The EMS provider is the overall accepted term of an electronics contract manufacturer in this industry. Not only does the EMS provider manufacture products for OEMs, but also offers services in a wide array of value-added services. This includes support with design, design for manufacturing, prototyping, systems build, supply chain management, configure-to-order, outbound logistics, and testing elements.
EMS firms can vary in size and can be quite large. In fact, in the so-called “Tier 1” environment, they are multi-billion dollar businesses. It’s no surprise that they manufacture some of the world’s best-known products. For example, Microsoft’s Xbox, Apple’s iPhone, HP printers, Cisco routers, and a variety of products from companies like Sony and Nintendo. They are all believed to be built by Tier 1 EMS companies.
While these suppliers will often make “Top 10” lists, they specialize in manufacturing high volume, low complexity products. As a result, suppliers demand multi-million pound spend levels, which is why much of the world’s consumer electronics end up shipping from their factories.
However, for OEMs that design and sell low-to-medium volume (often complex products), in sectors away from consumer electronics, Tier 1 suppliers may not be the most appropriate fit. To find the most appropriate size supplier for your business model and product range, instead OEMs are often encouraged to take an alternative view of the EMS horizon.