After several months of searching for an EMS partner, you are ready to embark on a new project together. Discover the 10 rules to follow to successfully complete a project with your EMS partner.
1- Define exactly what you want as state of the work and the expected results
Your partner needs to know all the ins and outs of the project. To ensure that the project runs smoothly and to avoid unpleasant surprises, it is very important to define your exact expectations for the results beforehand. Depending on the maturity of the project, there are several questions you need to answer before you begin.
Looking for responsive and flexible support with tools that allow you to consider the best cost by minimizing the introduction time.
Looking for a partner capable of quickly starting the production at the right price, quality and deadline
Looking for a partner capable of absorbing the forecasted volumes, with a size compatible with its financial capacity, and/or in order to obtain a better competitiveness to extend as much as possible this period of Return on Investment.
End of Life:
Looking for a partner who will be able to support the end of product life, through flexibility, strategic stock management, redesign capacity and possible co-design
2- Provide and explain the environment and business conditions this project is going to be
After defining the different points in step 1, your EMS partner needs to know the current production situation: is there already a production in place? In house or outsourced? Are you asking yourself the Make or Buy question?
Define the market sectors in which you are evolving and those you are considering if there are any (search for competitiveness? flexibility?). Clearly explain your vision and business objectives for this project, summarizing your expectations for this outsourcing project and your short-, medium- and long-term ambitions: will the evolution of the product require a rethink of the overall logistics flow strategy? Has the business environment changed? Has volumes changed? Is there a failure with a current supplier?
3- Consider your EMS partner as your own manufacturing arm for that project
Your partner’s factory is like your ” off-site factory “, you can have access to all the steps and places of the manufacturing process as if it was your entity. Your partnership must be based on transparency, trust, and your partner is as invested as you are in this project: you work together and have common responsibilities.
4- Clearly map the communication channels
Communication is the key to a successful project. It is therefore essential that you and your EMS partner agree on the channels and people you will communicate with throughout the project process, from start to finish. Make sure that there is a single contact person in each party for the overall project management, who can transfer information if needed and gather answers.
You can set up regular reviews with a common communication tool (shared file) in which all the elements inherent to the introduction of the project will be recorded (Quality Plan, Quality KPI, Sourcing, Procurement, Shortage list, Tooling point, Testing means, Logistics, miscellaneous points…)
Remember that the level of success will depend on the level of interaction between the two teams.
5- Communicate as if it would be an internal partner, no hidden agenda
The partner’s Project/Program Manager must be the voice of the customer in his plant and vice versa. It is important to be transparent and synchronized on the different elements, up to the performance indicators which will have to be on the same calculation system to move forward together.
6- Provide all necessary information, no retention, even confidential under NDA
Your partnership must be carried out without hiding or concealing crucial information (for example, a price negotiated on a product component, which will become a customer contract price with delegation of purchase to the partner) and it is preferable to be transparent from the beginning of the project so as not to lose time.
When changing partners, for example, it is important to share the different quality risks, supplier performance and customer feedback in order to anticipate the implementation of certain actions or particular monitoring.
7- Agree on the deliverables, quantity wise, quality wise and time wise
Be clear about your company’s needs and expectations for this project, right from the start of the quotation process to avoid mistakes (for example, a quotation on an IPC A-610 Class 3 standard may have a significant impact compared to a Class 2 standard).
Remember to inform your EMS partner about the specificities and standards of your manufacturing processes, if you have particular qualifications or certifications that could have an impact on the project (are certificates of conformity required? What are the requirements in terms of testability, traceability …).
Define together the volumes, the demand forecasts (is the demand stable over the whole year or is it rather seasonal?), the projection of the expected quantity over the years to come.
8- Ask, request , challenge, but be transparent and trust your EMS partner
Don’t forget that if you have chosen this partner, it is because he has all the capacities to meet your needs and ensure the success of your project…which is also his! They will be able to make the right decisions and adjustments to ensure the success of your project.
9- Set up and manage regular check points
To ensure that the project is progressing well and that the results are relevant to what has been defined, it is essential for both parties to define regular checkpoints. Depending on the scope and duration of your project, schedule QBRs (Quarterly Business Reviews) to discuss past performance, current actions, and those to come. These reviews are a way to understand each other’s issues and challenges over the past and future periods.
10- Celebrate the results
Celebrating the successes of the key stages of a project is a real motivator and encouragement within a team. It also strengthens the links between the different actors and partners, which is very beneficial for future projects.