Consignment vs. Turn-Key Assembly

packaging box marked fragile


Definition: Customer sends parts and boards in a single box or “kit.”

One out of every two consignment kits go on hold causing delays of 1 – 5 days. Here’s why: 

1. Overages

The number one problem with consignment kits is that customers do not send enough extra parts to account for normal attrition. While Advanced Assembly does not experience much loss, a small amount of overages is required toavoid delay is assembly. 

Read our overage guidelines. 

2. Substitute Parts

We understand substitute parts are often provided when originally designated parts can not be provided. However, many customers fail to communicate when a change has been made. This means the parts in the kit do not match the part list on the Bill of Materials (BOM). To avoid this issue, please clearly communicate and label part substitutions.

3. Moisture-Sensitive Parts

When customers provide parts, they are often loose or in opened bags. This can cause a serious problem if a part is installed that isn’t moisture-free or needed to be pre-baked prior to assembly. Also, there is no way to determine the shelf-life of the part. 

4. Inconsistent Labeling

 There are many ways parts are labeled. First, customers often have their own, internally-developed part designation system. Then there’s the label given to a part by the manufacture or manufacturers. PCB assembly companies also give parts reference designators once the BOM is checked by design-for-assembly software. Without careful attention to detail it is easy to label different parts with different designators. This is why Advanced Assembly always provides kit labels for consignment orders. 

Learn about kit labels.

5. Split Kits

When customers have multiple jobs being assembled at the same time, they often put the parts and boards for all jobs in a single box without indicating which parts / boards are to be used for which project. Not only can this cause delays while Receiving splits the kits, it also greatly increases the chances for lost or misplaced components. 

6. Waiting for Your Response

Assembling jobs correctly the first time is our top priority. When there are questions with consignment kits, we reach out to customers for clarification. How quickly the issues are resolved is up to you. While some customers get back to us in minutes, many can take days, causing significant delays on their projects. 

blue cogs with gold key


Definition: Customer emails design files and Advanced Assembly orders parts and boards. 

Turn-key jobs typically are faster with less errors. Here’s why:

1. Overages

Our sourcing and procurement teams order the right amount of parts plus overages right from the start. 

2. Substitute Parts

Our sourcing team works with the customer to approve substitutions and updates the BOM accordingly.

3. Moisture-Sensitive Parts

All parts are purchased directly from the manufacturer in moisture-free, sealed bags with a noted shelf-life. 

4.  Labeling

Parts are received clearly labeled by the manufacturer.

5. Split Kits

Parts and boards are ordered on a per job basis, which eliminating the need to split kits.

6. Its Our Responsibility

Should there be an issue, it’s our responsibility to fix it. We are accountable for the entire process. 

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