If you are getting ready for your first time at the “rodeo”, there are some critical elements to keep in mind when selecting your PCB Assembly provider.

Know your project: Is your project simple or complex? Are there parts of your project that are already assembled or do you need the PCB provider to take full responsibility? Do you need a quick turnaround time or do you have some wiggle room in your schedule? Are you making a prototype first or do you need to order volume?  Before you begin conversations, have your information and questions at your fingertips.

Get to know the company: First timers, whether a large company embarking on a new project or the independent inventor just wanting to take a product to market, tend to be swayed by the lowest bid for PCB Assembly.  Keep in mind not all PCB Assembly companies are the same.  Ask questions; how long have they been in business? What kinds of work they do? Check out their certifications, the manufacturing process and training systems etc.  If you are considering someone local, ask for a tour of the facility.  Get to know the people who are going to help you take your product to market.

Ask for referrals: Printed Circuit Board Assembly isn’t unlike any other service you use as a consumer.  Asking others who they use and about the reputation of companies you might be interested in can save you a lot of time and keep you from flying blind. However, referrals don’t alleviate your responsibility to ask questions and do some homework before making a final decision.

Once you find the company who can do the job for you, provides the extra level of service you need, stick with them and you created the ultimate win/win!