3 Obsolescence Management Strategies Possible With BOM Monitoring

By Logan Wamsley

A common misconception regarding obsolescence management is that a single strategy or process can insulate an equipment manufacturer from all obsolescence-based supply chain disruptions. Many solutions on the market may promise this, but it is a promise based on a false premise. There is, at least today, no “one-size-fits-all” obsolescence management strategy capable of being universally adopted regardless of industry, company size, or inventory procurement needs.

A more accurate definition of obsolescence management is that it’s a variety of individual strategies that, when combined, work together to create a customized solution uniquely tailored to fit the needs of that individual company. Therefore, when considering obsolescence management solutions on the market for your organization, instead of judging them not by promises of being a complete solution, but by how many different strategies they offer — and the number of applications such strategies might have in the real world.

By these measurables, Partstat BOM Monitoring stands alone on a tier all by itself. In addition to being an industry-leading provider of real-time bill of material monitoring, Partstat also offers BOM Monitoring customers access to a variety of additional tools that make your obsolescence management strategy as close to 100 percent secure as the current market is capable of providing. Below are just a few of these:

1. Obsolescence Prediction

There are other BOM monitoring services on the market that immediately notify customers of component obsolescence upon issuance of a PCN, but Partstat BOM Monitoring is the only service capable of predicting component obsolescence before it occurs. By leveraging our access to 50 billion points of Big Data aggregated from both online crawling and over 5,000 Partstat uploaders, we provide each BOM Monitoring customer full access to a variety of real-time trending charts that, together, grant users an unparalleled view of the market for any given electronic component. By easily analyzing average inventory price, average inventory quantities, and average lead times, customers can quickly discern when obsolescence is imminent, and quickly make necessary adjustments to their supply chain long before the rest of the market realizes what is happening. With these feature alone, our customers have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital that would have otherwise been lost to product redesigns or costly third-party markups.

2. Allocation Monitoring and Prediction

Just because an electronic component is not transitioning toward obsolescence does not mean that it can potentially disrupt your supply chain. Many experts, including TTI Semiconductor Group President Michael Knight, predict that component shortages that defined most of 2017 and 2018 “are going to get worse before they get better,” with limited supply, demand far exceeding supplier capacity, and a disturbing trend of double ordering continually pushing lead times far outside the realm of comfort. In some cases, we have even seen lead times for once commoditized electronic components and semiconductors hit beyond 52 weeks! To counter this, Parststat BOM Monitoring uses a series of complex algorithms that not only notify customers once allocation occurs, but accurately predict allocation before it occurs. This allows customers to take a proactive approach in their supply chain management strategy that was, until Partstat, non-existent. With our solution, Partstat customers have been known to put in orders days, weeks, or sometimes even months in advance before a component is officially placed on allocation.

3. Component Lifecycle Confirmation by the BOM Specialists

Even the most accurate bill of material is not immune to inherent conflicts. One bill of material, for example, may note that an electronic component is transitioning toward obsolescence, while the same component on a separate material may be still considered active. Normally in these situations, it would fall to the OEM to dedicate staff, time, and resources to calling each distributor individually to uncover the truth. In addition to our robust BOM Monitoring platform and access to Big Data, Partstat also retains a human team of experienced BOM Specialists dedicated to confirming the lifecycles of components involved in such conflicts. Regardless of the quantity of conflicts of their complexity, our team is at customers’ disposal to eliminate this disruption at the root and allowing them to dedicate resources to more pressing matters such as product innovation. At Partstat, we realize that the human element is every bit as vital to a successful obsolescence strategy as the technology, and we are proud to offer the only solution in the industry that has both in equal measure.