What to Consider When Choosing a Partner - Part 1

November 2012

Communication
There is no substitute for excellent communication in today's business climate. If your suppliers fail to update you on the status of your orders on a regular basis, they are poor partners and bring little value to you or your company, regardless of what you think you have saved by choosing them. If the supplier is not sensitive to your requirements relative to communication, you probably need to find one who is. Today, more than ever, information and details are critical.

Design
In many cases, driving down the cost of assemblies is the primary motivator for pursuing offshore suppliers. Design support may not be offered, can be overlooked, or not expected at all. Partnering with a firm that excels in local design support can be crucial in many ways:

  • Understanding the application and recommending the most cost effective solution
  • Offering wire/cable/connector combinations that work best
  • Most efficient design for manufacturability
  • Drawing and CAD prints capability
  • ISO controlled paperwork/sign-offs and procedures eliminate costly mistakes
  • New products to market sooner with quick turn-around on "plug and play" first articles
Raising the bar to enjoy cost savings and expect local engineering support is highly recommended and should be a top priority when considering a new supplier.