June 22, 2021:

It has always amazed me how electronic distributors and rep firms who sell everything that goes into an assembly rarely sell the printed circuit board itself.

The PCB makes up 8-12% of the total cost of the bill of material. It is one of, if not the most, expensive components of the PCB assembly.

Companies increase sales either through gaining new customers, or selling more to their present customer base. So why would they not sell the PCB?

Maybe because it is a custom-made item that cannot be found in a catalog. Maybe because it’s an item that is unique to a particular product or customer. But good sales and service organizations should not let that stop them from selling circuit boards.

More than likely, their present customer base could use help with PCB vendors, especially during this time of rising material costs and extended lead times. Firms that don’t sell PCBs miss out on the additional value-add of service and problem-solving they could bring to their long-term customer relationships.

Interestingly, the bare board is usually the last item ordered, but the first thing needed for the assembly process to begin. The sales gestation cycle, from quote to order, is one of the fastest in the electronics industry and much shorter than for most other components.

In addition, the price is subjective, dictated by order technology, required delivery time, and number of pieces needed. This means you are likely to get a higher return in comparison to other component sales.

Whether your company decides to include board manufacturers on its line card, or directly buy and sell (broker) PCBs, there is money to be made for electronic component sales organizations.

Are you a component sales firm that wants to start selling PCBs? I can help! Reach out to me at greg@boardbuying.com.