Table of Contents
- Define your requirements
- Conduct a thorough research
- Check expertise, certifications and services
- Check clientele and customer reviews
- Check additional services and post-sales service
- Request quotes
- Compare pricing while keeping quality in mind
- Discuss further with shortlisted companies
- Assess support and communication
- Finalise the PCB supplier
- Draft an agreement
It is no news that one of the most crucial elements of an electronic device or assembly is a PCB (printed circuit board). Its quality and functioning can make or break the performance of the entire device. Therefore, you would not want to take any chance while selecting the best PCB manufacturer to outsource your assembly. But then, with so many options out there, making the final decision can be stressful.
So, here is a comprehensive guide explaining how to choose a PCB manufacturer. Continue reading to explore what you should keep in mind while browsing your options.
1. Define your requirements
Be very clear and precise with your requirements. Specify what kind of PCB you require, its quantity, timeline for delivery, etc. This will help you find the best match. Additionally, you would be able to clearly discuss your expectations with the PCB manufacturer right at the beginning of the project.
2. Conduct a thorough research
Take your time while researching good PCB suppliers. Don’t forget, a little bit of negligence while choosing your PCB manufacturer can make things go south. Therefore, look online, take referrals from other people in the industry, visit trade shows and exhibitions, and browse listing platforms/directories, to make a list of the best options. In this list, include columns to mark the suppliers’ quality, experience, affordability, customer ratings, turnaround time, and other such aspects as per your requirements. This will later help you arrange the list in your preferred order and finalise the right company.
3. Check expertise, certifications and services
Make sure to check the industries a PCB manufacturing company has worked with along with its years of experience. Check the certifications, the kinds of products it has assembled, the kinds of manufacturing services provided and the size batches it generally works with. Prefer working with an experienced team rather than experimenting and trying your luck.
4. Check clientele and customer reviews
The task of choosing a PCB manufacturer should not be taken lightly. Therefore, put in some extra minutes and go through customer testimonials. This will give you a better insight into the area of expertise and USPs of a company. For example, a manufacturer might claim to offer quick delivery, but if no one in the reviews is talking about it, you might need to stop and reconsider. Also, if you have a big project and you are too sceptical while outsourcing, then you may consider reaching out to the companies’ clientele directly. Gather their feedback and discuss all the criteria you are the most concerned about.
5. Check additional services and post-sales service
Before hiring a PCB manufacturer, go through their website and check if they provide additional services, like custom packaging. While you may not be looking for such services for the time being, they may come in handy in the long run. Also, check the scope of post-sales customer services offered by the company. Some of the best PCB manufacturers, like Viasion Technology Co. Ltd., offer multiple services to provide a one-stop solution.
6. Request quotes
This is the point when you approach the PCB manufacturers you have shortlisted. After conducting research on your personal level, assessing their websites and checking their reviews, get in touch with your shortlisted companies. Clearly describe your requirements and request a quote along with some relevant samples. This will help you understand not only the companies’ pricing and product quality but also their level of professionalism, customer relationship management and responsiveness. What is worse than a minor delay in the delivery is being ghosted by your outsourcing partners. So, if a company does not seem interested and eager to answer your queries, consider putting them at the end of your list.
7. Compare pricing while keeping quality in mind
Avoid settling on low quality just to save some money. Remember, the cheapest deal might make you pay later with a compromise on the quality of your product. Therefore, be very critical while checking the quotes provided by PCB manufacturers. Compare their prices with their expertise, services provided, order size, etc. Also, check if the quote includes shipping or any other such additional charges. Shortlist the ones that offer affordable yet value-for-money deals.
8. Discuss further with shortlisted companies
Do not shy away from asking more specific questions from the PCB manufacturers you have shortlisted. For example, to be sure that you will get a timely, hassle-free delivery, you may talk more about the company’s supply chain management. The best PCB manufacturers would not avoid such discussions and would ensure complete customer satisfaction.
9. Assess support and communication
The discussions with your potential PCB suppliers by now must have given you an insight into their client dealing skills, communication and readiness to offer customer support. Rate your shortlisted companies according to these criteria as well because the quality of client relationships plays a vital role in this entire partnership.
10. Finalise the PCB supplier
Now, from all your shortlisted options, finalise the best PCB manufacturer based on your requirements, their testimonials, pricing quotes, product quality and client support. Remember, one company might not turn out to be the best in all aspects. Different companies have different USPs. Therefore, prioritise the USPs you are looking for and prefer choosing a company that is good in most areas rather than choosing one that is the best in one category but below average in others.
11. Draft an agreement
During the to and fro with your potential suppliers, you may develop trust and reliability. However, drafting a legal contract is important to avoid any confusion in future. Make sure all the vital points are clearly mentioned in a bullet format. All the terms and conditions, of both you and the supplier, should be defined clearly. Proceed further only after both parties agree upon the agreement.
The steps listed above will help you navigate through the journey of finding the best PCB manufacturer. And the right manufacturer, like Viasion Technology Co. Ltd., will help enhance the performance of your electronic goods. So, worry no more, and remember that the time and money spent on hiring the right PCB manufacturer are one-time investments that will bring massive returns in future!