EMS manufacturer distribution networks waste time quoting OEM RFQs

Nobody cares more about OEM program success than the OEM

By Mark Zetter

Contract EMS providers will tell new OEM prospects it takes two weeks to return a quote for new customer programs. Typically it takes longer and this is just EMS industry jargon CMs use so they can get the OEM quote package in their hands. But quote turnaround also depends on what’s being quoted.

For time required to quote, if the EMS provider assigns one EMS employee, working full-time, to get out one new customer quote it takes at least three weeks for OEMs to get a response to your RFQ. And know its more common for contract solutions providers to (internally) work against a one month turnaround time as rule-of-thumb.

This gap between quote turnaround time EMS providers claim v. actuality is easy to fill with excuses conveyed to help keep OEM prospects on their toes while they wait.

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Quoting new customer programs is even more costly for EMS providers when more than one EMS employee is involved. And this is often the case but EMS costs need to be normalized, and more EMS employees involved in the quote process does help reduce quote turnaround time.

Every quote is different

There is no standardized contract electronics pricing and EMS providers see OEM quote packages across a range of complexity based on program size and requirements.


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For example, a heavily-nested OEM quote package with more than 100 sub-assemblies could be assigned, say, a level 3 quote complexity. Whereas quoting one PC board with some components could be a level 1 complexity. Then there are quickturn quotes returned in days and sometimes say hours, but regardless what contract manufacturers say these are never optimized for customers in terms of pricing, and always priced for convenience.

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