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66 SMT Magazine • November 2015 can also help correct any unanticipated produc- tion issues prior to the point where they gener- ate significant non-value added cost. When an original equipment manufactur- er's (OEM) product development team and the contractor's NPI team are in similar time zones and speak the same language, all of those issues can be discussed and addressed rapidly. And it is not usual for the contractor to have a highly automated and well-defined process for doing the necessary analysis rapidly. However, companies in low-cost labor re- gions do not always invest in the software analysis tools to support this rapid exchange of information. Depending on the operation and the region, manufacturing inefficiencies may be tolerated or reviews may be done manually. Higher levels of equipment and software automation is more difficult to cost justify in regions where labor costs are low. More manual processes deliver less consistent results, typical- ly aren't as detailed and often take more time. Language barriers may limit the amount of feed- back provided during production qualification. Or, the project volumes may be so out of scale with the offshore contractor's preferred volumes that only minimal resources are provided. The end result can be production inefficiencies that remain unaddressed; or in the worst case, field failures occur that could have been avoided had the potential for these defects been minimized by addressing the manufacturability issue that was driving them. Logistics Crossing a border generates added cost. In- bound material may have additional duties lev- ied or require higher levels of administrative oversight to document in ways that eliminate duties. Often "landed" quotes are based on per- fect world scenarios that have significant lead- time based on a practice of consolidating ship- ments for lower logistics costs. This is fine when demand is predictable, but can drive cost sur- prises or late deliveries if demand is variable. In some countries there are limits on how much mADe IN USA AND ToTAL CoST: SIx WAyS U.S. SoUrCING SAveS moNey arTIcLe figure 1: an engineer uses software tools to provide DfM/DfT recommendations and a plM analysis with the quote so that clients have visibility into potential issues as early as possible.

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