How to improve the function and quality of your product

Written by Derek Dewar

28 May 2021

At CB Technology, our experience has taught us that using value engineering to manage risk, reduce costs and maintain high levels of quality is vital. This starts with our very first engagement with a prospective client – putting a project quote together.


Here’s how we do it.


Our take on value engineering


To us, value engineering is all about improving the function and quality of a product to give our clients as much value as possible. Ultimately, we work to achieve the most cost effective and efficient method of manufacturing.


This starts at the design phase. From suggesting suppliers who may offer components at a lower price to managing risk by encouraging the use of multiple sources, we see value engineering as a central responsibility in our client partnerships.


How effective it is relies on us being able to identify the main elements of a project and analyse them in terms of feasibility, alternative solutions and cost.


Technical considerations


While a potential client’s product is still in the design phase, we assess it for manufacturability, and include every last detail in a thorough quote document.


This assessment forms part of a larger proposed manufacturing process, which our Technical Support Engineer compiles. It includes suggested solutions for:


  • Manufacturing
  • Testing
  • Quality considerations
  • Compliance
  • Non-recurring engineering (NRE)
  • Capital requirements


Managing materials


As well as outlining technical requirements, we will look at what’s needed in terms of materials, and what kind of issues may arise.


Our Materials Quote Analyst assesses requirements for:


  • Printed circuit board assembly (PCBA)
  • High level assembly (HLA)
  • Packaging
  • MOQ (minimum order quantity)


Component obsolescence check


We carry out this vital step as part of the materials analysis. As electronic products are manufactured so quickly, components often go out of production quite rapidly. A more common issue is materials and components being unavailable at the time of request for quotation (RFQ) or order placement. This is where we often have to suggest alternatives.


We find that many potential clients haven’t conducted checks on this, and so have planned to use materials that may not be available.


If you don’t consider component obsolescence at the point of design, it could cause supply chain delays later down the line, ultimately impacting productivity and cost.


Rather than simply highlighting where components may be likely to become obsolete, we recommend solutions to the problem – such as engaging with a second supplier who can provide similar components if needed, or by suggesting a re-design and the use of an alternative component.


Communicating the details


Our approach is to be as transparent as possible when sharing a quote. As well as clearly explaining our proposed plan of attack, we clearly indicate any assumptions that we have made. This means there are no hidden costs or surprises from us later. In addition, we talk you through the document, explaining every entry and answering questions along the way.


Working as your partner means being on the same page at all times – whether we’re detailing our thoughts and suggestions or making sure you understand how we’ve reached our conclusions. This means we can pick up on any misunderstandings before work begins, and propose new solutions where needed. We want to make sure you’re fully on-board with our recommendations before production begins.


The power of partnership


Building a strong working relationship with your electronic manufacturing service (EMS) provider leads to more efficient ways of working and, ultimately, supply chain excellence.


At CB Technology, the clarity, efficiency and honesty in the delivery of this early quotation engagement sets a precedence for all forms of communication we have with you moving forward. We work with you – not for you – as a true value-add extension of your company.


Finding the right EMS partner for your business