Monday, March 3, 2008
I just got my first batch of custom cables in from China today. I have to say I'm very happy with the results. I'll definitely be doing more business with this vendor. They were great about providing drawings and tracking all requested changes. A refreshing change after having my radio cable supplier just entirely give up on trying to understand what I wanted and sending me exactly the same thing as the last order.
I'm reading a book on dealing with Chinese manufacturers, and it warns about exactly this behavior. The new vendor is based in Taiwan, with production facilities on the mainland. I'm sure I could get a slightly better price going directly to the mainland, but sometimes it's worth the added expense of a middle man, especially when there's such a huge language and culture gap.
I'd keep my manufacturing domestic if I could do it even at twice the price, but I can't. Last time I got a quote on over-molded cable assembly from a US company, the setup alone was more than this entire order. There's actually a place in town that makes custom cable assemblies, but I think their prices start at about a hundred times what I'm paying now. To be fair, they mostly work in the nuclear power and aerospace industries.