If you are in the product development company or a manufacturing company, you may have heard the terms OEM, ODM, ECM, EMS, but what do they mean? Below are simple definitions that you need to know.
OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer)
The original manufacturer of a hardware component or sub-component. A company that sells products (including software) under its own label.
ODM (Original Design Manufacturer)
Company which manufactures a product which ultimately will be branded by another firm for sale. ODMs have grown in size in recent years and many are now sufficient in size to handle production for multiple clients, often providing a large portion of overall production.
ECM (Electronics Contract Manufacturer)
Firm that manufactures electronics parts or products for another hiring firm, usually an OEM. The way the business mode of ECM works is the OEM firm approaches the electronics contract manufacturer with a design. While the ECM then acts as the OEM firm's electronic parts factory, producing and shipping units of the design on behalf of the OEM. The services a ECM provides is now as EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services).
EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services)
Electronic Manufacturing Services cover DFM review, manufacturability assessment, PCB Assembly, box build, board/system level test, distribute and repair services. An EMS provider is usually called an ECM.