Just as introduced at the beginning, lots of elements play a contributive role in PCB sourcing strategies formulation and it's difficult and meaningless to list them one by one. What you need is what you have to keep in mind during Custom PCB Board sourcing procedure. Briefly speaking, the primary elements you have to take into consideration on PCB sourcing can be classified into two categories: something about you and your company and something about your partner.

a. Something about You and Your Company
Prior to selecting PCB fabricators, it's essential for you and your company to be fully aware of current situation of your company and your products.

On one hand, you should make clear at what level your products stay, ordinary type or high-end type, which directly leads you to pick up PCB fabricators with corresponding manufacturing capabilities. For ordinary electronic products, you should rely on a contract manufacturer performing well in mass-volume production with shorter lead time. Manufacturing capabilities, especially those indicating theirs on advanced PCBs like Flexible PCB, Flex-Rigid PCB, HDI PCB, Thick Copper PCB etc., however, are not so protruding. After all, as long as their manufacturing capabilities are compatible with the requirement of your ordinary electronics products, it's enough already. When it comes to high-end electronic products, nevertheless, what you should care about most is generally nothing but manufacturing capability and product quality.

On the other hand, you have to make clear of your cost and lead time. Money is the shadow of sourcing and it is usually an element calling for the most sensitivity. There are so many printed circuit board manufacturers available providing numerous quotations among which the most cost-effective you regard to be should be picked up. Lead time is closely related with your products' time to market and further the speed of your gain on your investment. If you cooperate with a PCB fabricator usually prolonging lead time, it must be very tough and unacceptable. Therefore, you should be aware of your lead time requirement and deadline you can accept.

b. Something about Your Contract Manufacturer
As you're evaluating a circuit board contract manufacturer you're ready to cooperate with, only two consideration aspects are enough: manufacturing capabilities and manufacturing volume.

When it comes to capabilities of printed circuit board manufacturers, the following spec items should be focused on: layer count, copper weight, substrate material, board thickness, via aperture, surface finish, aspect ratio etc.

Furthermore, other items also play an important role in contributing to capabilities of a printed circuit board manufacturer such as certifications like ISO9001, UL and RoHS, IPC quality grade, lead-free requirement etc. because some electronic products are required to be marked by them.

As far as manufacturing volume is concerned, there're three classifications: low volume, mid volume and mass volume. All PCB fabricators feature their own manufacturing scale. Based on their manufacturing capabilities, equipment level and engineering staff expertise, printed circuit board manufacturers perform differently when they go for PCB fabrication with different volumes. When evaluating their manufacturing capability, you should take manufacturing volume into consideration and pick up the manufacturer performing best in terms of your desired volume.