Reactive Obsolescence Management vs. Proactive BOM Monitoring

By Logan Wamsley

Time is of the essence during the ongoing electronics revolution. Companies in all industries across the board are struggling to stay ahead of the game in this ever-evolving world. It may feel like you’re one step ahead, but, in fact, you’re actually two steps behind. Obsolescence has become an urgent issue which manufacturers are more aware of — but many still struggle with finding solutions to combat it accordingly.

The Problem

“Technology innovations have a distinct ‘shelf life’ from their inception,” explains Forbes, “and there is an increasing or decreasing rate of speed to it known as their Velocity of Obsolescence.”

This concept explains the rate at which an innovation, or the competitive advantage of the innovation, loses value. The rate of innovation in the technology industry over the past decade is something that no one could fathom. While this expansion in electronics is remarkably beneficial, the consequences of this drastic boom include record-high rates of electronic component obsolescence and allocation.

Why should a company worry about obsolescence?

Obsolescence correlates directly with a company’s bill of material, as well as the production and manufacturing of an OEM product. If even a single critical component is designated obsolete by the component manufacturer, then this affects the entire production supply chain. Companies can make the choice of either having a reactive or proactive approach when coping with obsolescence and allocation.

Now the question is, what is your plan for obsolescence management?


In a reactive obsolescence management strategy, companies are constantly having to pivot their supply chain to adapt to unexpected disruptions. In this scenario, manufacturers are always having to play catch up. When a last time buy date is issued through a product change notification (PCN), an unexpecting supply chain has the potential to panic — assuming it was fortunate enough to receive a PCN at all. In 2016, almost 50 percent of electronic components were transitioned into obsolescence without a PCN.

It is only realistic to assume that companies need an appropriate bounce back window with the lack of notification they recieve. This unfortunate situation is all too familiar for OEMs and once it occurs, the ability to succeed — when already behind — is almost impossible in such a competitive market. Losing is a bitter pill to swallow when you know, in your heart, you never had a chance to begin with.

Partstat’s Proactive Solution

Instead of waiting for a notification from your OCM, the infinitely preferable solution is to be proactive, mitigate the potential obsolescence-related disruption, and take matters into your own hands.

Jump ahead of the component shortage with Partstat’s BOM Monitoring Solution where we monitor obsolescence, predict allocation, price your BOM, and confirm lifecycles. We are able to price, monitor, and predict the lifecycle status of an electronic component with our 50 billion Big Data points. Our intelligent automated systems allow us to review your bill of material every 15 minutes within a real-time model, scanning the global marketplace for any changes to keep you in front of whatever issues that may arise.

But technology alone is not enough to make a solution proactive. What’s unique about us is that we offer the human element into this technology-driven service. In a society where human interaction is quickly fading, it’s a relief knowing that any conflicts that inevitably arise on your BOM are in the capable hands of an experienced, live team of Partstat BOM Specialists. All the work typically associated with confirming the status of a component — even if you have the data and analyses on hand — is done for you. We contact the manufacturers, we get definitive answers for what that data is saying, and, as a result, you can rest assured that business continuity will be maintained.

Stay ahead of the game and don’t be caught in situations that require split-second decisions. Adopt a proactive approach to become better equipped at overcoming obsolescence.