6 Questions You Should Ask Your Current ECM That You Likely Haven't
Have you become comfortable and complacent in the current relationship with your electronic contract manufacturer?
That can be both good and bad.
It’s good because you've developed a strong relationship and level of trust with them.
You feel they have your back and give you peace of mind. However, there can be drawbacks.
Sometimes comfort turns into complacency.
Sure, this might be okay for some, but, in a competitive industry, every little bit helps.
Here are some questions you can ask your current ECM to determine if they are striving for continuous improvement.
If they knock all these answers out of the park, you can go back to being comfortable and complacent.
If not, you might want to test the market and see if there is another ECM who will better take care of your needs.
1. Do you track quality and on-time delivery scores? If so, what are they?
Partnering with an electronic contract manufacturer who tracks quality and on-time delivery scores is essential.
This helps assure that a product will meet and even exceed your expectations.
Better yet, these quality scores should be documented, so you can ask for an official record.
When an ECM tracks this data, it illustrates their commitment to self-improvement.
2. What is your turnaround time for estimates and quotes?
In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, time is money.
Timelines are important, so it’s essential that your electronic contract manufacturer can meet production milestones to stay ahead.
Your ECM can help with this by being responsive to your needs and delivering your estimates and quotes in a timely and pre-defined fashion.
This is another area where documentation is important – does your ECM have a documented quote turn score they can share with you?
3. What are your quality processes? What measures do you take that go above and beyond the standard for quality?
An electronic contract manufacturing partner should have defined quality assurance processes that they document, and that the whole company works around.
This helps minimize the risk of problems like using counterfeit component parts or running into other errors in production.
Your ECM should use quality control processes throughout each step in production, preferably using a Plan-Do-Check-Act standard process approach.
4. Do you track and score customer satisfaction?
If you want to know how your relationship with your electronic contract manufacturer is going to pan out, just look at their history.
This is the best predictor of future performance and having a strong track record will help provide your company with peace of mind.
Having something tangible to show a customer, like official documentation, is better than testimonials.
5. Do you offer a warranty process? If so, how do you handle cases?
In electronic manufacturing, hiccups are inevitable. The difference lies in those who can respond quickly and pivot in the face of issues.
The best electronic contract manufacturers will have a documented warranty process and will be willing to share and review it with their clients.
This warranty process should be detailed, so you understand exactly what will happen if a hiccup should ever occur.
6. Does your company have a plan for continual improvement?
In other words, does your ECM take a proactive or reactive approach? The answer should be both.
An ECM should be able to react swiftly to issues when they occur, but they should also take a proactive approach and plan steps to avoid issues in the first place.
A focus on continual improvement leads to more efficient processes and higher standards for quality.
The opposite is maintaining the status quo, which leads to more errors.
Your ECM should strive for continual improvement with regard to their processes, personnel, and equipment.
Addressing all three of these measures helps ensure that your ECM will be able to meet and exceed your expectations.
Your partnership with your electronic contract manufacturer should be transparent.
They should be able to provide official documentation about their quality assurance process and dedication to both customer satisfaction and self-improvement.
If your current ECM can’t answer these questions, it might be time to make a change.
At Levison Enterprises, our customers are our top priority and we strive for excellence to exceed your expectations.
If you are ready to partner with a new electronic contract manufacturer who can exceed your expectations and deliver quality at a competitive price, contact Levison Enterprises today for an estimate on your next assembly.