After working with customers over the years, I have compiled a list of some of the things in my career that foster a positive PCB fabricator/customer relationship.

Here’s a short list of steps you can take that will make your partnership with your PCB supplier more effective, more productive and more economical.

  1. Make Sure You Have the Right PCB Fabricator

I don’t just mean one that addressed your technological requirements, though important, but am talking more about “attitude”. Make sure your PCB supplier is willing to listen, that they are willing to go beyond the specifications and take into consideration what your end product needs are—this is key. A good supplier will want to know about your product’s purpose so they can be certain that the boards will mesh with the rest of the system in the best way possible.

  1. Reliability and Consistency

There are some PCB suppliers who can build just about any PCB, but never deliver on time. You can’t count on them. You need to ensure that the PCB supplier is consistent with updates and timetables. Your boards need to be the exact same from the first to the final piece.

  1. Communication is Key

To have a great relationship with your PCB supplier, an open line of communication that flows both ways is essential. Full transparency, in good times and bad, will help build trust across both parties. When the going gets rough, everyone needs to be kept up to date on the challenges and solutions.

  1. Show Them Your Future

To keep up with your needs, the PCB supplier must know what future projects are in your pipeline. Knowing what technologies will be utilized is key for PCB supplier preparedness; this is probably the soundest piece of advice I can give you, as the velocity of technological advancements is increasing dramatically.

  1. Trustworthy

In order to talk about your company’s needs both today and in the future, you need to have a PCB supplier you can trust. Someone you know will not “spill the beans” to their other customers…who could very well be your own competition!

  1. Loyal

To be a great PCB supplier takes loyalty on both sides of the desk. This must go both ways to foster a productive partnership.

  1. Win/Win

Every good partnership is financially positive for both parties.

Remember, a true partnership is when two distinct groups get together to accomplish something that is bigger then either of them could have done so alone.

Keep that in mind and you will always be working with the right PCB partners.