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74 PCB007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2018 to build these relationships. Looking at all the various commodities within the electron- ics industry, the one with the most opportuni- ties for failure is PCBs. Early engagement be- tween the PCB fabricator and customer is crit- ical during the initial stages of a new product launch. Technical questions are always part of the communication process and a breakdown at this stage will create delays and put product reliability at risk. Accessibility to a direct line of communication between both sides will avoid these concerns. However, this communication does not stop at the engineering door; it must continue throughout the PCB manufacturing process. A supplier that provides real-time or- der updates will minimize the impact to the Global sourcing is a complex process and choosing a supplier is always an important de- cision. The higher the technology, the more important the process for choosing the right one. Considering the highly complicated pro- cess of manufacturing printed circuit boards, these guidelines will assist in your decision. 1. Communication Establishing an open line of communica- tion with any supplier is certainly important, but when working with a PCB manufacturer, it becomes mission critical. Effective two-way communication is at the heart of any strong business relationship. If you don't talk to your suppliers, you won't learn enough about them Global Sourcing: The 5 Cs of Choosing the Right PCB Supplier The Right Approach by Steve Williams, THE RIGHT APPROACH CONSULTING

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