitty-gritty, delve into the details and offer advice and recommendations that will elevate your product.

Throughout the design/rework, prototyping and production stages, you should be welcomed with an ‘open-door’ policy too. Electronic manufacturing is complex, and the relationship should be committed to equally by both parties. If you want to take a look at progress, troubleshoot issues or explore alternative options, your EMS partner should be happy to accommodate. They should also be willing to challenge you when needed and put forward ideas to help you and your products evolve.

What’s your track record? What about accreditations, standards and memberships?

Ideally, if you’re forging a long-term partnership, you want someone who’s already experienced the array of complex challenges that electronic manufacturing can bring – so it can pay to choose a provider who’s been in the business a while. You also need to look for quality and integrity, so checking professional credentials, accreditations, ISO quality, engineer training standards… and it’s even worth checking what software and technology they’re using too.

What's your supply chain like?

Sorry to bring them up, but since Brexit and Covid, it’s no secret that supply chains have suffered – and that’s on top of shortages in natural resources needed for electronic components. Having a strong supply chain in these times is like gold-dust, so if you can find this in a high quality electronics manufacture, value it highly! Full traceability and component tracking with clear breakdowns of provenance, cost and accurate delivery timescales will help keep your production plan on-track and on-budget, while also having confidence in the quality too. An EMS specialist with sophisticated manufacturing software such as NetSuite® (that’s what we use!) will be able to provide all this and more – plus it demonstrates an investment in their business, which in turn means an investment in yours.

How do you solve technical issues?

A clear head, great sub-contractor-to-client communication and in-depth and up-to-date technical expertise are all required in the production of fit-for-market electrical consumer goods. Your partner should understand that a prototype doesn’t make a perfect product – so you need to be sure that they’re dedicated enough to review, revise, rework and adapt their approach to provide a reliable end product that can be manufactured at volume.

Do you offer additional services?

A good EMS partner is one that can do more than just source components and produce PCBs. While you don’t want someone with fingers in lots of pies where that may compromise quality, having someone who has experience across other elements of your production pipeline can provide additional resource when needed.

Ask your potential manufacturer if they can offer assembly support too, and whether they can deal with packing and shipping direct to consumers on your behalf. Any value-added services that you can keep under one umbrella will reduce internal admin, partner relationship management and costs.

Daletech – a trusted electronic manufacturing partner

While we recognise we may not be the right fit for everyone, we have over 30 years of experience across a range of technologies and products, plus past and existing partnerships with numerous OEMs who would be happy to recommend us.

Over the years, we’ve continued to strive towards meeting and exceeding the highest quality standards, placing ourselves in the heart of the industry to ensure we have our fingers on the pulse as it evolves.

By investing in our people, our equipment and technology, we’ve built a tried-and-tested approach to electronic manufacturing that spell success for our partners. From in-depth consultation, to dealing with schematics and Gerber files, prototyping and product evolution, right through to complex and detailed assembly work… whatever you need, Daletech can deliver.

If you’re currently on the lookout for an EMS partner who will stay right by your side as your business and product line grows and develops, here are some of our credentials that back-up the above:

  • ISO 9001:2015
  • Engineers trained to PIC 610
  • Members of Make UK and the Chamber of Commerce
  • MD Tracey Dawson is Chair of Leeds Manufacturing Alliance
  • Involved in the organisation of Leeds Manufacturing Festival
  • Named in the Top 100 Manufacturers in the UK 2020

Electronic manufacturing is in our veins, we truly live and breathe our work – so if you want to discuss your EMS needs and see if we could be the right partner for you, please drop us a line and ask to speak to Tracey.


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