The world is constantly changing. As with anything, you either go with the flow embracing the change or exhaust yourself trying to swim upstream avoiding it. Why continue doing the same things over and over again when there is a more efficient way? As a small batch electronics manufacturer, we’ve learned to go with the flow and strive for continuous improvement in all aspects of our business.
Once in a while, a customer comes to us with a PCB assembly job where they already have parts on hand wanting to know if we can incorporate these existing parts into their job. The parts may have been purchased because a bulk order was needed to get the one or two pieces for a prototype or maybe the customer used to produce the boards in-house and has a remaining inventory of components. Regardless of the reason, most times, we can incorporate these into the job without issue.
As you’ve learned in Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, much of the actual work in getting your custom electronics job processed is completed well before it ever goes into production. In this final part of the series, we’ll walk through what to expect during the first production run and the follow up process, and how the relationship is maintained after the receipt of the first order.
In our Part 1 of this series, we discussed the needs assessment and quote preparation stages of the order flow and how important they are to a successful project. The process continues as we enter into the launch phase, which starts once an order is received for a new PCB assembly.
In a company that handles recurring small batch work on printed circuit board assembly, project requirements and specifications can vary a lot. The key to delivering high-quality work in a timely manner is to get the project methodology down to a science. It can't be done without a solid understanding on both sides of the contract: the assembling company must know what the customer needs, and the customer must validate that work undertaken by the company is accurate.
The manufacturing economy is tough right now, and the way to stand out in the custom electronics field is to deliver customer service that doesn't just meet and exceed your customers' needs – it also has to provide them with resources and support that they can't get anywhere else. If you're thinking of your relationship with customers as primarily transactional, you're thinking of the bare minimum. What makes custom electronics companies thrive is the richness of service they provide.
I have worked as a customer service representative in the PCB assembly industry for 21 years and have seen a great deal of attention and change to improve overall customer service over that time. Key to providing great customer service, no matter what industry you’re in, is always focusing on the customers’ needs first and foremost.