Component event risks in electronic manufacturing supply chains

Component event risks in electronic manufacturing supply chains

By Mark Zetter, VentureOutsource.com

Manufacturers will scramble to fill supply chain gaps created by product engineering changes and ECN cut-ins, AVL discrepancies from component manufacturer spec changes and, poor planning management of product lifecycles (PLM) and end-of-life (EOL) for their electronic and electro-mechanical programs.

image mark

Mark Zetter

One of the biggest contributors adding more time and hard costs to otherwise ‘planned costs’ for many electronics product programs is working with outdated or incorrect information and the additional effort (time) and more money to fill these gaps.

One vendor providing services to the product change notice (PCN) landscape is IHS Markit. From the their website, “Companies typically have incomplete information on the components they use including partial part numbers and older manufacturer names.” I contacted IHS when writing this article but the company did not respond.

Meanwhile, messages and alerts sent to manufacturing supply chain functional teams after a component event can often be incomplete or inaccurate. And not prioritizing urgent information, getting notices late or, not notifying the right persons – can compound supply chain ‘events’ and make identifying and solving matters even worse.

Being able to properly route actionable, accurate product BOM and component information for timeliness and decision-making allows supply chain professionals to make more informed decisions and IHS PCN and other PCN service offerings in the market are doing this.

Adding to services capabilities already available to manufacturers in the market seeking more control over their PCN supply chain needs is having access to an integrated platform that continuously updates (and prioritizes) changes to your electronics and electro-mechanical products, flags potential risks and disruptions to your manufacturing programs and, offers manufacturers deeper (and earlier) inventory insights to help manufacturers capture more revenue recognition, stop expensive production shutdowns and, avoid costly inventory and materials write-downs and thereby having to possibly release embarrassing manufacturing financial restatements.

Dashboards summarizing information about your supply chain is valuable. Access to supply chain changes and potential risks and disruptions, in real-time, before these challenges unfold can be priceless.

Enter Neural Corporation, an artificial intelligence firm offering a AI-powered services focused on the manufacturing supply chain. Neural-PCN provides users manufacturing change notices delivered to your inbox or smartphone for parts in your company approved vendor list (AVL). It can integrate with program management systems allowing the correct people visibility, versus spamming an entire organization. Users can quickly triage critical notices from manufacturers to assess component impact and prioritize any required resolutions.

“This was a great place for some manufacturers to start saving time and money. We are often surprised how little attention this critical supply chain routine gets”, says Mark Swartz, CEO, Neural Corporation.

Manufacturers aiming to gain more control over their material planning and manufacturing supply chain execution as these relate to product changes and PCN concerns should look for PCN platforms fully able to adapt and integrate with their existing enterprise systems like SAP, Oracle, Siemens, PTC, and QAD, to name a few.

As uncertainty continues to take hold across manufacturing market sectors, manufacturing executives like VW CFO, Alexander Seitz and others are frequently quoted in the news saying they are bracing their manufacturing supply chains with effective and ‘strict cost discipline’ and ‘prioritizing projects’.

Having access to critical, accurate and timely product change information is one cornerstone to better materials management for manufacturing programs.

From one commodity manager I talked with, who previously worked for a tier-1 contract electronics manufacturing services (EMS) provider and today works for an electronics OEM equipment manufacturing company, “[a] predictive PCN service is useful because once the PCN is announced you’re already late.”

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