October 31, 2016

FOM 2016, Bimhuis Amsterdam – The Future of Obsolescence Management

In my previous blogs, and in a number of Twitter updates, I’ve eagerly been discussing our pioneering Future of Obsolescence (FOM 2016) conference. Now in its second year, the conference was an incredible opportunity for key leaders and industry strategists across high-reliability supply chains to come together to share and learn new ideas. 

A key pillar of FOM – along with fulfilment and data analytics – is communication. Ideas are useless if you can’t communicate them properly, and our annual FOM event aimed to provide the opportunity not only to impart ideas to our collected delegates, but to promote discussion, new perspectives and collaboration.

We were delighted this year to host a collection of dynamic, experienced, innovative thinkers from across our supply chain spectrum, representing every stage of the increasingly complex landscape.

Tyler Moore, Director of Arrow Supply Assurance, started our day by discussing how obsolescence is addressed in vastly different ways by different industries, with very different results. Questions flowed from the attendees, challenging us to learn and communicate outside of our comfort zones.

Bill Stypa, ON Semiconductor’s product marketing head for custom logic and aerospace products in Europe, walked us through ways to avoid obsolescence by actively engaging with the component manufacturer, not just reacting to product change notices (PCNs).

We next moved to three complementary speakers. Stuart Broadbent, Obsolescence Director for Alstom Transport, introduced a detailed look into the challenges of reconciling the long life cycles and support expectations of the rail industry with the short life cycles of commercial and industrial components.

Feeding solutions to the challenges presented by Stuart, Ludwig Hiebl, Head Component Engineer for Zollner Elektronik AG, explored ways that data and data management can be administered by electronic manufacturing services (EMS), simplifying and untangling the volume of data the electronics industry generates.

Finally, Jürgen Lauter of ETL (Elektrotechnik Lauter) built upon logistical issues by discussing the main bottleneck in most decisions: the human factor. Interpretation of risk and the understanding of layers of training or experience generated heated debate.

After lunch we welcomed two excellent speakers to close the FOM 2016 event. Lorenzo Carbonini travelled from Genoa, Italy, to present his view on challenging regulatory management updates from his perspective as Head of Component Standardisation at Leonardo, formerly Finmeccanica Group. Following this came Marijan Jozic, Development Manager for KLM Royal Dutch Airline, who shared his knowledge of the aviation industry’s perspective on obsolescence.

A lively debate followed, led by Björn Bartels, Managing Director of AM-SYS, including contributions from our delegates, evolving ideas from our panel of speakers and 60 minutes of fascinating insight.  

Overwhelmingly positive feedback and support from attendees and our parent means that FOM 2017 in EMEA is a certainty. Further, however, and due to great intellectual investment and input from U.S. colleagues and customers, we’re working hard to bring FOM to the U.S. next year. In my next blog, I’ll provide some details on our first “Mini FOM” which took place in Los Angeles with our USA FOM Director, Bill Fliegel on 4 October.

Finally we’d love to hear from you about topics for 2017, and if you’d like to speak at our next FOM event … please get in touch.

Keep innovating.

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