PCB Basics for Buyers: A Quick Guide to the PCB Industry
September 16, 2021: Why are PCB buying departments often hesitant to move business from one vendor to another, even when it is clearly warranted? Perhaps it’s the overly cumbersome process required by many EMS and OEM companies before PCB orders can be moved. I understand we are all busy these days. And I understand that adding a new vendor to the approved vendor list (AVL) can be time-consuming. But it’s [...]
September 14, 2021: Your PCB supplier (broker) has been acquired. Will this acquisition benefit you as a board buyer? Or will it lead to higher prices and a reduced level of service? Most likely, you will not have as much leverage as you once did on pricing and service. What was 5% of that acquired supplier’s business may now be only 0.5% of the larger entity. You'll immediately become a [...]
September 9, 2021: My latest column in Circuits Assembly magazine argues that domestic PCB manufacturers need to improve customer service...
September 7, 2021: Henry Ford said it best: “Competition is the keen cutting edge of business, always shaving away at costs.” That applies to PCB vendor pricing as well. It's crucial to keep your vendor base on its toes. You can lower costs, with minimal risk to your manufacturing operation, by ensuring all your vendors feel the need to remain competitive. So when was the last time you stirred your PCB [...]
August 31, 2021: Program managers can make (or break) your company. Do your program managers have the skills and knowledge they need to manage our industry’s supply chain challenges? Can they communicate effectively with both your customers and production control? Do they understand contract negotiations enough to keep your firm out of harm’s way? If not, there’s a way to help them develop those skills. The IPC Certified Electronics Program [...]
August 19, 2021: This is Part 2 of a discussion of questionable tariff practices by some PCB distributors in the United States. You can read Part 1 here. As mentioned in Part 1, some U.S. brokers may not be entirely above board on the tariff charges they pass on to PCB buyers. That’s because the 25% tariff imposed on PCBs coming out of China applies only to the actual manufacturing cost of the exported [...]