Does going direct to China save money on your custom LCD design?

From Brain surgery to custom LCD designs: You get what you pay for

Cheap, Low Cost and Discount are not good words when designing a critical component such as a LCD Custom Display for your product. You may pay a lower tooling fee or unit cost, but price and cost are rarely the same.

When searching for a brain surgeon or attorney, do you look for the lowest cost? I would hope not. Just because something is the ‘cheapest’ price, does not make it the lowest cost.

The few dollars you save upfront will be quickly forgotten when issues begin to arise? And they will arise. After you pay the tooling and wait for your custom liquid crystal display samples, you will need support and this is where the fun begins. You may begin to feel like the customer below.

When building a house, would you skip the general contractor to save money?

This may seem like a strange question to ask when discussing ‘custom LCD displays’; but building a home is similar to building a product that requires a LCD

Custom Display. You want them both built correctly, on time and most importantly, you want SERVICE.

You not only want prompt service during the design and building stage, you need the same service after the project is completed.

One of our support people, Corey, who worked in the lumber industry, told the story about a customer that came in to order lumber for their new home.

            “We are going to skip the general contractor to save money” she explained.“Have you ever built a home before?” he asked.

            “No, but I think we can do this, we have a good idea of what we want the house to look like and plan to work on it over the weekends” she replied.

I do not know how the story ended, but I suspect there was a great deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Anything that is worth doing well is worth the investment to do it right.

A low price custom LCD does not equal a low cost LCD custom design

When you are in need of a LCD Custom Design: service, technical knowledge and responsive support are critical. There are many off-shore suppliers that can offer you a low price custom display module, but not always a low cost solution.

Many times the lower price does not include freight, prototype samples or design support. The time delay between US and China also plays havoc through delays in communication, etc.

Is the Chinese LCD supplier specialized in LCDs only, or do they carry many different products?

Many off-shore suppliers offer custom LCD products, but what is their knowledge base? Do they work strictly with LCD’s? Or do they also supply T-shirts, dolls and baseball cards.

Below are screen shots of one Custom LCD supplier’s web page that is based in China. Yes, they do offer LCD custom modules, but they also supply resistors, printed circuit boards, solid state relays etc. If you continue to search their site, you will notice they also offer: earrings, stuffed animals, power supplies, and light bulbs.

What do you think their expertise is in a critical component like a custom LCD display? How quickly will your concerns be addressed and answered?

Low Price LCD Custom Displays do not mean Low Cost:

As an engineer I have learned that are three resolute variables in the design of a complex assembly such as a custom LCD display module. Those are Delivery, Cost and Quality.

Let’s break it down:

  • Delivery
    • Lead Time, do they ship boat or air. Can you track your product from the day it leaves the factory to the day it shows up on your door step?
  • Cost
    • Not price, does the quoted ‘price’ include freight cost to ship to you, duties, tariffs, and support?
  • Quality
    • Are the production units the same quality as the samples?

Ready to design your LCD Custom display with US-based engineering support after the sale?