Standard of Excellence: Selling to PCB Fabricators Now and in the Future

Written by: Anaya Vardya on January 17, 2024

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For the past few years, PCB fabricators have made improvements to keep up with your customers. We have bought new equipment, updated our processes, and increased our quality, technology, and performance to make sure we are providing our customers with everything they need to be successful.

Just as our customers are changing, so are PCB fabricators. As we adapt to our customers’ needs, so will the companies who supply us. I thought this would be a good time to discuss and advise our vendors and suppliers on what they should do to supply us with what we need to succeed.

Like any other industry, selling to PCB fabrication companies in the future will require a strong understanding of their needs, adapting to changing market dynamics, and building strong relationships.

Here are 10 important characteristics to be successful in selling to PCB fabrication companies:

  1. Industry expertise: You have to know your customers and their products. An in-depth knowledge of the PCB fabrication industry, including trends, technologies, and challenges, is crucial. Stay updated on the latest developments.
  2. Quality products and services: Offer high-quality equipment, chemistry, laminates, tools, or services that meet or exceed industry standards. Consistency and reliability are key. There is no room for sub-par work. You have to offer the best products and service on the market today.
  3. Innovation: Embrace and provide innovative solutions that address the evolving needs of PCB manufacturers, such as new materials, processes, or automation technologies. You will have to stay ahead of your customers. You have to understand their needs for support and meet and exceed those needs.
  4. Cost-effective solutions: PCB fabrication companies are cost-sensitive. Providing cost-effective options that improve efficiency or reduce operational expenses can be a significant selling point. Helping your customers save money is a key ingredient in being a great supplier-partner. The more competitive you can help your customers be, the more successful they will be and the better long-term customers they will be for you.
  5. Customization: Be flexible in tailoring products or services to meet the specific requirements of each customer. PCB manufacturers often have unique needs. So many of your better PCB shops are working on “science projects” and are developing new technologies and processes. As their suppliers you need to be able to help them do that.
  6. Strong customer support: Provide exceptional customer service, including technical support and troubleshooting assistance. Timely responses and resolutions are critical.
  7. Sustainable practices: As sustainability becomes increasingly important, having eco-friendly options and demonstrating a commitment to environmental responsibility can give you a competitive edge. This will get more important with each passing year, and you will be called upon to demonstrate what your company is doing about global sustainability.
  8. Reliability and consistency: Deliver products and services on time and consistently. PCB manufacturers depend on reliable suppliers to meet their production schedules. There is no room for sloppiness when it comes to consistently delivering products on time every time. Your customers have to do it, so you have to do it as well to support them in this effort.
  9. Networking and relationships: Build and maintain strong relationships with key decision-makers in the industry. Attend trade shows, conferences, and industry events to connect with potential clients. Your job as a partner supplier is also to be an expert consultant for the products and services you are selling. You need to be able to teach your customers all that you can about your products.
  10. Adaptability: The PCB industry is continually evolving. Stay agile and adaptable to changes in regulations, market demands, and technology advancements. You have to adapt to marketing changes of all types including technology and quality requirements. The more flexible and adaptable you can be, the better supplier you will be.

These are just the bare minimum to be a good supplier. Next time, we’ll be talking about the other things you must have to be knowledgeable about, like the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, cooperative cobots, and other ways of helping your customers streamline their operations. There are other tools that will help you help your customers meet and handle the future of PCB fabrication.

In addition, it's essential to leverage digital marketing and your online presence to reach potential customers, utilize data analytics for market insights, and continually gather feedback from your existing clients to improve your offerings. Building trust and long-term partnerships with PCB fabrication companies will be the foundation of your success in the future.

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