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In this series, I am addressing six critical ways in which a company can significantly benefit from outsourcing their front-end CAM work:
- On-demand capacity
- Improved automation
- Fast turn-around
- Reducing costs
- Improved quality
- Building redundancy in critical areas
This column will focus on the fourth benefit: reducing costs.
While having on-demand capacity, improved automation, and fast turn-around are critical to any front-end engineering operation, achieving those goals with a cost-effective solution is imperative. Electronics are constantly under cost-reduction pressures. Functionality, capability, and complexity increase while costs decrease. Moore’s law is still alive and well and will probably remain accurate into the foreseeable future. He predicted the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit would double every 18 months. This has since been revised to doubling every two years. Still, as general electronics become increasingly complex, the cost continues to reduce and the downward pressure is felt through the entire supply chain. PCB manufacturers are no exception.
As I speak with many customers in the United States and Europe, access to highly skilled engineers is becoming more and more scarce. Younger people are attracted to jobs at high-profile, high-tech companies like Apple, Facebook, Google, Amazon, etc. Let’s face it—the PCB industry isn’t “sexy” to younger people and the current generation of engineers is slowly entering retirement age. More and more PCB companies are losing engineering talent through attrition. This problem is hampering growth of many U.S. and European companies.
Outsourcing with the right partner will not only offset the difficulty of finding talented CAM engineers, but can also help find these resources at lower costs. Countries like India offer an abundance of highly skilled engineering talent at a very reasonable cost structure. Thanks to the British legacy, English is widely spoken, especially in the engineering community, making India a unique destination for CAM outsourcing. In my experience, in addition to lower wages, the workforce is highly dedicated and loyal. It’s not uncommon for people to start and end a career at the same company, providing tremendous benefits, like continuity and loyalty, for end customers.
With the right partner, you will gain the ability to manage costs and retain a sustainable and reliable workforce while not having to compromise quality, delivery, or capability.
In summary, using an outsourcing partner can help solve your cost reduction challenges by allowing you to:
- Add highly skilled engineers at a lower cost
- Remove the burden of having to find experienced engineers on your premises
- Retain high-quality, quick turn-around and experienced staff while managing costs
- Capture more market share from your competitors with your unique competitive advantage of being more cost effective
- Free up critical engineering resources to help generate more sales and interact with customers on technical sales
- Grow your business and have scalable font-end engineering resources to fulfill your changing requirements
Mehul J. Davé is CEO of Entelechy Global, Inc.