There is usually nothing intrinsically difficult about ensuring the supply of BoM parts in the BoM tail. The challenge is principally one of volume. Thousands of items and purchase order lines at hundreds of suppliers. It is an impossible task to implement structural improvements with hundreds of suppliers.
Most of the orders placed will be fulfilled without significant issues. A few will not, and it may only take one failure to halt production. With orders placed on particular suppliers irregularly and sporadically, there is little or no historic data or track record to suggest the current level of risk. There isn’t the time and resource to monitor and manage every small supply contract. The failure when it comes (and it will) will appear out of a clear blue sky.
This white paper illustrates the importance of BOM-tail management and possible solutions through three perspectives:
- Supply chain management
- Materials handling
- Production engineering