Contractors, unlike startups and OEMs, have more than a passing acquaintance with stencil printers, pick and place machines, reflow ovens, etc., since they may be using these machines a daily basis. Under what circumstances would a contractor require additional capital equipment? Here are four instances where this situation could arise:
#1: Equipment Replacement
In the electronics industry, “nothing is forever” is a monumental understatement. New generations of smaller and more complex components arrive on a frequent basis. And with it comes the need for new or modified machines to place and solder them.
Contractors must respond to this ongoing challenge with upgraded equipment or face the loss of business to competitors with state-of-the-art capabilities.
#2: Shortened Product Cycles
New or “greatly improved” versions of established and successful products occur often. When they do there is the likelihood that their circuit boards have been redesigned. For the contractor, this may mean the need for revised equipment strategies for board prep and placement.
Failure to keep pace with changing needs could mean customers will look elsewhere for a contractor that can.
#3: Low-Volume Customer Development
How do contractors acquire new customers? In some instances it’s by courting the type of business they never went after before, such as small or startup OEMs whose products may require prototyping and low-volume assembly. Instead of refusing or putting this business at the end of the line, why not acquire the lower-cost equipment that can do these jobs?
You will be well rewarded with ongoing customer loyalty resulting in increased profits as their products gain market share.
#4: Keeping Up with the Growth of Existing Customers
Every vendor wants his customers to succeed because it builds his success as well. But that won’t happen if the contractor fails to respond to growing customers’ demands for faster and more frequent turnarounds and deliveries.
If this problem can be solved with additional equipment lines, there is no point in hesitating. You must retain this customer by meeting his need.