Tricks and Treats in Electronic Assembly Contracts
Whether it’s your first time contracting with an electronic contract manufacturer or your hundredth, there are things you want to land in your contract and things you want to avoid. By watching for a few key tells, you can be the kid with all the king-sized candy bars and none of the tricks after trick-or-treating.
Avoid the Tricks
Now let’s talk about how to avoid getting tricked in your electronic assembly contract.
There is always a house on the trick-or-treat route that nobody quite knows how to handle. Is the light on? Are they home? If they are home, is this the kind of place you want to take candy from?
Approach your electronic assembly contract with the same kind of intuitive caution. Do they maintain quality certifications? If so, do they use vetted suppliers? Are they a place that can do a complete assembly?
Look for an electronic contract manufacturer who can answer these first questions as obviously and easily as a home with a pumpkin-lit path to their front porch full of people holding huge bowls of candy and wearing head-to-toe costumes. (Bonus if your electronic contract manufacturer has candy!)
Along with your products themselves, your drawings, plans, and potential ideas are among the most valuable assets you have. In some industries, your electronic contract manufacturer is required to protect your intellectual property. But what if you’re not in defense or aerospace or another industry with mandatory protections?
A good electronic contract manufacturer will provide intellectual property protections, no matter what size or type of project you have. Your intellectual property is yours and you need to make sure it stays that way. As your ECM, what standards and procedures do they use to ensure that your plans and drawings are only seen and used for the purpose of working on your projects.
Finding out your plans happened into the hands of a competitor? That’s one nasty trick to avoid.
All projects and proposals will have some plan for when the work will be completed. If nothing else, you probably have a deadline for when you need the whole assembly out the door. We’ve all experienced the “mushy” timeline, though. It usually won’t have hard deadlines or any real milestones except for the final deliverable.
The trick in an undefined timeline is that without Gannt charts, multiple milestones, and a cascading timeline, you’re kind of in the dark. If things get behind, you may not know about it until that final deadline comes and goes and you’re left holding the expense for delays.
Don’t get tricked into trusting your ECM knows how to get your project from start to finish. Make sure the process is all spelled out – with multiple milestones and dates – so you can monitor progress and fix delays before they become unmanageable.
Say you go to an electronic contract manufacturer and you tell them you want a prototype for an electronic pen. The electronic contract manufacturer comes back with a plain BIC pen with a motor attached. It works. But, this is not exactly what you had in mind. It looks like junk and though it technically works, it would never sell. What a waste of time!
This is an annoying trick that you can avoid by working with an ECM that truly wants to understand your vision and goals and not just “technically” fulfill your request. There may be many ways to get your electronic assembly complete, but not all will fulfill your whole vision. Opt for the ECM that wants to take on the whole project, not just the technicalities.
Find the Treats
While you’re avoiding the questionable houses, you can also scope out the places that are going to give you the best treats. In the case of finding a good electronic contract manufacturer to complete your electronic assembly, you want to look for places that put your needs first.
Your Best Interest
It’s safe to say that any ECM that’s handing you any of the tricks from above does not have your best interest in mind. An electronic contract manufacturer that puts you first will have non-disclosure agreements and procedures in place in order to protect you and your intellectual capital.
The best electronic manufacturers will not only use non-disclosure agreements, but they will also want you to sign them. They are interested in making sure that your designs are protected even before they begin assembly.
Another treat for your electronics assembly is a detailed contract. All the important information should be spelled out for you. Timelines, milestones, charts, expectations, etc. should be detailed in a way that helps you feel at ease with the process.
The treat is that you can trust that the ECM knows what they are doing and you have enough detail to monitor it for yourself – and for your peace of mind. This makes it far less likely you’ll be left with a delayed project and the expense that goes with it.
While you do want a detailed contract, you don’t want to be buried in 500 pages of legalese. You want to understand what is involved in the electronic assembly project, how it will happen, when, and at what cost. This should be spelled out in plain language so that you are confident that you understand.
All Treats, no Tricks at Levison Enterprises
As your electronic contract manufacturer, Levison Enterprises offers all the treats without any of the tricks. We believe in putting your needs and your project first. We want our partners to feel confident and comfortable in their electronic assembly projects from contract to completion.
We maintain a range of high-level certifications, that we pass along to all our projects of all sizes. We do this to give you and your projects the best quality and security and spell it all out for you, too.
For your next electronic assembly project, skip the questionable shop. Head straight for the king-sized candy bars at Levison Enterprises.