5 reasons to outsource PCB component kitting

PCB assembly is the process of placing all electronic components on the printed circuit board exactly as the design plan dictates.  Some assembly designs can require 100’s of different components.  Those components are purchased through a variety of Authorized Distributors.  With complicated builds requiring hundreds of components it is not unusual to purchase from 5 to 15 different distribution sources. 
Imagine the time, attention and manpower it takes to place, receive, inspect, approve and organize for line readiness:
          ·        15 separate shipments
          ·        15 email notifications/issue alerts
          ·        15 packages to track
          ·        15 boxes to inspect
Now imagine the outsource option requiring 1 purchase order.  Shortly after placing the purchase order you receive 1 complete kit containing all the components required, with each component type already inspected, full trace-ability documented, and prepared for the assembly line.
Top 5 Reasons to Outsource
#1 – The electronic component kit is TIME (which can be translated to multiple trained, skilled staff members).  TIME = MONEY
#2  – Eliminating the numerous problems which arise with distribution warehouse picking errors, damage in shipping, etc.  These issues take time to resolve.
#3 – The knowledge base gained when partnering with outsourced staff whose only role is to understand the marketplace, the various manufacturer’s, the requirements of the assembly floor. Partnering with a staff that is knowledgeable on how to calculate assembly attrition, read datasheets, understand the part numbering systems and find alternate sources or drop-in replacement components to recommend.
#4 – The efficiency gained in the PCB assembly process.  The electronic component kit is prepared to be auditable, quick and efficient.  With a successful audit, the PCB pick and place assembly process can begin immediately saving precious TIME ( = MONEY) for the assembly.
#5 – Full trace-ability of all the components.  Lot codes, date codes and distribution sources should held for at least 2 years to aid in identifying any errant issue down the road.  
Outsourcing procurement and kitting has proven to be a very successful option for OEM’s and assembly facilities.  The cost savings and efficiency gained by partnering with a kitting source can more than pay for the service!  www.cic-inc.com

3 Options for Kitting PCB Quick-Turn Projects

The process of purchasing and kitting of electronic components for PCB assemblies can have challenges, but none more than a quick-turn or a quick timeframe.  For projects, such as prototypes, which are scheduled to be built in 10 days or less with a limited quantity, the challenges can be daunting.

Focusing on the components only, envision the time it will take to load the MRP system with the BOM, schedule the project, and run the MRP / issue the purchase orders.  How many days are to be allocated to these processes?

Purchasing and processing flexibility, speed and accuracy are required to have the materials “assembly-line ready” for quick-turn projects.  Available purchasing staff with a strong skill-set to propose In-Stock options, understand sourcing options, and problem-solve quickly are vital to a successful project.  If a purchasing staff cannot be allocated on short notice, or if the current processing systems cannot be tailored for quick-turns, you have options.

  1. Depending on the MRP system,  schedule a build of one (parent) and use the BOM ID as the place holder.   Do not import or load the requirements.  Use a spreadsheet of the BOM requirements and assign to a staff member capable of searching for stock for each of the BOM requirements.  Place either credit card orders or manual PO’s to procure the requirements.
  1. Again, depending on the MRP system, import the BOM and set for manual scheduling.   Do NOT send out RFQ’s.  Assign a buyer to immediately source and procure based on search engines for electronic component distributors.
  1. Outsourcing is available for purchasing and kitting of electronic components required for quick-turns.  Without impacting the current staff or trying to muscle the processing systems, consider adding an “ace up your sleeve” to your team; make the magic happen!

With one call, you can add a dedicated Project Coordinator to your team.  A professional, capable of quoting, sourcing, and offering options for a typical BOM in less than one day.  Once the decision is made to proceed with the assembly, the Coordinator places all orders for materials within 60 minutes.   The assembly line can be ready to set-up in four days with materials verified, inspected, and documented.

Interested in discussing a Quick-Turn PCB project with a professional ready to become part of your team?   Call (530) 626-6168 and ask to speak to a Project Coordinator.

Cherie@cic-inc.com or visit our website www.cic-inc.com