Value Added Manufacturing – What should you be looking for?

value added electronics manufacturingOffering electronics manufacturing services is evolving, clients require more than just production, its ever more critical now that manufacturers offer a value-added service.

In today’s world it’s taken for granted that suppliers will have leading edge manufacturing capabilities, competitive pricing and a total commitment to high quality, clients are looking for more.  Electronics manufacturers should actively take steps to make themselves stand out amongst the competition, offering value-added services with flexible packages helping clients receive a more all-encompassing service under one roof.  4e Technology believes the key is for manufacturers to listen to a clients’ actual needs, understand their problems and offer up solutions which are flexible and always bring added value.

Supporting projects with more than just electronics manufacturing is our goal at 4e.  Providing a real value-added service to you though continuous improvement and commercial awareness, all in support of your project’s development and total life-cycle management.

So, let’s look further at some key value-added services you should be considering when searching for a new manufacturing partner.

Customised Ordering Structures
Clients often search for a more personalised ordering structure, complex builds in smaller volumes, faster and with a more flexible call off structure to allow for manufacturing variations and versions, often referred to as High-Mix, Low-Volume production.  Manufacturing partners are having to deliver to tighter delivery windows as required by clients and factor in low minimum order quantities, all the while balancing this against the costs associated with rapid turnaround, additional materials handling and set up times.  It’s therefore critical that your manufacturing partner balances agility and efficiency to help optimise costings.

Supply Chain Management
With clients requiring flexible and fast manufacturing it is critical that the supply chain is reactive, robust and with complete traceability throughout.  Procurement, materials sourcing and inventory management is critical to meeting the delivery demands set by clients.  Removing the need to directly manage your supply chain should be high on your wish lists, thus allowing you to maintain your focus elsewhere knowing that this is all in hand.

New Product Introduction
value added manufacturing services ISO 13485 quality pcb board hands in a meeting engineering ce markingThe New Product Introduction (NPI) process is an integral element for manufacturing partners taking on new projects.  A time to review, refine and ready for manufacture with the targets being on time, on budget, to the highest levels of quality, all the while reducing the time to market of your product and ensuring reliable future production.  It’s important to remember this isn’t solely a requirement for ‘new’ designs and should be utilised for any project to be manufactured with a new partner.  Engineers should seek to review and verify documentation and oversee initial manufacturing batches of any product before handing over fully to volume production.

Engineering and Technical Support
We at 4e find clients are more often searching for a manufacturing partner that offers design and technical support, especially during the initial stages of a products life.  Be it finding you don’t have the technical expertise in house, needing expanded specific sector knowledge, or current capacity on your engineering department is maxed out.  Finding a manufacturing partner who offers support and advice during the Design for Manufacture (DFM) process is invaluable, meaning your product can be manufactured at the optimal cost, this requirement has becoming more and more valuable to clients.

A Design For Manufacture (DFM) Review is extremely beneficial to our clients who don’t have their own in-house engineering team.  Utilising your manufacturing partners engineering expertise during a DFM review helps identify potential issues during Prototyping and Pre-Production stages, preventing costly-redesigns having to be addressed during volume manufacture.

Regulatory Compliance Support
In today’s regulatory controlled world, it’s not as easy as just having a great idea, perfecting the manufacturing processes and bringing a quality product to market.  Navigating the regulatory compliance procedures necessary to gain your product its accredited qualification can be a confusing but compulsory process.

Looking to find a manufacturer who offers Regulatory Compliance Support with previous experience in this field is often invaluable.  Harnessing their support and advice during the initial prototyping stages helps smooth the road to gaining regulatory compliance, drawing on their previous experiences.  Your looking for a manufacturer who understands the processes surrounding regulatory testing and can produce the required technical test and data packs to support your product through EMC testing, CE certification or FDA approvals.

Product Life-Cycle Support & Obsolescence Management
Finally, once you’ve found your manufacturing partner, travelled through the New Product Design (NPI) stages, optimised your Design For Manufacture and are now up and running in full manufacturing quantities you’re going to need long term Product Life-Cycle Support.  A partner who takes care of your product throughout its life, managing inevitable issues that arise, so that all you need to focus on is your next project.

Obsolescence issues are inevitable in today’s fast paced developing technology markets and working with a trusted manufacturing partner that manages issues such as component end of life, last time buy, or lead time issues means you don’t have to, leaving you to focus on the future of your next big idea.

If you’re looking for value-added manufacturing, help navigating the pitfalls that come through your products life-cycle then contact 4e Technology today, we have the expertise, knowledge and experience so that you can be confident in your manufacturing partner. 

Visit our website to read more about the services we offer or call us TODAY to discuss your project and hear how we can ADD VALUE to YOU, we look forward to hearing from you.

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