• April 6, 2023
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Engineering questions are the number one complaint most PCB buyers have about board manufacturers.

“Why can’t you build the boards without all these questions?” they ask. “We sent you the working files!”

I get it—I hate EQs just as much as the next sales guy. Who wants to bring up a problem or concern to possibly scare a customer, or delay an order over what might seem a minor issue? 

But buyers should be thankful for those questions. There is a direct correlation between the number of questions being asked and the quality of the product received.

A PCB buyer should not expect a supplier to assume what is or what isn’t by design. Could a PCB vendor assume and proceed without asking the customer? Sure. But should they? 

How much leeway or license should a buyer grant to a vendor to make assumptive changes to the customer-supplied artwork? I understand the delivery clock is ticking, and the customer wants the order as soon as possible. But who wants to populate boards with expensive components, only to have them fail at the end of the assembly line?

PCB vendors want to build orders correctly. Their questions help protect their interests and those of their customers. It’s worth it to take the time to answer all questions completely.

How do you as a buyer minimize EQs after the order is placed? In my next post, I’ll offer several strategies to ensure PCB manufacturers receive everything they need from the beginning.