Designing a product is good, but being able prevent any risk inherent to its production is even better. This is why LACROIX Electronics has integrated the Design for Purchasing (DfP) service within its development process. It also offers this support to businesses looking to entrust it with projects that are at an advanced stage, or that may even be complete.
Adrien Cheguillaume, Corporate Purchasing Manager New Business at LACROIX Electronics, tells us more about a service that provides a perspective and secures the product’s development throughout its life cycle.
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What is Design for Purchasing?
When a product is in its development phase, the DfP service allows for the product’s conditions of purchase to be precisely determined, while limiting risk to the fullest extent (e.g. sources, stock, life span, technology, etc.). Plus a discussion of the conditions of purchase goes beyond the price. The aim of our investigations is to achieve the perfect compromise between the retail price of a component, its supply timeframes and its conditioning. More than just a financial concern, all parameters must be taken into account to ensure that the project is developed.
At LACROIX Electronics, this procedure systematically becomes part of every phase involved in the design of a product. This calls for collaborative work between the purchasing service and the design center. This is also a service we offer our customers when they are in charge of development to ensure their product has better longevity: the advanced industrialisation service.
Could you tell us more about risk management?
The strong point of LACROIX Electronics is to have integrated an engineering office within its electronic contracting business. This allows us to integrate all production issues from the point of product design.
One of the Design for Purchasing service’s functionalities is to assess, as an example, risks relating to component availability. This investigation has revealed itself to be all the more worthwhile, as we are currently facing a shortage of components. This way, by making sure that a component will be available in sufficient quantities, and that there are multiple sources of supply, we decrease the risk of components going out of stock.
To meet the production requirements for a product throughout its entire operational period, the DfP service will also establish the lifespan of each component. This means that a more expensive component may, for example, be selected over another component, should this component be due to become obsolete in the short term. There will also be a search for equivalent components, to allow, where possible, for the replacement of a component used as standard, which no longer exists.
Finally, also key is to ensure that the components selected are compliant with environmental standards (ROHS, REACH, etc.) within each country in which the product is to be commercialised.
What I like about LACROIX Electronics is that, within this young, rapidly-growing business, challenges are non-stop: designing new products, looking for new customers, building on our services abroad… It’s also a business with a human feel to it, where the SME mindset is predominant. Communication with management is straightforward, meaning that strategic decisions can be made more easily. The connection between different departments (purchasing, R&D, manufacturing) also means more responsiveness.