Updated: September 12th, 2016

Wondering how to select a connector supplier? The selection method must ensure the supplier can meet all established performance, cost, lead-time, and service requirements.

Take the right direction in selecting a connector manufacturerOnce several manufacturers’ connectors have been evaluated for a specific application, it is likely that the ultimate selection will be made from at least three or four manufacturers (and maybe more if the connector is an industry standard). It then becomes necessary to establish a method to select the best supplier. This selection includes both a business and technical component. The selection method must ultimately verify that the supplier has the potential to meet all established performance, cost, service, and lead-time requirements.

Some connector companies sell through distributors and sell directly only to OEMs they consider to be strategic or key accounts. The ultimate supplier is the connector manufacturer. Therefore, collaboration with the distributor may be required to obtain the needed information. Evaluation of the distributor from a technical perspective needs to be focused on the following three items: Access to the connector manufacturer’s engineering and quality assurance personnel; the distributor’s stock rotation process that assures solderable connectors have not exceeded the recommended shelf life; and the supplier’s method of notifying customers of product design changes and product discontinuation. This is best accomplished w