If you want the best peaches, you really should take the time and make that extra stop at the road-side fruit stand the next time you go for a long drive. Not that store-bought peaches or even canned peaches are bad, it’s just that fruit that is fresh off the tree has an extra amount of amazing taste that you just can’t find in the store. At least that’s the way I feel about it.
Deciding which supplier to buy from affects us in all areas of our life. Fresh fruit tastes better than store-bought but isn’t always available. Local cuisine will usually offer a more unique menu, but the popular chain restaurants typically feature reliable food for a lower price. And when it comes to sourcing parts for your printed circuit board, there is a difference between who you buy from there as well. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between domestic sourcing vs international sourcing in the components you need for your PCB builds.
What’s the Difference, Domestic Sourcing vs International Sourcing?
There are many different manufacturers of electronic components scattered throughout the world, more so than you probably realize. Usually, a company that is designing circuit boards deals with the same general components, so it can be easy to only consider those relatively few parts that they are familiar with. The truth though is that there are many, many different parts for all kinds of different applications in electronics. Because of this, there are thousands of different electronic component manufacturers out there.
Many of the large component manufacturers have multiple facilities in different locations around the world. On the other hand, there are also smaller manufacturers that only have one facility confined to a specific location. These different manufacturers are located where they have the easiest access to the necessary resources and labor, and in some cases where there is more demand for a particular type or style of component.
Because of the wide variety of components and manufacturers available, options for domestic and international sourcing are abundant. With so many vendors to choose from, it can be difficult to identify the best option without the help of a parts distributor. These distributors specialize in working with the different component manufacturers, and like those suppliers, they are also scattered around the world to provide easy access to their customers. Many of these distributors also carry large local stocks of the most popular parts in their facilities in order to give customers immediate service at better prices.
What You Should be Aware of When Sourcing Your Components
With so many different manufacturers available, however, there are unfortunately some that don’t provide products that are as reliable as others. Smaller offshore manufacturers may not have the same quality control standards in place that other vendors use. They may also have less access to quality materials to work with, or they may choose cost-cutting measures that undermine the overall quality of their product. This may result in sub-standard components, and if you aren’t careful those parts may end up in your manufactured products.
Another issue with internationally-sourced components is that they are more susceptible to external influences and problems than domestic parts. In some regions, manufacturing will shut down during national holidays. Political problems can also affect the resources, labor, or shipping of off-shore manufacturers, which can end up having a huge effect on delivery schedules and prices. And as we have seen here recently, the effects of a global pandemic can also cause a lot of problems with international component sources. Fortunately, many domestic suppliers and distributors are considered to be essential to critical sectors of industry and have remained operational during the Coronavirus crisis.
How a Local PCB Contract Manufacturer Can be Your Best Resource
Here is where your local PCB contract manufacturer can help you sort through the confusion of deciding which is the best supplier to get your electronic components from. PCB CMs have been working with part manufacturers and distributors for years and will have a network of trusted resources to partner with. They understand the different benefits and problems associated with each, which allows them to make the best choice for where to procure your parts in a timely and cost-effective manner. They will also be able to manage the parts being used in order to be prepared for any changes in component availability that might impact future builds of the board.
At VSE, we have been doing this for over 30 years, and we have a staff of experienced component engineers who understand the part procurement business better than most. They have built a vast and trusted network of both international and domestic component manufacturers and distributors, in order to get the best parts for your project. Our team will work with your engineers to review your design and analyze your bill of materials line by line to make sure that we can build your circuit boards without any problems.