This seems liek a good systems for helping companies with the various hurdles of compliance. Our company tried a similar system a while back and those involved seemed to think it was a useful addition.
I know Arena software from my days as a consultant to DANGER before MS bought them out. BOM.com was the name under which Arena marketed its service. You are right about the convenience of the cloud for archive, sharing, and services. As you mentioned to Brian about the other services available, I am familiar with several and we should be looking at all of them to provide the best referral service. Soon you will see an article on REACHDelivery and another on Total Parts PLus, one of the most comprehensive services available online.
DCA's, Michael Kirschner sent out a bulletin recently saying there are another 13 more SVHC candidates under investigation now. One chemical is used in a huge number of passive SMT components. If that compound goes onto the REACH SVHC list, then the US is going to have to scramble to be compliant even faster because these SMT passive components are used on every SMT circuit design today. You talk about your quinessential kick in the pants. This one compound will do the deed.
The $2K is a yearly subscription fee and it covers as many BOM uploads and archival storage files as you need. This does seem very inexpensive and I am glad you asked for a confirmation. Cliff was with the original alert service called PCNAlert and has the necessary experience to manage a large customer base. Nothing speaks like experience. Anyone who wants to try the service can go to EEContent.com and give it a spin for free. I did that before writing the article. The results are almost instantaneous...2-3 seconds after I hit scrub BOM. There were some blank REACH cells and when I asked about them, Cliff said either the manufacturer hasn't published any documents or they may not be concerned with REACH issues yet. Then he volunteered to do the research on the missing cells at no charge. He said that he doesn't charge for the extra research, because it is to his company's benefit to identify missing manufacturer's documents so when he retrieved the new documents, if available, they would be added to his service and would be available to everyone. If the documents turn out to not be available after his efforts, it is probably a good idea to find a manufacturer who is REACH conscious and up-to-date. The earlier the REACH search is performed in the design, the more guidance a Design Engineer, Component Engineer, or Purchasing Agent will have to find compliant substitutes. I would run the BOM before a prototype was even built.
@JennaK: I couldn't agree with you more. I was just trying to point out that the problem is more complicated that it first appears. Thank you very much for your response - we need to keep track of this and personally, I welcome comments on the subject from everyone, even though I don't own the topic. Regards, Brian
There are several companies out there that have been doing this for some time now. Going forward, security and space, I think, will be lesser issues compared with the methods of data collection and cost to the manufacturer. Cloud based software such as this is very well suited to BOM management as it allows for seamless integration across a product team and real time updating of parts data from the data collection service. (Arena Solutions are you out there?)
Gathering material content information is a tedious process. As the regulations pick up more steam, and they surely will, it will be a question of who has a current system in place that can stay ahead of reporting standards and frequently update their data while assuring it is free of errors, all at a responsable cost to manufacturers.
It looks as if you have discovered a gold mine. I fully agree with Barbara; this would be extremely valuable to anyone who is planning to sell to those countries where REACH will be and is being implemented.
However I feel that there is a BIG question which needs to be answered or clarified. You mentioned, in your article, that the cost for Cliff's service was to be $2K, but it was not clear to me if the $2K was per BOM uploaded or for any and all BOMs used by a company. Also, I am presumiing that the $2K fee for the subscription is an annual fee, but this was not clarified in your blog.
If it is $2K per BOM, this is a real bargain, considering everything that it provides for the subscriber, but if it is for any and all BOMs used by a company, then it becomes an outstanding service. It could save huge amounts of time, effort and money, and severely lessen the possibility that a chemical listed in REACH might be overlooked, thus reducing amounts of fines or lost sales due the oversight. Being in one place, as Barbara stated, is also a huge benefit to any company.
The fact that the names of the manufacturrs are standardized automatically, is also a excellent item as it would serve to assure that there is only one company name used, reducing any ambiguity.
I wonder if Cliff has considered the size of his storage capacity may have to become, if he is going to securely store multiple BOMs for all of his customers, not to mention the maintenance of such a huge database. I'd love to own some stock in the company which is going to be providing it.
Also, is a company who is producing a propriatary item going to want to upload his BOM into someone else's database? Security for the customer's BOMs is always a major concern, especially if the BOM being stored is a part of a classified program. Then, the Government would also be involved, and we all know how costs would escalate if this were to happen.
Despite the few monkey wrenches I have thrown into the mix, I believe that Cliff has come up with a very valuable tool which can be of great service to the supply chain of any company. Once these thoughts/questions have been laid to rest, we now have a single site from which we will be able to obtain all the current information we will need for REACH compliance, thus saving lots of money, and all the other things included become a "yummy" gravy for the meat.
You are so gracious. Thank you for the encouraging words. It is my intention to provide practicle help and cosolidate resource referrals in this series by including details that would help the readers pick and choose the best fit for their company needs.
EBN Dialogue enables and encourages you to participate in live chats with notable leaders and luminaries. Not only editors and journalists, but the entire EBN community is able to comment and ask questions. Listed below are upcoming and archived chats.
Thailand Stages a Comeback Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Microsoft Surface: Potential Winners & Losers What are the implications for the electronics industry supply chain of Microsoft Corp.'s decision to launch its own tablet PC? Join industry veteran and EE Times' systems and OEM expert Rick Merritt on Tuesday, July 3, at 12:00 pm EDT for a Live Chat on this subject.
Join EBN contributor Jennifer Baljko on Thursday August 23, 2012, at 11:00 a.m. EST for a live chat on how electronic manufacturers in Thailand have shored up their supply chain to reduce the impact of future natural disasters.
Peter Drucker famously said "Trying to predict the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window." Yet in the razor's-edge world of electronics—with a lean supply chain and just-in-time demands—the need to know the future is vital.
While no one really can accurately predict the future, we can take guidance from another Drucker saying which is the best way to predict the future is to create it.
You've heard the saying "the No. 1 supply chain risk is your people." That hasn't always been the case. But today's complex global supply chain requires a new type of multitalented employee. It's one who understands, finance, marketing, economics, is savvy with technology, graceful with relationships and can think analytically.
Where are these people? Are universities properly preparing the next generation supply chain professionals? How do train your existing workforce for these new, demanding positions?
Brian Fuller, editor-in-chief of EBN, will lead a 60-minute Avnet Velocity panel discussion that will ask and answer these and other questions swirling around today's supply-chain talent challenges.