Finding the right CEM partner

There are many UK-based CEMs, selecting the right one is vital. Esprit provides some things to consider when shortlisting providers.

Technology: Select a CEM that is an expert, covering all the solutions required now and in the future. Esprit are always striving to look ahead and have recently invested in the ProtectoXC conformal coating and Versaflow 455 selective soldering system machines.

Certifications and accreditations: Do products need to meet industry standards and accreditations – consider providers who can meet these requirements.

Logistics and inventory: Many CEM providers can procure, stock and manage materials and deliver the end product in exact quantities. Others may require the OEM to manage the supply chain and provide materials on a free issue basis. Selecting a CEM with end-to-end logistics capabilities can streamline processes.

Size: It is vital to select the right size CEM. Most customers don’t want to be more than 20 per cent of their CEM’s turn-over. Less and they may feel that they don’t receive the best customer service, more than 20 per cent and there is a risk that they are too reliant on the business.

Investment: The electronics industry moves fast, so a CEM should commit to continually investing in their equipment, training and technology to ensure the best output.

Stability: This covers two aspects, is a CEM financially stable, profitable and can demonstrate growth, and is it well established.

Technical support: The best CEMs provide solutions to problems. Especially where there is huge pressure on the supply chain, look for a partner who can provide options and advice when needed most.

Partnership: The best relationships are established when the customer sees its CEM as an extension of its own business. A good CEM will be flexible, quick to respond and provide excellent customer service to ensure a high-quality output with on- time delivery.