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PCB assembly is one of the major components on your purchase list if you are an owner of a company that manufactures or produces electronics products. Outsourcing some of your electronic components can turn out to be your worst nightmare if not handled correctly. 

If you choose the wrong contract manufacturer (CM) for purchasing printed circuit boards assembly (PCBA), you may end up shipping a product that does not work at all or works incorrectly or sporadically. It can damage your reputation for being non-compliant with the industry’s standards. 

Hence, you must find the right contract manufacturer to give your business a competitive edge over others in your niche. For that, you will have to steer clear of some of the common mistakes most companies make. 

Five Common Mistakes to Avoid When Placing A PCB Assembly Order 

Here are five mistakes you must never make when you place an order for PCB assemblies. Avoiding these blunders will help you garner the most out of a CM partnership. 

Rushing CM Decision

If you are in the manufacturing business and produce original equipment, looking to hire a contract manufacturer, you must be vigilant and thorough in your search. Take your time to weigh in all the options, along with their benefits as well as drawbacks. 

Do not rush and make a precise list of what you need. You can schedule interviews with all prospective CMs and evaluate them to determine which PCB will work best for you. Be as detail-oriented during the interview as you can, and take your time. It will help you spot any red flags before you enter into a contractual relationship. 

Failing to Clearly State Your Project Objectives 

As you may already know, communication is vital for a profitable CM partnership. Failing to state or conveying your project’s objective with clarity to your contractual manufacturer can sink your business. Too often, OEMs suffer because they either give out confusing or vague project plans or descriptions. 

It results in a product with inconsistencies or errors in specs, colors, and materials. Therefore, save yourself from the pain of wasting your precious time and money by clearly expressing what you need in the first interaction with the CM. 

If you choose a professional and the best contract manufacturer to place your PCB assembly orders, they will carefully review your documentation prior to starting the project. 

Having Little Trust in Your CM

In order to outsource your PCB assembly from a CM, you will need to demonstrate a certain degree of trust in them. Of course, it is critical as you hand over your blueprints, plans, and ideas to a third party so they can produce a PCB assembly according to your desired specifications. 

To establish a fruitful partnership, you must feel confident and comfortable to hand over some control to the CM. Giving some freedom to your contractual manufacturer can pave the way for unusual ideas and innovations to boost your brand. 

However, if you believe you cannot trust the CM you are working with, it is time to switch. 

Opting for the Lowest Rates

Always looking for the best bargain is not a wise thing to do when placing an order for your PCB assembly. The lowest rates often fail to translate into exceptional quality; be aware of contractual manufacturers offering lower prices. 

If it seems too good to be true, it is because it probably is. Instead of choosing a CM based on the prices, look for someone who can ensure long-term profitability. Good prices come with consistent, high-quality PCB assemblies.

It is unwise to compromise quality and jeopardize your reputation just to save a few bucks. 

Outsourcing Overseas

Do not commit the mistake of outsourcing your PCB assembly from overseas just to save money. Not all overseas CMs offer low or bad quality PCB assemblies, but it is alarming if they offer cheaper rates. 

Additionally, sending your sensitive product plans and personal information oversea can leak your intellectual property. Therefore, do not risk it and trust a local U.S. based contract manufacturer to place your PCB assembly order for a reliable supply chain. 

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Nova is a full-service printed circuit board assembler located in Denver, Colorado.