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How to get one right Smart Hardware Solution provider in China ?

When you want to develop some smart hardware, the first step is you should get one right vendor --A ODM or IDH company.EMM, china has the greatest source for that, especially for the hardware-Shenzhen is the right place .

As we know well the total committed volume will narrow down the list of ODMs right away. Top ODMs like Quanta, Asus, or Foxconn, IRL Tech Group, would most likely need the account to generate > $50M in yearly revenue. This could be offset by strategic importance such as allowing an ODM to break into a market. Take note about which business unit you approach in larger ODMs. There is sometimes overlap in technologies across multiple BUs (i.e. would a tablet be part of computer BU or mobile BU)? One BU may have more expertise while the other BU may be more willing to support you.

Also we will tell you the other suggestion to narrow the list is to look for comparable products that are in the market and find out where they are manufactured. ODMs are much more likely to support you if they’re already building what you want. This removes barriers for them such as finding the appropriate R&D resources, PCB layout expertise, production SOP. There are all sorts of hints you can use to determine who the manufacturer is such as FCC docs, OIDs, packing slips, PCB labels.

You also have to check: are there industry certifications for your type of product? If so, check the certification body website (i.e., CableLabs, WiMAX Forum, 3GPP, HomePlug, MoCA, etc.) and you usually find ODMs as part of the member list.


First, the hardware startup plan at various levels of readiness as a portfolio company moves from alpha/beta builds to NPI, program migration, and ramp-to-volume. This covers company/product from inception to three months, then at six months, nine-month and, twelve to eighteen months. Tech startup product contract manufacturing and design outsourcing strategy


You can search for contract EMS or ODM companies by end markets served, geographic locations, services offered across the Americas, Europe, Asia.especially China, you know well China is the world factory.

Here are some key areas I would focus on when selecting an ODM.

* Component leverage. Can the ODM leverage their buying power to reduce lead[times and reduce component costs?
* Costed BOM. Require a costed BOM and scrub it yourself by calling the suppliers directly to find out what pricing you can get. If you’re finding better pricing on your own, it may be a red flag that the ODM is padding the BOM.
* Manufacturing capacity. ODMs will tell you that they have the capacity that can support the zillions of devices. While this is good in theory, get a commitment on lead-times to need to expand the capacity of your product.
* Tour the test labs and interview the engineers. In fairness, I don’t subscribe to the idea of pop quizzes to the engineers. Send your list of questions well ahead of time and request that the ODM respond.
* Reliability is key. As anyone in the CE industry can attest to, it only takes one epidemic failure to wipe out a company. Dissect their reliability test plans and make sure they have the testing equipment for things like thermal, environmental, mechanical, and drop testing.
* PO lead-times and cancellations. Depending on the volatility of your product, you may need flexibility in lead-times. One negotiating tool is to limit PO cancellation liability only to unique components but not common components that can be used elsewhere in the ODM's supply chain.
* Quarter over quarter automatic price reductions. QBRs usually end up being semi-annualBRs so you don’t want price reductions being tied to a meeting.
* Delivery timelines. This is especially important if you’re product is on the lower volume side. Christmas season, end of year inventory, and Chinese New Year are always hectic so you want to make sure your product doesn’t get de-prioritized during this time.
* Be sure to include a clause for epidemic failure. As mentioned above, this can destroy a company so make sure you have back to back support that is at least as strong as your agreement with your customers.
* RMA turnaround. RMA product will spend 8 weeks on a boat alone plus whatever time needed for repair/replacement. Make sure turnaround time is specified because this is typically a very low priority for an ODM since it’s not going towards sales.
* IPR. The ODM should indemnify you in the event of any IPR infringement as a result of their h/w design, s/w, ID, manufacturing process.
* Payment terms are typically net30 with good credit and payable on delivery with no credit. If you’re a smaller company, it’s incredibly important to have a good payment history with the ODM as this is a key factor when it comes time to expand the partnership.