Smart PCB Sourcing Concepts

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Whether you are an EMS or an OEM, defining the right sourcing policy for PCBs and components is an important strategic management task. Forward-looking decisions create results that help improve a company’s competitiveness.

Consider a large EMS company that has a PCB purchasing volume in the order of half a billion USD. A holistic approach to draw on all available efficiency boosters in the company’s sourcing environment (organizational set-up and purchasing efforts) will award the bottom line with single- or double-digit savings in the millions. It is worth pursuing a smart PCB sourcing concept.

Classifying your PCB Purchasing Portfolio

Before defining a sourcing policy one has to know the DNA of the purchasing portfolio.

One way of analyzing it is to cluster it into two major groups--technology and volume requirements. There is also an additional option to classify into a third major group--business segment--for additional structure.

Recommended technology subcategories are: rigid boards, flexible/rigid-flex boards, heavy copper, HDI, and IMS requirements. The second group, the volume category, may be clustered as low-, medium- and high-volume groups.

Having classified your portfolio, you need to find an efficient sourcing strategy, which ought to be implemented tactically by the procurement department.

Purchasing Demand meets Market Supply Situation

The requirements of an often highly diversified PCB portfolio (technically and lot sizes necessities) traditionally meets a very different market reality on the supply side. PCB producers are often strong technically and commercially in mainly one particular PCB segment (e.g., low-layer rigid boards only, or high volumes only, or flexible boards and low volumes only). This will not cover a wide and diversified PCB portfolio.Read the full article here.Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of SMT Magazine.


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