The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing PCB Assembly
Successful businesses have learned that handling everything in-house is generally not profitable or advisable. For example, you might have a fantastic idea for a product. But being equipped to create a prototype and produce your product is another matter.
Many businesses outsource different functions, like accounting and IT. And PCB assembly is another area you may wish to consider handing off to a qualified professional. But maybe you’re on the fence about tackling these projects on your own or finding a trusted partner.
Here are some pros and cons of outsourcing your PCB assembly so you can make the most informed decision for your business.
The PROS of Outsourcing PCB Assembly
One of the most complex decisions a business makes is whether or not to delegate specific tasks to others. After all, you’re committed to the quality of your work. Will a business partner have that same level of dedication? Many arguments support outsourcing as a way to improve quality and gain efficiency. Here are some of the advantages of outsourcing your PCB assembly.
Shorten Time to Market
Most industries today are highly competitive. If you have a design you need to get to prototype and then to market, you may not have time for the potential delays that can happen when you take on a project in-house. Fortunately, a reputable PCB assembly team that you partner with will be able to complete your project in the time you require - sometimes even faster!
When you outsource this part of your business, you can shortcut things like creating workflows, tweaking designs, and scheduling meetings with your team. You have the benefit of a group with years of experience meeting strict deadlines so you can jump on the competition.
Improve Your Original Design
Your original design might be fantastic. But few product designs make it to market without some adjustments for various reasons. If you take on the work, you may not have the expertise to make the required changes or be “too close” to the original design to recognize what needs to be done.
A fresh set of eyes can evaluate your design and let you know if there is room for improvement. Are there compatibility or safety issues that need addressing? Or maybe your schematics can be simplified in a way that will save your business some valuable cash.
Free Up Internal Staff
Another issue that businesses face is having to refocus their design and engineering staff for different roles. Of course, designers and engineers will be asked to create documentation for their concepts but managing a project from the design stage through prototype and manufacturing may divert too much of their time.
When you outsource these functions, your design and engineering professionals can focus on what they do best — conceptualizing new projects and investigating ways to make them a reality.
Eliminate Costly Equipment Expenses
PCB assembly equipment can be incredibly costly to purchase and maintain. And it also needs to be operated by knowledgeable and trained personnel. This can be a significant investment for a company that wants to bring PCB assembly in-house. Alternatively, you can outsource this function and eliminate costly equipment, upkeep, recruiting, and staffing expenses that will quickly become a financial burden.
- Access to Valuable PCB Expertise
Designing printed circuit boards (PCBs) requires a high level of specialization, mainly when those boards are used for specific industries like aerospace or medicine. It might be challenging to find and keep the right professionals in-house for this work.
But a dedicated PCB design and assembly partner will be sure to have a qualified team ready to assist you and ensure your prototype or project meets all of its established requirements and deadlines. This is valuable peace of mind you may not be able to get otherwise.
Coordination of System Components
When you create a new product, it’s going to involve much more than just the printed circuit board. You must work with a design team that can coordinate all systems to produce the best possible outcome.
Often, some parts may come from different manufacturers. And it’s common to find that parts don’t work together as you thought they would. When you outsource these functions, most components are built under the same roof, and you have specialists who will coordinate a smooth assembly of your final product.
After-sales and Other Additional Services
This cooperation can benefit your business if you create a fruitful relationship with your PCB assembly partner. Your PCB team can support you if you decide to make adjustments to your product in the future, even after you go to market. If there are any issues with the product down the road, you’ll have a partner who can help you quickly investigate and address the problem before it becomes too costly.
Potential CONS of Outsourcing PCB Assembly
Of course, there are a ton of benefits to outsourcing your PCB assembly. But what about the drawbacks? Here are just a few that have the potential to impact your business.
Loss of Control
It’s a fair point that different PCB firms have varying expertise and customer service levels. You’ll get the best results if you partner with a company with the experience and background you need and the style of collaboration that meshes with your own. Otherwise, there’s a real danger of you losing control of your project and its outcome.
Time and Financial Losses
You risk time and financial losses with your PCB assembly project if you choose the wrong PCB partner. You might not make it to the market quickly enough to take advantage of your potential to get ahead of the competition. And, if you have to start over with someone else, it could be costly.
Choose the Right PCB Assembly Partner for Your Outsourcing Needs
Now that you understand the pros and cons of outsourcing PCB assembly, you can see more benefits than drawbacks. The next step is choosing the right PCB assembly partner, so you’ll never experience any potential disadvantages.
Out of the Box Manufacturing uses only ISO-certified processes, expert engineering, fully automated systems, and the highest-trained production professionals to ensure every PCB assembly is created right the first time.
Contact us today to learn more about our commitment to excellence and our services.