Before you decide to go with a particular supplier for whatever manufacturing discipline you’re looking for, one of the questions you should ask yourself is this: how vertically integrated is the supplier for the custom manufacturing service you seek?

The more vertically integrated a supplier is, the better your chances that the supplier will do well. For example, the supplier met the delivery date promised, with a quality part, at the lowest price.

When a supplier is vertically integrated, he controls most of the manufacturing process under one roof. Very little, if any, of the final product is outsourced to another firm, thereby keeping the cost lower than if the supplier has to send a part (or assembly) outside for part of the process. The result is that there are no additional freight charges incurred, which would have to be amortized into the Unit Manufacturing Cost (UMC). Hidden costs, such as time spent in transit, and potential damage to parts, are eliminated.

Quality and craftsmanship issues due to outsourced operations result in missed delivery dates and New Product Introduction (NPI) product launch dates. There are no exceptions. The more off-loaded operations there are in the manufacturing process, the more risk to the customer. Your delivery schedule is jeopardized by poor quality, missed deliveries, and higher costs. Whoever gets to market first, wins! Overlooking this crucial consideration can wreak havoc on your NPI launch date. You lose out!

When considering a supplier, look carefully at their in-house operations. After determining what operations they do NOT control, make an intelligent decision on how to proceed with that supplier, or begin looking elsewhere.

We at Promark Electronics, Inc. have been in the business for 46 years and have experienced first-hand the pitfalls of representing suppliers that did not have the vertical integration of our present suppliers. We learned from our experiences so that you don’t have to. Move slowly before moving forward with any new suppliers. Have them demonstrate their process capability with their quick turn prototype capabilities. If they don’t support your NPI efforts with quick turn services, then you have good reason to look elsewhere. Make an educated guess, and then evaluate the results.

Promark continually strives to offer a vertically integrated product line. It starts with design services and offers whatever manufacturing help or disciplines our customers need to bring their product to market in record time. Our goal is to always exceed our customers’ expectations. This is one of the many considerations that you, the customer, must evaluate to make your project a success.