Have you decided to outsource your PCB manufacturing needs to another company so that you could focus on the other core capabilities of your manufacturing unit? Yes, this is a prudent decision because PCB manufacturing requires its own specialized equipment and skills. If your manufacturing unit is going to focus on these processes then your core specialties would lack the required attention and as a result the overall quality may suffer. In this context outsourcing your PCB manufacturing needs is certainly a good move.
When you want to outsource your PCB fabrication and assembly needs to a third party PCB manufacturer you need to select your suppliers carefully or else you could put yourself under serious risks. Here are few important factors for your review and consideration on how you can actually safeguard yourself from such risks.
To start with first establish whether the PCB prototype development and fabrication company is actually a physical entity and not just a virtual entity. The industry is filled with many spurious companies in China that have impressive websites and nothing more. They do not have a manufacturing unit of their own. They are just mediators posing as manufacturing units. You need to first establish that you are not dealing with any such entities. You will be paying more than what you should when you deal with such companies and also you will not be able to get the expected quality or timely delivery of the orders. Even if the supplier promises to meet your requirements in these areas they will not be able to deliver as promised and they do not have control over such factors as the actual manufacturing process takes place elsewhere.
Before you make any part or full payments check whether they are licensed to ship to your destination. They should be a licensed manufacturer with the license to export to your country. Do not presume things here, try to have everything clarified before sending any payments. Until you cross check and verify the credentials of the company.
You could also check the customer ratings and feedbacks which is likely to give you better picture on what to expect from the service provider. You cannot just go by the self-made claims of the suppliers and if you do you are only likely to be disappointed because every single manufacturer will claim that they are the best but in fact these promises are nothing but lip service. Very few companies take pride in what they offer and in meeting their customers’ demands. You need to find such companies. Initially it will take some time to spot such companies but once you have managed to spot the right company you will be able to have all your future PCB needs met in the most satisfactory way. So do not hesitate to invest that time right at the start because you need to make sure you get the best value for your money and outsource your needs in a safe environment.