If your product requires electronic assembly, then you have two main options when it comes to having it manufactured. You can turn to numerous vendors for different components, which is referred to as piecemeal assembly, or you can select a single vendor for everything you need, which is known as turnkey assembly. The following are the differences between piecemeal and turnkey assembly that you should consider before choosing one over the other:

Multiple Vendors Require Major Research

You will need to research multiple vendors for each stage of production. For example, if you decide on a piecemeal assembly of printed circuit boards, you’ll need a vendor to make the PCBs, a vendor to connect the wires, a vendor to create the final assembly, and a vendor to ship it.

You’ll need to look into the reputation of each vendor, whereas with a turnkey assembly, you can just find one vendor to do all of the work.

Piecemeal Can Actually Be More Costly

One of the reasons some manufacturers choose piecemeal is because they can find the most affordable vendors for each step in the process. However, when you work with multiple vendors, there’s a bigger risk of something going wrong between steps. Since one vendor isn’t overseeing the entire project, it can cause huge delays in order to perform adjustments, which in turn can end up being more costly than you first thought.

With a single vendor, there’s much more control over the entire assembly, thereby limiting the potential issues that can come up, such as miscommunication and accountability.

Turnkey Assembly Will Take Less Time

With a turnkey assembly, all of your design and production plans will be executed in one location by one vendor. This means that the time that passes between each stage of assembly will be less than if you were to use multiple vendors.

When you use multiple vendors, your components will need to be shipped from one location to the next in order to move on to each stage of assembly.

Turnkey Assembly Allows for Better Quality Control

With a turnkey assembly, the vendor will be able to look at your requirements and specifications in order to determine if there are any areas in which your assembly design can be improved. This isn’t possible with a piecemeal assembly since most vendors will only be concerned with their specific responsibility.

So the vendor in charge of connecting the wires of a PCB might realize that a change in the initial design could have made it easier and more cost efficient for them to do, but since they weren’t responsible for the initial build, there’s nothing that can be done.

These are a few of the differences between choosing between a piecemeal and a turnkey assembly. As you can see, when planning your electronic assembly, it’s generally a better idea to go with a turnkey assembly.