Both commercial and military organizations face end-of-life component issues. Today it seems almost impossible to get through design, test and into use before reaching end-of-life of a productís key components. Obsolescence can occur due to any number of factors. Market changes, technological advances, product expirations and reduced value to name a few. Most companies deal with obsolescence in a reactive way where they suddenly find that a component is not available. Companies promote pro active management where tools and procedures are put in place which monitor the life cycle of components and aim to have as much information as possible available on their bill of materials. In this way fewer surprises are received and cost savings can be made in the longer term. obsolescence management tools of various kinds are available from different suppliers. These tools can monitor the life cycle of components, inform about last time buys, provide product change notices, and provide access to data sheets and many other functions to assist the management of obsolescence.
The Obsolescence Management Tools can go a long way to alerting companies about parts or processes which may require replacement. Used on an ongoing basis, monthly or quarterly, Obsolescence Management Tools will alert those in charge of the obsolescence status of a part. Catching obsolete semiconductors at an early stage for instance can be crucial for when a company is looking to reduce waste at the manufacturing and process stage. Standardization of various aspects of Obsolescence Management is taking place at national and international level.