07 February 2023
In the midst of a supply chain crisis, the challenge for LACROIX’s Purchasing Department is to secure the procurement and availability of components. Jean-Pierre Kinn – Head of New Business Purchasing – offers his customers a dedicated Design for Procurement or “DfP” support solution so as to reduce the risk of obsolescence and stock shortages, and to better optimize product life cycles.
DfP experts notably rely on Silicon Expert software. This software is used to carry out in-depth analyses on the bill of materials (BoM) of a product’s components. Its database is constantly enriched and updated.
Each new design project submitted to DfP experts is the subject of a detailed report of all its components and their associated risks. This reduces risks associated with procurement issues by providing access to crucial information on the sourcing of each electronic component, including:
In the midst of a component shortage, a single source of procurement is automatically considered by our services as a ‘critical’ risk. For some very specific components with no alternatives, we provide other essential guarantees such as a minimum lifespan of 10 years, or a certain level of stock available, for example.”
Integrating Design for Procurement experts right from the start of product development is the safest way to optimize its design and secure its industrialization. In the current context, it is increasingly difficult to meet 100% of component requirements. It is therefore essential to anticipate crises and difficult situations by carefully selecting each component and preparing for all possible scenarios upstream of production.
Within the framework of a project to manufacture a “Millennium” site traffic light for LACROIX’s City Activity, priority was given to securing the sustainability of production. Component availability has been guaranteed until 2028, by searching for and securing additional sources of procurement. The risk of shortages affecting many of its components with a single supply source could otherwise have interrupted production as early as 2026.
The five largest distributors of electronic components are split between China, Europe & North America. This is why it is essential to develop strategic relationships with them, while equally relying on the many direct manufacturers available. The strength of these partnerships is the key to further securing procurement and reducing component costs.
We have analyzed the most strategic component suppliers for our customers. This has resulted in a list of around 15 partners with whom we will continue to develop very strong relationships. In particular, this allows us to obtain priority information compared to our competitors and thus to remain one step ahead in terms of procurement.