Shortages: Three Extreme Mitigation Approaches

How Lytica became a unique analytics company: Part 19 The introduction of semi-autonomous vehicle demand coupled with the already growing smart phone requirements for passive components - particularly MLCC capacitors - has created significant shortage problems for EMS and OEM companies in the last year. This has caused a surge in prices for those lucky enough to secure supply and severe shortages for the less fortunate ones; most component users experience a combination of both. There appears to be an...

Risk and Uncertainty

 Is risk a synonym for uncertainty? The thesaurus in Microsoft Word suggests that it is and a Google search confirms it however, when thinking about managing supply chains, there are a different set of actions for risk than those taken to address uncertainty.  The primary supply chain actions to reduce risk involve alternate sourcing, inventory and supplier selection criteria whereas actions to remove uncertainty involve data.  If they really are the same, the risk reduction approach should be the same. Paraphrasing...

“We supply the science – you supply the art”

In October, I attended the i2030 National Manufacturing Summit in Ottawa Canada, co-hosted by industry groups the CME (Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters) and the CMC (Canadian Manufacturing Coalition). The agenda was geared towards manufacturers and, considering our customers worldwide are comprised of OEM, EMS providers and ODMs, it was certainly topical and relevant to Lytica. Many of the discussion threads touched on the 4th industrial revolution or Industry 4.0 for short.  For the purposes of a refresher and setting the context,  the...

8 Supply Chain Design Rules for Engineers

In this article, I summarize some points from a lecture that I gave at Hong Kong University in 2014; it drew on a blog I wrote in 2013.  I repeat some of the ideas from that blog here because I believe they are critically important for world-class companies. I was focused on supply base design, recognizing the key role that designers play in establishing the supply chain. Once a designer has selected a supplier or component, supply chain professionals are...

The Acceleration of Everything

The concept of the acceleration of everything has fascinated me since I became Nortel’s Chief Procurement Officer many years ago. Prior to that position, I had worked in semiconductor technology development and Operations and had spent some time in China negotiating and running joint venture companies. I was aware of Moore’s law and the enabling power of silicon technology and software but it was not until I was given the mandate, as CPO, to accelerate time to market by using suppliers...

Supply Chain Security & Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Security of supply is one of the most critical priorities of any supply chain; cost and compliance are the other top ones. Given how critical security of supply is, I am often surprised by how inadequate many due diligence programs are at getting to the heart of risk or ensuring that adequate agility exists to meet user needs. The problem of ensuring adequate security of supply parallels behavior motivation as expressed in Maslow's hierarchy of needs. In Maslow's model, the...

Thoughts on Single and Sole Sourced Components

Based on some of the replies to my blogs and conversations with customers, I have noticed that some individuals are confused over single and sole sourcing. I will start with definitions and then share some observations and thoughts on the subject. Sole Sourced: a component for which there is only one manufacturer capable of making it. Single Sourced: a component that has more than one manufacturer able to make it but for which you have only qualified one source for your...