Deciding to outsource your PCB manufacturing is a big decision. Choosing the wrong manufacturing partner can put you in a sticky situation. Quality problems can be difficult to resolve. Communication issues can slow down your timelines.

But some companies have great success with outsourcing their PCB manufacturing.

What do they do differently that leads to their success? How do they find the right partner?

There are 5 key things that they look for in a PCB manufacturer.

Key #1: They look for a manufacturing partner that does extensive quality testing

It’s no secret that many companies run into quality problems when outsourcing. Problems like warping of boards or indentations on the PCB surface can make your life more difficult. Low quality boards in your end products can ruin your reputation with customers.

When you are considering a potential manufacturing partner, you have to make sure they are quality focused.

Are all of their PCBs 100% tested before shipment? If not, this is a major red flag.

Key #2: They look for a manufacturing partner who can help them with design

You may come to your manufacturing partner with complete designs. And since they are PCB manufacturing experts, they should be able to give your designs a thorough review. A good partner may be able to suggest design changes or materials substitutions.

Thoughtful design changes and substitutions can reduce costs. They can also increase efficiency during the manufacturing process.

Key #3: They look for a manufacturing partner who is cost efficient

Looking for the lowest cost manufacturer is not really a good idea. You should be thinking about quality. But once you find manufacturers that can provide you the level of quality you need, you want to get the most bang for your buck.

You should find a manufacturer who follows lean manufacturing principles. A lean manufacturer is one who is focused on eliminating the “7 deadly wastes” in the production process.

Key #4: They look for a manufacturing partner who has a good track record

When you find a partner that has a good track record you can be sure that you are more than just a guinea pig. If they have experience working with a number of companies similar to yours that is a good sign. If they have a good reputation and have served successful brands, you know you’ll be in good hands.

Key #5: They look for a manufacturing partner who is customer focused

Starting from your very first interaction with a manufacturing partner they should be professional. They should give you the impression that they care about your success. They should show you that you are more than just a number to them. If they can provide top class customer service from the beginning they may be worth considering.

How to get the PCBs you need for your next big high tech project

At Gabrian, we love to work with innovative companies that are changing the world.

We produce Prototype PCBs for companies that have new products or new designs. We provide function testing and short lead times for these projects.

Our customer list includes companies like Honeywell, Siemens, and GE. We pride ourselves on our clear communication, high levels of quality and on-time deliveries.

Learn more about our PCB capabilities.