For any electronics equipment manufacturing company, having a steady supply of good quality PCBs is key to success. On the one hand you should get good quality PCBs and on the other hand you should also make sure that the PCBs are sourced at the right price. If you fail to source the PCBs at the right price, your overall product cost will shoot up.
When it comes to PCB costing calculation most of us limit it to the quotes that we get from the PCB manufacturer. Yes, of course the basis of costing will be the quote given by your manufacturer but if you take a close look at your entire manufacturing process. You would notice that at times you would have spent more on your PCBs that what you expected to spend. You would have even got the cheapest quote possible for the PCBs but on the long run you would have paid the price in different ways. For example, if the quality of the PCBs you get is not good you would not be able to proceed with the manufacturing process. Even if the manufacturer is ready to compensate or take the products back for exchange, you would have lost a lot of time and money in the exchange process. This will have a serious impact on your manufacturing process including monetary loss.
All these could be set right only when you order the PCB prototype and the fabricated final lot of PCB from the most trusted suppliers. So make no mistakes in this regard, you will be able to find the most reliable suppliers of PCB who assure customers the finest quality PCB supplies.
It is best not to blindly compare the prices without checking the quality factor into account. You should take into account the overall quality of the product and also the quality of the services offered by the suppliers. As you will need to order your PCB on a regular basis you should identify a supplier that you could trust so that you do not run into issues with every order. You should be able to confidently place the order through quick emails and have the products delivered promptly.
If your team is going to spend a lot of time in sorting out the issues with PCB sourcing process then you are spending more on the PCBs because you need to take into account the time spent by the team as well. Many small companies do not take all these factors into account when sourcing. They think that they would be saving money just by getting the lowest quote available at the time of sourcing. However this could prove to be a counterproductive process.
The next time you want to get the most competitive quote for your PCBs try to pay attention to the above factors so that you can be sure of getting the best value for your money by paying the right prices for your PCBs.