Obsolescence management is part careful preparation, part fortune-telling, and part resourcefulness. Your business depends upon reliable supply lines... and few products are truly obsolescence-proof. When electronic components are discontinued from production or support by the manufacturer, you need to have solutions — fast. This is where your obsolescence management partner comes into play. Here are four ways this critical relationship can drive your supply chain through murky waters:
1. Surplus Stock Releases
You won’t be the only company coping with (or anticipating) obsolescence issues. Other suppliers and manufacturers will have stockpiled excess inventory to protect against discontinued production of aging or niche components. This excess safety stock must sometimes be released to free up liquid capital (or control overhead costs for long-term storage).
Your obsolescence management partner will have an ear to the ground for surplus stock sales, and be able to connect you with enough eager sellers to fuel your obsolete product needs for as long as these surplus components stockpiles hold out in the market.
2. Alternatives in the Event of Disruptions
It’s always a good idea to have a second source waiting in the wings in the event of supply chain disruptions or those times when your primary supplier decides to halt production of the component you need. The components supply chain issues that are pressuring the semiconductor market may close some doors, but others will remain open. You’ll want an obsolescence management partner who knows where to turn for a second, backup source.
3. Compatible Replacements
When a part has ceased production or support by the manufacturer, there may eventually come a time when an alternative source of the exact same part can’t be found. This is the time to lean on your obsolescence management team to find a near second source that’s fully compatible with your required specs. A hybrid distribution partner can often find you like-for-like replacements that are nearly identical in form and function, helping you avert disruptions and redesigns with a viable replacement.
4. Advance Notice for Last Time Buys
Manufacturers may provide advance notice that a product is ending its production run or will soon no longer be supported. These Last Time Buy (LTB) notices are your best shot at securing enough supply to continue business as usual until a replacement source, replacement part, or redesign solution can be found.
A reliable supply chain partner understands the risks and costs associated with obsolescence and discontinued products. That’s why they’re always on the lookout for LTB notices and are often among the first to hear about these opportunities. Your partner’s vigilance is your competitive advantage.
Connect with an Obsolescence Management Partner
Many of the components you need have a much shorter life cycle than the products they will ultimately go into. Sensible Micro knows how to tackle sourcing and inspection of older and obsolete components. In addition to counterfeit mitigation and quality assurance, we provide you with access to a broad, hybrid distribution network with the second sourcing (and near-second-sourcing) options you will need to reduce the impact of obsolescence.
Our highly experienced team has excelled for years at navigating obsolescence management. Get in touch today for more information on how we help you find the parts you need.