Sounds like a good system. Getting information straight from the source is awlays preferable. I guess it gets down to the question of quality vs. quantity: EDI is great with the strategic and most important partners, but can't cover the world. A backup is needed. But that's the nature of the supply chain--otherwise, second-source agreements wouldn't exist.
I think you want to limit your EDI to trusted, main suppliers as much of the data exchanged is of a sensitive nature. The way we implemented EDI was with a long-term Contract Manager with emphasis on ECO and ECN management so volume production rework cost were minimized through instantaneous timely alerts of any changes to the product in house. We sent drawings, documents, and material notices that needed immediate attention. In turn, we got back confirmations of implementation cross checked with document numbers and revisions. If we didn't receive an acknowledgement email back from the CM, we would follow-up with a phone call to talk to our project lead resident at the CM location. Ultimately, a human has to make sure the EDI exchanges and instructions were happening in real time.
This is what I meant by the statement about not relying on computers 100% of the time. There should always be a back-up plan if the Internet goes down or a server fails. We all know that happens.
Interesting discussion. I'll admit I put too much faith in my computer, especially when it comes to assuming an e-mail has gone through. Now I check junk mail and quarantined mail daily so things don't languish too long.
I hadn't though of EDI as a tool for EOL, but I guess that would make sense. The information would depend on how many suppliers you conduct EDI with, correct?
I agree with you on using a combination of email communication with EDI. It will ensure that the information has been sent through on two channels and therefore will have a greater chance of actually being read/used.
On the other hand, I would disagree with you on being totally dependent upon computers for business purposes. Traditionally, people argued about the advantages that automation (based on computing) brought to the enterprise. However, today most enterprises have learnt that deploying enterprise wide software system not only helps in effective management but also helps to reduce wastages and curtail costs.
Using a CM with a direct EDI is a good solution for immediate communication and data updates. The EDI should contain an alert module for when the OEM sends over an ECO/ECN. Having said that, computers are not foolproof, so I suggest whenever a time critical request is sent to the CM, there is a follow up email or voice communication to make sure the EDI system is in sync with the OEM requirements. I have seen where a line nedded to be stopped and nobody was monitoring the EDI system. We never want to become totally dependent upon computers anyway. That's a dasngerous precedent for all types of business...not just Electronics.
Do you think an Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) with other companies help your cause? I think it will make life easier for your company and coordination will become much easier. Using EDI you can float a list of EOL products and inform other industry partners about the products going down.
This article explains a real practical problems in an organization that doesn't employ right people to manage EOL and Obsolscense parts. It is very important for any company to have focussed people working in this area to manufacture the product without any issues.
We are a small firm with limited engineering staff. We do not always produce a new datasheet. Typically,we provide certificate of conformance to the origional Mfr's Datasheet. We will assign a Twilight part number, but it is typically the same basic part no. as the origional device except a 'TT' prefix instead of the other Mfr's prefix.If we feel that there is a larger market for the device, we would generate a datasheets and marketing material, adding it to our standard product offering. Honestly, we don't do a real good job in letting the industry know what exact part numbers we have provided replacement solutions for previously. I would say we market ourselves as after market solution provider service first and have a short list of typical products we continue to support. We do need to balance resources with demand so we cannot be all things to all people. Our reputation has driven our growth and repeat sales. We are working to improve our communcation with the industry on what obsolete or EOL products we have available.
When you make them available to the general public, do you use your own part numberwith your own datasheet? How would someone know there is a part out there already made that will replace an EOL part? How many parts do you have available know and what are the industry cross reference numbers?
Most of the time they are available to the general public. On a few occasions, for competitive edge reasons, a customer will want to retain the rights to the design and we will agree to it. That is usually in very special circumstances.
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.