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News

Negotiating the Supply Chain Minefield new booklet on managing component obsolescence

Component Obsolescence Group (COG) : 23 January, 2004  (Company News)
New guidance on managing the issue of component obsolescence to maximise supply chain efficiency has been issued by the Component Obsolescence Group, in the third of its series of information booklets. According to COG, if a component within a piece of equipment becomes obsolete, failure to get suitable replacement parts quickly or at all could incur considerable costs. It could mean that the equipment has to go out of service or parts of it may need to be re-designed, and in extreme cases, it could significantly damage an organisation's reputation and customer relationships.
New guidance on managing the issue of component obsolescence to maximise supply chain efficiency has been issued by the Component Obsolescence Group, in the third of its series of information booklets.

According to COG, if a component within a piece of equipment becomes obsolete, failure to get suitable replacement parts quickly or at all could incur considerable costs. It could mean that the equipment has to go out of service or parts of it may need to be re-designed, and in extreme cases, it could significantly damage an organisation's reputation and customer relationships.

The new booklet, entitled 'The Supply Chain Minefield, The Role of the Distributor in Managing Obsolescence Problems', looks at how distributors can be a solution to component obsolescence, rather than part of the problem.

Since different types of distributors can provide different services and expertise, the publication aims to provide guidance for end-users to help them identify which type of distributor can best provide the service they need and also gives advice on how suppliers and customers can work together to minimise obsolescence problems.

Comments Michael Trenchard, Chief Executive of COG, 'There is probably no greater threat to continuity of supply than component obsolescence, and, as a link between manufacturers and end-users, distributors are ideally placed in the supply chain to provide vital support to mitigate against its effects. They can play an important role at each phase of the product lifetime: at the design stage, during manufacture and in providing service support.'

For example, distributors could provide technical support, manage and control inventories, pass on manufacturers' last time buy alerts and product change notices, source and supply obsolete components or offer alternative solutions.

Says Trenchard, 'Support is a key part of the supplier-customer relationship. The potential adverse effects of component obsolescence mean that both parties should try to have as a clear a focus as possible, not just on what the customer needs now, but what it might need in the future, and how they might be able to get it.'

The booklet also outlines other types of solution providers who may be able to assist with obsolescence problems, such as after market manufacturers who buy the right to continue to manufacture specific components from the original manufacturer, or die banks who can store stocks of obsolete dies, which can be packaged in the future.
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