Find electronics services: (888) 860-1193

https://www.ventureoutsource.com/contract-manufacturing/benchmarks-best-practices/product-design-development/product-design-and-development-supplier-evaluation

59 Questions OEMs must ask ODMs

By Mark Zetter

Product design and development is often outsourced to a contract manufacturer. In such instances, the sooner an OEM engages the contract manufacturer for product design and development services, the better off the OEM will likely be when the product being designed moves into the production and ramp-to-volume phases.

In instances where the contract manufacturer is chosen by the OEM for strategic reasons, the contract manufacturer will likely have experience designing and manufacturing similar products which will aid the OEM to minimize costly design iterations, help bring the OEM product to market sooner and add various other quality-related benefits to the contract manufacturing relationship. (See, also: Sample ‘medical’ electronics product design contract)

Below is a sampling of the type of information, and capabilities, OEM executives might want to look for when considering a potential contract manufacturing partner(s) during the important evaluation process. The purpose in this instance is to inquire about the contract manufacturer’s product design and development service capabilities. (See also: EMS Evaluation checklist and Top 5 mistakes OEMs make with EMS providers)

Any questionnaire presented should cover as many of the product design and development aspects as possible to help OEM executives gain a full understanding of the contract manufacturer’s tools, staffing experience, equipment and processes utilized with respect to, but not limited to, the following product design and development categories:

  • hardware / electrical development
  • PCB design & layout
  • industrial / mechanical design
  • system level design
  • software / firmware development
  • component engineering
  • change notice process
  • design validation and testing
  • review technique process (DFx)
  • quality & reliability assurance
  • software tools
  • compliance, safety and regulatory adherence

 

1. How many years of experience does the contract manufacturer have in designing and developing [product type]?

2. What target markets does the contract manufacturer design and build products for?

3. Where are their design facility locations? (included number of design personnel per facility)

4. Ask the contract manufacturer to discuss engineering staff turnover

  • number of design engineers hired in the last 2 years
  • number of design engineers who have left in the last 2 years

 

5. Ask for revealing any alliances the contract manufacturer has with production, fabrication, test facilities, etc.

  • organization
  • nature of alliance

 

6. Does the contract manufacture have design skill capability in the following disciplines? (This portion of the questionnaire should be as specific as possible based on product and industry-specific product requirements)

  • Does the contract manufacture ‘sub-contract’ design work? (If the answer to this question is yes, consider presenting a similar questionnaire to your contract manufacturer, for him to present to the subcontractor)

 

7. How many years has the contract manufacture been involved in design activities for the [particular industry]?

8. What are the contract manufacturer’s core competencies in design and development? (Search EMS Resources Directory)

9. Is there a minimum business level dollar volume expectation?

10. Is it required by the contract manufacturer that all design and development contracts must also commit to contract manufacturing? (See sample hardware outsourcing contract)

 

Design flow

11. Ask contract manufacture to design methodology and flow. Flow must include at least the following:

  • input requirements
  • approval/design review cycles
  • all intermediate development steps
  • information transfer medium
  • final deliverables
  • test verification stages
  • handoffs
  • quality assurance stages
  • roles & responsibilities

 

12. What type of information transfer and archiving tools does the contract manufacturer use?

13. What tools are used to develop and maintain schedules and manage projects for design and development work (be specific)?

14. What collaborative tools does the contract manufacturer use to support design and development activities?

15. How does the contract manufacture verify if a design is manufacturable?

Remaining content only available to logged in users. Please Register or Log In.



Ask a Question Post In Forums
Post your article comments below. Please follow our Website and community Terms

Comments

Leave a Reply

TIP: Anyone can post article comments whether or not you are registered. But, if you register or log in you can attribute your posts to your user profile in GlobalNet Community.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

You might also like:

Find quality electronics providers

About VentureOutsource.com

VentureOutsource.com is the leading online destination helping electronics OEM outsourcing decision makers make more informed decisions and reduce risk. We offer educational Webinars, thousands of original articles and helpful tools, a community of influencers who understand the challenges facing your company today, and a comprehensive directory of electronics provider services.



Copyright 2014 Venture Outsource, LLC. All Rights Reserved
The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for legal, financial or professional advice. Distribution and use of this material are governed by our User Terms Agreement and by copyright law. By using our Website you agree to site Terms and Privacy policies. For questions please contact VentureOutsource.com at 1-888-860-1193 or visit www.ventureoutsource.com