Tips and strategies to manage obsolete electronic components

Obsolescence management proactively mitigates risks surrounding an electronic component’s given life cycle. These risks are typically associated with the degradation of various components, affecting the device or effect of which the element in question is a part. Manufacturers may be prepared for any issues that may arise, ensuring they get the most out of their equipment and cutting costs by developing and implementing an obsolescence management strategy due to obsolete electronic components. However, knowing where to begin with so much gear in a facility might be challenging. 

In our previous article, we discussed signs of electronic components’ obsolescence. We will share tips and strategies for obsolescence management in this article when you should start preparing for it. 

Tips for obsolete electronic components management 

Components can quickly become obsolete due to the rapid pace of technological development. In addition, obsolete electronic components can be highly annoying because OEMs must work harder to acquire outmoded parts, find substitutes, or modify their products to fit the new component.

Here we have outlined some tips that you can use for managing challenges arising from the obsolete electronic component 

 

  • Having an alternative in mind 

Being adaptable is a crucial quality in supply chain management, and having several options for buying your components can be quite helpful if one of them becomes obsolete. For all the features you presently use and any new ones you start utilizing, you should have at least one alternate source so that in case they become obsolete, you have a replacement in hand. 

Buy from distributors who have established relationships worldwide and access difficult-to-find components. When a component is no longer available, these distributors might potentially be able to find nearby alternatives. There is an alternative for almost everything. You have to be patient enough to look for one. 

  • Find excess inventory 

Some distributors keep extra components on hand to use in the event of shortages or expediting order turnaround. However, doing so entails risk and storage expenses, and the distributors might be prepared to sell their stock to increase cash flow during slow trading periods. In addition, they might be required to reduce the price at which the components are sold if the product goes out of style and a viable substitute becomes available.

The manufacturer will often notify customers before production stops and may even offer a large-volume last-time purchase, but this carries the danger of remaining with obsolete stock once all orders have been fulfilled.

  • Employ industry-standard parts

Utilizing industry-standard components whenever possible is another technique to control component obsolescence. Conversely, using specialized or niche features makes them harder to find and increases the likelihood of becoming obsolete faster. As a result, you can have a lot more faith that the parts used in so many items on the market will still be in use and readily available.

  • Predicting demand

By using sales and market data to predict when there will be a spike in demand for your products, demand forecasting allows you to buy your components in advance and have them on hand for when you need them most. As you will have all the stock you need well before the piece approaches its end of life, this is a valuable method to adopt to deal with component shortages and obsolescence.

 

Strategies companies can implement to manage obsolete electronic components

Planning is the best method to ensure that your legacy equipment runs as long as feasible. However, managing obsolete electronic component is a full-time challenge. Here we share strategies your company can implement to foresee obsolescence management. 

 

  • Setting goals 

By pinpointing the areas that require urgent attention, you can understand the desired outcome of how to manage obsolete electronic components. It would help if you answered some of these queries during the initial stage.

Here are some areas you can question to plan out obsolete component management 

  1. What is the age of the electronic component? 
  2. Will the electronic component exhibit any damage? 
  3. Are any of the components turning out to be lesser in stock?

 

  • Research

Obtain information on the spare parts availability and the equipment lifetime details from the manufacturer’s website and any notifications you have received. Make a note of the parts that are already out of date or could do so soon, and then think about buying some aspects of these high-risk components. 

 

  • Format and Safe 

Put your freshly learned information in a format that is simple to access. It can be as simple as a spreadsheet that identifies problem areas and offers recommendations for how to go forward. Having quick access to this information in an emergency will prevent costly downtime. Due to the continual nature of obsolescence management, keep your spreadsheet updated.

 

Conclusion 

In summary, managing obsolete electronic components challenges should no longer be considered an unavoidable necessity. Instead, businesses in the electronic component industry realize that obsolescence of components can be addressed with good planning and long-term vision, as well as with reliable, top-quality supply chain partners. 

Obsolescence is undoubtedly a serious issue, but how much it impacts a particular organization will primarily rely on how proactive that company has been and will be in the future. Companies can only hope to adopt best practices and look ahead with assurance by collaborating with everyone involved, including all departments and stakeholders in the supply chain.

 

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