When you engage with ConRes for a custom OEM or embedded computing system project, a project manager is assigned to your account.
One of the major responsibilities of the project manager is to track component lifecycles for all components listed in your product’s bill of materials. The project manager plans material purchases so that the supply of parts is available for the agreed upon quantity and timeframe.
What is your tolerance for component change?
Due to a variety of reasons, including certifications, your tolerance for component change may be limited. That’s why your tolerance levels are documented in the OEM Supplier Agreement.
This agreement typically allows for four classifications of components:
- No Change: Components that must be maintained without change, for example a motherboard.
- Change with Approval: Components that can be changed, but under ECO control and after customer testing of a substitute component, for example a hard disk drive.
- Change with Notification: Components that the customer agrees can change without testing but the customer will be notified of the change.
- Uncontrolled Component: The customer is not concerned with the supplier of the part.
Maintaining system stability
The goal of ConRes vendor management services is to minimize your costs by maximizing the use of low-cost commodity components. When change is inevitable, how then does ConRes maintain system stability?
Although the systems ConRes builds for you often use commodity computer components, the ConRes OEM engineers achieve system stability through the use of components with known life cycles (and published end-of-life dates) wherever possible. Success depends on relationships with the component manufacturers and suppliers – vendor management.
Still, there are a few cases when end-of-life cannot be planned, that’s when we ensure product stability through the use of inventory planning and management.