The transition to or
selection process of a (new) CM still remains company and product specific.
To make it truly successful requires deliberate efforts from engineering, manufacturing, quality and procurement to ensure both companies are well aligned and understand each others' requirements and needs.
Many companies make CM selections by a simple RfQ versus using a data driven selection process and having
open discussions on exact requirements/expectations
It's one of the
key decisions every hardware producing company makes and should always be carried out with a clearly defined and
deliberate selection criteria.
If you hurry the selection process and look for quick (non-validated) answers you will
absolutely experience (significant) problems once you have engaged with your project. Bad quality product, communication challenges, the CM not having the detailed capabilities you thought they have, etc. will certainly result in product delays, upset customers/teams, and lots of wasted time and money.
A common (mis-)perception is that
somehow fully understand your product and potential performance risks by merely reviewing your drawings and files. Most CM's certainly have good technical capabilities but
their expertise is in efficient manufacturing, and one might not need to understand how the product works to assemble it. Production operators that assemble your product will likely not understand (or care) what your product does. They care about making the product/sub-assembly in the time that they have allocated for it.
That is why it's important to have
deliberate, detailed technical, and process/test & quality discussions with your CM to ensure that the proper knowledge transfer happens. The outcome is often additional modifications to your drawings/files in order to
ensure your requirements / expectations are precisely defined and documented.
Anyone that has done volume production knows there are
many subtleties to product designs and specifications that can and
will be interpreted differently.
It's not good enough to just refer to specs/drawings.
It's not good enough to have the sales person tell you the answer you want to hear (verify it).
It's not good enough to have purchasing do a quote and select on price.
It requires deliberate effort & time from a well rounded team including engineering, manufacturing, quality and purchasing
to make it a success.