When it comes to being able to provide answers about a product, you assume you can get a pretty straight-forward answer most of the time. In the case of wire harness, that can sometimes be a little harder than you’d imagine. Considering the industries and applications in which wire harness plays a fairly big role, this is a bit of a concern.
The problem sometimes lies with the manner in which the term ‘wire harness’ is being defined. Unfortunately, even within the industry, this can actually be problematic, leaving the client/customer in a bind. In short, a wire harness is a grouping of wires designed to transmit signals or electrical power. They can be very simple or incredibly intricate, but they still do the same thing. The main purpose for using a grouping like this is for the ease of the person working directly with the harness: 1) installation is easier; and 2) the space where it’s installed is efficiently used.
If syntax isn’t an issue, there still has to be a way in which a prospective client/customer can be able to figure out if they’re working with a reliable wire harness contractor. The best way to do this is to ask questions, but not just any questions. Remember that the product you’re going to receive will be a representation of you wherever it may end up. Should the materials be shoddy or subpar in any way, you’re the bad guy, and that is not the way you want to conduct business.
You need to think of the process like an interview. As such, here are a few questions your contractor should be able to answer about wire harness:
What’s your delivery turnaround time? Many jobs regarding wire harness are custom jobs, but you still need to know how quickly materials can be in your facility after you order them. It’s also a good idea to ask whether last-minute changes affect delivery.
What are your certifications? Are they up-to-date? Any manufacturer should be able to recite these without any trouble.
What’s the manual/kitting breakdown of your manufacturing process? Kitting in manufacturing is taking steps to get some things part of the way done so as to keep things moving. While manufacturing may still be a fully manual process, having certain items already cut to length, soldered, or crimped makes it more efficient.
Can you provide samples of some of your work? It never hurts to be able to do your own quality control and see some finished product.
Can I see a list of other services you provide? Being able to do a number of things is actually a good thing as the manufacturer as it shows they are diverse in their abilities, employ a level of QC per service, and also work with various industries & clients/customers.
It may feel like your giving someone “the business”, but making sure your wire harness needs are being met is not something to be taken lightly. The right manufacturer will understand your need for answers and your need for details. Your business is everything, and if you play your cards right, you may be able to develop a relationship with a manufacturer that could prove to be beneficial for both of you for years to come.
LoDan Electronics, Inc. has been the industry leader for wire harness since 1967, taking pride in its ability to provide interconnect solutions for all manner of applications while providing clients with assistance from design to delivery.