There are several requirements an EMS Company need to receive before they can respond to a request for an initial quote.

These include:

• Quantities required – How many products do you anticipate needing over 12 months
• Bill of Materials (BOM)
• Approved Vendor List (AVL)
• Gerber Files
• Test Requirements
• Assembly Drawings
• Schematic drawings
• Wiring drawings
• Sample product (if available)
• Where do you need the shipping of your product to? UK, Europe, elsewhere?
• How much visibility can you give the EMS and how much firm order commitment can you realistically sign up to?
• Any other relevant information

Without these basic facts about your business and your requirements, mistakes could be made due to simply guessing estimations.

Guessing about the extent of the services you want them to provide or the potential complexity of your build, could lead to incorrect estimates which will have a massive knock-on effect for your business.

Taking the time and sending the correct files across from the beginning, will make things much easier from the get-go.

Indicative Pricing

There are three vital requirements your EMS provider needs to have to make an indicative quote or approximate figure to bring back to their team:

1. What products you want to build
2. What materials are required to build them
3. How long it takes to assemble, test and pack them

From this information the EMS provider will be able to apply their material handling costs, labour charges and profit margins to work out a rough price per unit.

However, this is never going to be a substitute for answering all the detailed requirements above and the pricing will only be at the unit level. So, you will eventually need to weigh in with more detail before you get an accurate quote to reliably base budgets and projections on.

Our Purchasing team will reach out to suppliers to get quotes for parts and materials. Due to the ongoing instability within the electronic component market, we don’t like to guess or assume that historic pricing we may have received at one point is still valid. Providing budgetary pricing is all well and good, but in our experience, customers would prefer to have a stable price they can order from rather than one that varies throughout the process, but this does, of course, take longer to prepare.

Closing Advice

It is important to place trust in your EMS provider, it might take a little longer but it will be worth it in the long run when you receive a product that is manufactured to the highest standards.

Put yourself in the shoes of the EMS – what would you want, need and expect?

Be as open as you can – the EMS provider will understand your need for discretions, but you will need to give as much detail as possible to produce an accurate quote.

Assemble as much data & information as possible – the effort you expend will be paid back in the speed and reliability of the quote you receive. It’s important to be wary of those EMS providers who sacrifice reliability for speed.

The advantage of working systematically is that we can be true to our word. If we say we can do it, we usually can. There won’t be any unwelcome surprises further down the line like missing items from the BOM, extended lead times over above what was quoted to you or significant unit cost variances. The downside of doing it this way, of course, is it can take a little longer.

Choose your EMS provider wisely.

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