Only Connect: On Far-East sub-contract manufacturing

Welcome to another post in the series by Nick Locke, of Nicab Ltd, who has over 15 years experience in the electronics manufacturing industry specialising in interconnection cable assembly.
A top 5 things to avoid when using the Far-East to build your cables: 1: Too much focus on priceThat is right, price is important – probably the main reason you have decided to sub out the work to the Far East. However, just like here in the UK, you get what you pay for. We have seen so many problems from focusing on using the lowest price supplier.

2: Make time to get it right, right!
We know that time is precious but you really need to make sure that all the due diligence has been done. It's simple things like making sure your supplier has understood fully the technicalities of the job. Expect it to take 12 weeks for delivery, possibly longer. Hoping for a quick turn around is not a recipe for success.

3: Expect there to be communication errors
This sounds negative, however, most problems occur because the two parties think they understand what needs to be done. No technical drawing can ever totally eliminate errors or grey areas. Accepting things will be misunderstood, the focus should be on what you can do to avoid this happening, such as sampling, even if it adds a month onto the timescale. It will be worth it.

4: Do not expect any design support
Not to say that you cannot get design support, do not expect your supplier to fix your design issues. If your design is faulty, they will probably still make the product knowing it is not right. That may seem unfair but remember their job is not to think for you just to be a low cost manufacturing base.

5: Keep your eye on delivery costs
Finally, we have seen many people caught out by getting a fantastic price on getting the cables manufactured at a great price but have not factored in delivery costs. This is relevant for lower volume jobs. Also, do not forget to use the correct commodity costs and import duty taxes. They really do add up.

I hope you have found this guide useful. However, if like many people you have the volume but are nervous about taking the plunge and using the Far-East then there is no substitute to contacting your trusted Cable Assembly company to help you in your journey.

Previous Only Connect entries:

* Only Connect: Going Green #11 - plastic packaging

* Only Connect: Top ten connector manufacturers

* Only Connect: On good use of multimedia

* Only Connect: On innovation in Electronics

* Only Connect: On new technology (II)

* Only Connect: On new technology

* Only Connect: Only Connect: On branded manufacturers using multimedia

* Only Connect: Tin plating on contacts

* Only Connect: Marketing to the electronics manufacturing industry

* Going Green #10 - electronics sections

* Only Connect: New product design - InfiniBand CXP 12x QDR standard

* Only Connect: HDMI Connections a simple guide

* Only Connect: New investment in the motor industry's high-end

* Only Connect: My personal connector top ten

* Only Connet: Marine manufacturing and growth

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