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Selecting an Outsource Partner: A Quick Guide
With all the demands for electronics manufacturers in many and most industries today, the benefits of custom cable manufacturing are ever increasing. Almost all businesses have a need for cable assemblies for transmitting power and/or signals between one piece of equipment or machinery to another. Originally, many companies would attempt to manufacture cable assemblies on their own as needed. However, as assemblies have become more complicated and expensive to produce, it no longer makes sense to produce these assemblies in an in-house fashion. It’s also almost impossible to have a mass-producing cable company create small batch orders of custom assemblies in addition to their normal business.
The most efficient thing to do, many agree, is to outsource to a custom cable manufacturing company in order to ensure that all of your cable assemblies are made to order and are exactly what you need, and are produced professionally. The first thing to do is take a look at what it is that you are in need of, how you handle supply chains, and what aspects your potential outsourced company will need to handle. Be sure to cover everything, including inventory taking, deliver, and especially costs for each and every service that you need. What comes next is the budgeting part, where you determine, based on what you need, how much you are willing to spend for the services required. A full analysis will be necessary, both of the service itself, and the projected benefit.
Once you have a good idea of what you need and how much you are able to or looking to spend, it’s time to make a list of potential suppliers. You want to make sure to set up several meetings, never just one or you may feel the need to jump on the first opportunity that seems like a good one. One of the best ways to do this is through referrals; word of mouth is always a sign of good service. There are of course networking opportunities, and licensing and trade organizations particularly for cable assembly that you stand a good chance of picking up potential suppliers from. Also, never rule out online research to find reviews of companies near you.
Once you have your list, it’s time to put them through the ringer, so to speak. Thorough interviews are key to getting the most information from a potential supplier as possible. This means having a pre-written list of questions and concerns for each interview. It’s a good idea to ask about turnaround timetables, and a full list of capabilities and services. If possible, ask for a tour of their operations floor to get a good idea of the efficiency of their production line. Again, payment is a very important topic not to be left out. A request for a net-30 payment schedule is not a bad idea given the time value of the money.
Some extra things you can do before deliberation on your choice of custom cable provider is to call their customer service lines to get an idea of their service response times, and follow up on their list of referrals. When deliberating, keep in mind your gut feelings on which companies you like best, as well as the return on investment you will get from each.
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