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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 9

Strategic Obsolescence Management

To be cost effective, an obsolescence management plan must expand its coverage to include reactive, proactive, and strategic elements. The key methods involve minimizing the impact of component obsolescence by:

  • Considering obsolescence management options during the part selection process
  • Instituting proactive information sharing and standardization systems for improved predictive capability
  • Developing strategic methods to define, design, partition, acquire, and use (maintain) products
  • Maximizing availability of components by identifying, using, and supporting all available resources for procurement of components that meet the application requirements
  • Thinking beyond single parts and components and applying management above the piece-part level
  • Planning the life cycle management of the systems, that is, determining the optimum mix of reactive mitigation and design refreshes to manage obsolescence

A prerequisite for successful obsolescence management is the development of a plan and processes guide that details the infrastructure and processes to be followed in product design, manufacturing, and support.

Figure 9-1 shows that implementing a comprehensive obsolescence management plan is possible during all life cycle phases of a product or system. However, it is most effective if obsolescence management begins in the product development process during the definition and conceptual design of the product (Tomczykowski et al., 2000).

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