Your PCB supply chain has passed its MOT, but could it do with a service or some fine tuning? When is a PCB supply chain as cost effective as it can be?
Of course there are varying opinions on the matter, but one thing is certain, the market has shifted again and it may be time for another cost and service level health check in your business.
What has changed?
Asian PCB manufacturers are now able and, significantly willing, to take smaller orders that have kept so many of the European PCB manufacturing plants ticking over.
What hasnt changed?
The majority of PCB manufacturers are still not using lean production practices. This is why the industrys standard lead-time of 10 to 15 days remains. Yet, in some cases, you can jump the queue to shorten your lead-time to seven, five, three, or even one day(s), but you will pay handsomely for the privilege.
What does this mean?
If you are buying PCBs through a European manufacturer, it will be sourcing almost all of your requirements from Asia and applying relatively high mark up percentages to recover the overhead of its quiet factories. Then, when you have a requirement inside of their standard lead-time, it will make these for you at three or four times the cost of the typical Asian price. Therefore, by choosing this option your overall PCB supply chain could be 10 to 35 per cent higher in cost.
What can you do about it?
You could look to channel your sourcing through a company that doesnt have the overhead of a European factory to support. There are a few of these around but most of them are small businesses without significant purchasing leverage or the ability to manage inventory and logistics with smart enough techniques to achieve the best cost for your business.
What is the solution?
Partner with a company such as Delta Impact, part of the Rebound Group, which has significant purchasing leverage with annual sales approaching 40m. As well as purchasing power, Delta Impact has been sourcing Asian PCBs for the European market for 15 years so with this experience the company could be able to offer the right local technical support and off shore production partners for your requirements, at a low purchase cost.
As well as its purchasing and engineering capabilities, Delta Impact has two other key capabilities:
Firstly, the company can deliver the inventory you want on time, without unexpected premiums for queue jumping or expressed air freight.
Secondly, Delta Impact is also a supplier of many other types of electronic and electromechanical components, so you can combine your PCB spend leverage with a supplier able to support your sourcing strategy in many other areas.