Why OEMs should avoid some EMS manufacturers, EMS factories, EMS divisions

By Staff

Few electronics OEMs want to work with EMS manufacturers where other OEM customers are leaving. For various reasons, EMS manufacturers at the bottom of any list due to EMS providers knowingly breaching contracts, exhibiting a decline in responsiveness to customer requests after signing deals, use glib communications lacking any form of critical sense, have inadequate EMS program managers void of a sense of urgency, sub-par business and EMS industry practices plus, any number of other reasons…

Knowing information about which EMS provider companies, specific EMS factories, and EMS provider corporate divisions fall into the above pits can save OEM programs, OEM careers, and possibly save your company’s future.

For example, you thought your team performed EMS manufacturing due diligence, but did you take a look at the EMS provider’s bone pile?

When evaluating and touring EMS and ODM factories, we suggest you start by asking to see the EMS factory bone pile. An inconspicuous room or location, typically off the beaten path for factory tours, where failed boards and faulty box build systems are stored.

Size of EMS bone piles can vary, but there are reasonably acceptable industry norms. Plus, peering into the provider’s bone pile offers insight into other, equally important, and yet still ill-defined, EMS manufacturing processes and procedures.

Managing execution of out-sourced assembly and test (OSAT) bone piles can separate good EMS manufacturers from bad contract electronics solutions providers you should avoid.

Meanwhile, central to discussion and negotiations after you determined your process for how to select a contract electronics manufacturer is ICT board, functional, box build testing.

So, ask EMS manufacturers to show you records of the number of items placed into their bone pile as a percentage of program daily (or monthly) volume through puts.

Most EMS sales people don’t bother with this type of detail so this is also a good way to bring more factory- and process/systems-knowledgeable EMS persons into your business discussions.

You are entitled to know the five most common reasons why printed circuit boards and failed systems product (both already loaded with direct labor costs and more costly indirect labor functional group overhead costs that OEM customers already paid for) is tying up EMS (and OEM customer) working capital.

Then, there is MRB. Materials review board. How is the provider managing disposition of materials as scrap or reimbursement, and at what percentage to cost of operations, correcting/re-testing bone pile items, etc…

Armed with historical knowledge from these areas can give OEMs a glimpse into the EMS manufacturer’ future performance.

Beyond which EMS manufacturers honor contract agreements and clauses, live up to OEM expectations after the deal is signed, or knowing which EMS companies and factories to avoid, we have compiled detailed information on various EMS manufacturers. OEM decision makers can request more information here.

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