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Strategies to the Prediction, Mitigation and Management of Product Obsolescence by Michael G. Pecht, Peter Sandborn, Ulrich Ermel, Bjoern Bartels

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Chapter 8

Proactive Obsolescence Management

This chapter describes proactive obsolescence management. The idea is to proactively track life cycle information on selected parts in order to prevent obsolescence-driven risks such as production stops and expensive redesigns.

Proactive obsolescence management means that the availability of parts is being monitored and actions to manage obsolescence are being taken prior to a part’s actual discontinuance. Obviously, most organizations will not have enough resources to proactively manage all the parts in their systems, and therefore parts need to be ranked in order of importance. The criteria for proactive management is generally as follows:

  • There has to actually be some demand for the part (if you are never going to need the part again, proactive management is not necessary).
  • The part has to be at some risk of going obsolete.
  • There has to be some risk of running out of the part if it does go obsolete (if five times as many parts as will ever be needed are currently in stock, proactive management is not needed).
  • The part has to be in the critical path and pose some level of difficulty to manage if it goes obsolete.

As resources are available, proactive management organizations open DMSMS management cases for the non-obsolete parts starting with the highest priority part. Ideally, one should start proactive resolutions as soon as possible, but proactive obsolescence management helps in all stages of the life cycle of a product.

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