Today’s consumer, whether shopping for landscaping services or electronics manufacturing services, typically wants an answer to the question “how much will it cost?” as soon as possible. This key cost number often decides if they will continue to shop, if they can hand a project off to a service provider or even if there is value in pursuing the service at all.
On the flip side, many companies, whether they are landscaping services or electronics manufacturing providers, want to gain the business quickly and assume that once the business is on the books, there is room to make adjustments after the business is secured.
While “how much?” is a pressing question and often senior leaders are waiting to hear the number, that pressure can push a hungry or young company to take short cuts on the quoting process. When an EMS provider does not take time to ask thorough and probing questions about your project, they may be providing an estimate and presenting it as a quote.
A quality minded and experienced EMS provider will need to ask and have many questions answered before providing the actual quote and they will not be willing to short cut that process to give you a “ball park”.
For example, when requesting a quote for CAD Layout, you may be asked if you have a preference for which schematic tool is used, or which layout tool is used. Your provider will want to know if you are providing a schematic or the schematic libraries as well as the mechanical requirements, if any, that should be considered. You may also be asked about Fabrication, Assembly or Test Analysis, which requires specialized software.
Fabrication quotes on the other hand, requires specifications, such as the materials to be used to build the board, how many layers it should have, the thickness and trace width and spacing of the components. Plus, there are a number of surface finishes and lead free or leaded options that become part of the quoting criteria. There may also be questions about other compliance requirements such UL compliance.
When obtaining a quote for PCB Assembly, your EMS provider will ask if the drawings are available, if you have coating requirements or if you have press-fit tooling requirements. They will also want to know if the stencil gerber or aperture files are available.
Many companies can take care of design and assembly on their own and simply wish to obtain a quote on component procurement. One of the first questions you can expect relates to if you have a BOM (Bill of Materials) available or if one needs to be created for your project. You may be asked if you require manufacturer certificates of compliance or if you desire your parts to be procured from a specific manufacturer.
The more information you can obtain about your project before requesting a quote, the faster the quote process will go and the more likely your quote will be firm and not have surprise expenses after you have awarded the business to an EMS.
At MJS Designs, providing comprehensive quotes that rarely require revisions after the contract is awarded is a hallmark of the MJS Service level.