Subcontracting can be troublesome in any industry. Ideally you want to use contractors you know, or have worked with before, but that isn’t always an option. If you have found yourself in a position where you have to subcontract for your cable assemblies, consider these tips to ensure your project stays on time and on budget.
1. Be specific when you request a quote
A lot of times, quotes for work only apply to the length of time it will take to complete the requested work; this is not an accurate quote. A lot of the time subcontractors do not include the time it will take to order parts, materials, etc., let alone the time it will take to actually deliver the finished product to your doorstep. We don’t think about this too often, because many people think of subcontracting as something that happens onsite. In the case of custom cable assemblies, all work will be done offsite and then delivered. Call your cable assembly sub-contractor and inquire about the full scope of time you will be looking at for the project – not just the worktime estimation.
2. Don’t cheap out
As a business owner you certainly want to save money wherever you can, but when it comes to cable assemblies you don’t want to skimp. It may cost a little more up front to go with top quality parts and workmanship but it’s worth the investment. It can be expensive to replace parts later on down the road, especially if the assembly will be installed in a hard-to-get-to spot. You also don’t want to be responsible for a fire hazard if you order a sub-par assembly.
3. Approval and/or samples
Your custom cable assembly subcontractor should offer you the opportunity to see a physical sample of the project. Although you may have received pictures, blueprints or other schematics of it, be sure to inspect it in person. Many people mistakenly choose to pass on this opportunity when offered – don’t. See the product before its finished or you may find yourself on the line financially for something other than what you expected.
4. Ask about methods
Not all cable assembly companies are built equally. There can be a lot of variation in the field, including the way in which they finish things – whether they crimp or solder – and whether they have enough experience with building the specific type of assembly you are after. For example, if you are having something designed and built for the robotics industry, not all companies will be well-versed in the field. Do your research, ask for references, and really follow up on them.
5. Check credentials
Ensure that whatever company you choose to work with for your custom cable assembly is fully certified. Certifications such as UL ensure that a cable assembly company is measuring up to a certain set of standards. It’s an important quality control factor and it should be a primary concern for you. Never work with a business that is uncertified, or is not interested in achieving said certifications.