For every project, the Electronics Manufacturing Service Provider (EMS Provider) strives to enable partners on-time delivery (OTD) services. The initial conversations between provider and partner are necessary to establish the proper steps to success. Overall, these conversations develop the needs of the project at hand and indicate priorities for the build. Delivering on-time services is critical for customer service and proper project completion.
Setting the alarm before bed takes careful consideration. How many times will you press snooze? When will you eat breakfast? How long does it take for you to do your signature hair-do?Similarly,setting the timer for a project takes thoughtful deliberation. Key factors include expertise, staffing, technology standards, and transparency on the supplier side.
Firstly, an experienced supplier should effectively build their services to support their customers’ needs. In practice, these solutions extend past assembly to industry knowledge. To strive for on-time delivery, a supplier should:
Evaluate Obsolete Parts
Check End-of-Life Parts
Assess Lead Times
Review Applications for Components
Overall, experience in the industry allows certain suppliers the inner know-how to navigate component acquisition and potential production time.
Knowledge alone cannot prevent sleeping through the alarm. Proper employee training in the correct positions is crucial to waking up refreshed and ready to go!
If a company is understaffed and overworked, the delivery goal will be much harder to reach. Regular assessments of business practices, managerial roles, and training practices must occur to counter this problem. Establishing effective training procedures and recognition allows the right employee to fill a vital position.
After all, companies operating with the best person for each task are guaranteed to create an efficient production process with fewer snooze button hits.
Coupled with the right team, establishing top-notch technology and machinery streamlines production processes wherever possible. For instance, Surface-Mount Technology (SMT) machines perform PCB Assembly tasks such as component placement more quickly than complete manual assembly.
For companies searching for a supplier, it is essential to visit the facility or receive a list of the machinery they can equip for your project. Furthermore, if your project is for a growing industry, such as Electric Vehicles, evaluating the machinery for its longevity eliminates future supplier changes and production delays.
On the whole, constant updates reassure the customer that the supplier has their best interest in mind. This honest feedback incorporates positive and negative situations involved with a project’s progress. For example, suppose a supplier becomes aware of a pending issue that will delay the procurement of specific components if a different course is not taken. In that case, they should immediately notify the customer to plan an alternate solution and maintain trust.
These constant discussions could generate new ideas to continue the path to on-time delivery, even when blocks seemingly get in the way.
Avoid Hitting the Snooze
In summary, with a customer’s keen attention to supplier services and the supplier’s constant assessment of their capabilities, partners can achieve on-time delivery even in times of supply chain turmoil. The final piece of advice is for both parties to have realistic goals. Especially during component shortages, everyone should review the path to production with the goal of re-defining order periods and lead times. With all of these tips in mind, springing out of bed at the first alarm should come easily!
*Editor Note: The component shortage has severely affected our lead times for project completion. As always, we are committed to customer satisfaction and the goal of on-time delivery; however, we are forced to operate within the restrictions of the supply chain. For further inquiry about this ongoing issue, please contact us.
When Component Shortage Fails You…
Here we are, in the second half of 2021, yet changes over the past year have settled into a “new normal” that affects how business is conducted. One of the most heavily involved industries iselectronic manufacturing, specifically the component shortage associated with Printed Circuit Board Assembly.
Yes, we have entered the recovery stage of the pandemic, but we are now in “Crisis Mode” as a manufacturing industry. So let’s go over a few of the most significant problems facing productivity today:
Long component lead times.
The average lead time for a manufacturing project has become much longer in the past several months. From order to delivery, suppliers and customers are waiting on their heels weeks later than anticipated.
Individual components have become rare, and therefore expensive. Expect to lighten the wallet when it comes to ongoing production.
Disruptions in project completion.
Somebody get the manufacturing industry a cold glass of water…because it has hiccups. Each stage brings pauses to the overall goal of completing a project.
How did we get here?
These problems occur based on many overlapping issues with stocking, shipping, building, receiving, and general bad luck.
Focusing specifically onPCB Assembly, both US-based manufacturing and off-shore counterparts, such as China, suffer due to the raised cost of raw materials and the employee deficit caused by Covid-19.
In a greater scope, there have been political tensions and shifting trade agreements. The US and China have been in a boxing match, implementing tariffs on both sides.
Additionally, automotive manufacturing has been forced to dip into materials traditionally left for other markets, leaving limited suppliesfor the rest of the industry than before the pandemic.
Even before last year’s events, the demand for electronic components has constantly been rising, with smartphones and new automotive electronic capabilities, andmost manufacturers can’t keep up with the demand.
Here’s How to Succeed!
How can you work with the grain and succeed?
So now, if you’re reading this, you want to know how to avoid complications in the component shortage, and we want to help. Here are the three basic steps to consider regarding your ongoing or upcoming projects at this time:
1) Forecast sales cycles.
2) Identify long lead-time components.
3) Buy and stock now.
These three steps may seem very simple; however, their impact can differentiate between massive success and grand failure.
STEP ONE: Review and Forecast
Before you start to panic, take the time to review your regular sales cycles and forecast future actions. Use this point in the planning period to project the growing changes; this action will keep you from getting caught off-guard. In this case, doubling forecasted cycles will help with the final step. If you usually plan for a 3-month reorder period, project for 6 months instead. Stay one step ahead, always!
To ease this restructuring, coordinate with your supplier for updates on high-demand periods and blockages. They are here to aid your experience with the transparency of facts, not to make false promises.
STEP TWO: Identify Problem Areas
Once you have laid out the plans, identify the trouble-making components with the long turnaround times. This process means that as soon as you have identified the right time to order, place all necessary orders for each component immediately. This step is more easily said than done, as most components have acquired long lead times, but the best way to prepare is to diagnose all potential headaches.
If the long lead-time components are the headaches, then discussions with your supplier are the Tylenol. They know what materials are available and which ones need your immediate attention, so swallow up the advice and lessen your chances for a future migraine!
STEP THREE: Stock, Stock, and Stock
By this point, you are best friends with your manufacturer and will discuss the desire to stock components for future projects. We recognize that it is a seller’s market, so this action allows some peace of mind and control.In addition, you will have the ability to preemptively store components projected to have very long, unstable lead times, so grab all the material you can!
We are aware that this action contradicts the established norm that typically calls for low inventory and just-in-time ordering, but as stated above, we are in a “new normal.” The best move for your company is to spend the cash at the start and prepare for the worst.
PGF would like to help to make transferring your assembly to a new contract manufacturer EASY!
To do this, PGF will offer toabsorb the cost of the programming and the stencil on your project, allowing you to move without paying for the tooling over again.
Enquire today with our sales staff to see if your project will qualify for the “Make It Easy” Incentive Program.
You no longer have to contemplate the extra tooling cost to move your board assembly to another manufacturer. We have taken that right out of the equation. As a solutions provider, we want to partner with your company to ease the assembly of your projects. This aids us in our constant goal to improve customer satisfaction and guarantee high-quality service!
If you have worked with PGF and have any feedback about your time with us, please leave feedback for us right here or on our Google page!
PGF Technology Group, Inc. can handle your project from prototype to production. Contact us to start the process!
We are constantly updating and adding to our assembly lines to provide outstanding quality craft and increase capacity to make these offers.