Covid-19 & Risk

It seems like it never ends. MLCC and other component shortages from automotive market expansion in 2018, tariffs driving sourcing changes in 2019 and now, in 2020, Coronavirus taking us into completely uncharted waters. Despite some interesting environmental new (for some interesting NO2 pollution photos from the crisis, see https://www.visualcapitalist.com/coronavirus-lockdowns-emissions/), it’s not good at best and possible catastrophic for some. For others like on-line retailers there is a spike in overall demand which (15% to 30% growth) since Covid-19...

Towards “20/20 vision” in 2020

It’s hard to believe, but already the third decade of this century is around the corner.  This certitude had me reflecting this week as I commuted to the optometrist. Most adults have an annual ritual of going to an optometrist for an eye exam. They emerge with a prescription for new lenses or, in some cases, reasons for laser eye surgery. Stated another way, they benchmark their vision against an established standard and take corrective action when anomalous outcomes develop....

New Standard Lytica Commodity Names

This week Lytica began using new Lytica commodity names in our online Component Cost Estimator (CCE)  product. In CCE, we will be displaying what we refer to as the Major Commodity name; the underlying construct consists of finer levels of granularity ranging from Super, Major, Sub and so on in order to classify the components. For some components, we may also show the sub commodity if it aids in classification recognition. Aligned with the commodity designation is the component attribute,...

Data, Mastery and Culture: Part 3

There is a big difference between knowing an answer and implementing a solution that takes you to it. Many companies take our answers and the prices we predict and get exceptional results while others are less successful. In my blog, Data, Mastery and Culture: Part 1, I defined three observed areas of customer performance where the best performance comes from companies in Area C. In that blog I stated, “The companies in Area C have tight management of their purchasing...

DATA, MASTERY AND CULTURE: PART 2

In my blog Metamorphosis, I stated, “In 2017 we began our journey with artificial intelligence and in 2018 put in place powerful new core technologies that enable far more than we envisioned when we began. These core technologies are beginning to transform our company.” As part of this journey, we have been working in conjunction with leading universities on advanced AI research that underpins our technology platform. I am pleased to report that one of our researchers, Mark Traquair at...

Data, Mastery and Culture: Part 1

When I conceived of Freebenchmarking.com, I believed that profiling material’s spending against real market prices would be a valuable metric for companies buying electronic components. When we added the ability to identify and quantify actionable savings at the component level, this metric transformed into an invaluable tool for cost management. That was our belief. Over the years we have seen our tool applied across all market segments and, like all tools, the results are best in the hands of craftsmen. As...

Metamorphosis

How Lytica became a unique analytics company: Part 24 I have been absent from the blogging scene for a few months as I have been immersed in roadmap planning, budgets, customer visits and demonstrations of our technological capability. Oh yes, I have also been distracted by fundraising needed to make our company and product visions a reality. We are in interesting times and change is all around us but being aware of that doesn’t save us from its silent sneak attack....

New Insights and Change

How Lytica became a unique analytics company: Part 23 Lytica’s analysis of industry wide e-component availability determined that the Materials Availability Index (MAI) stands today at 78%, ranging from a low of 33% to a high approaching 100% across commodities. It’s no wonder that Supply Chain managers now have only one goal in life: FIND PARTS. Lytica conceived of the index as an early warning signal for changes in materials availability.  In good times, our index is typically at 90%+...

Shortage Mitigation Revisited

How Lytica became a unique analytics company: Part 22 I have been thinking about shortages again and how one might improve their supply situation in these difficult times. In July, I posted a blog to scmroundtable.com titled “Shortages: Three Extreme Mitigation Approaches” where I suggested things that are somewhat “outside-the-box” for normal sourcing but not so when viewed in an environment of extreme scarcity of material. Today, I have another thought that may help some of you and have created...

Humpty Dumpty

How Lytica became a unique analytics company: Part 21 “We are entering times of trouble”. This is the opening sentence in an article by Oliver Wymans’ partner, Armin Scharlach, titled “Procurement During Trade Wars - Competitive Advantage in Times of Trouble”[i]. ) His article looks at one’s ability to succeed with serious trade wars between the USA and China and with the USA and Europe. It’s worth reading; however, if this was all there is in the land of trouble,...