Tensoft has always been at the forefront of supply chain integration and has more than 20 years of experience helping its customers with successful integrations. A while back, Tensoft collaborated on an article titled “Anatomy of a Successful Supply Chain Integration” for the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA)’s Forum. The co-authors were Tensoft fabless semiconductor customer Heather Salonga from Amalfi Semiconductor, Trisha Giacopazzi from Amkor Technology, Inc., and William White, Tensoft co-founder and Chief Technology Officer.
Each co-author provided their considerable insight into how fabless companies, ERP/supply chain vendors, and semiconductor subcontractors can best work together to integrate and automate communication between supply chain vendors and semiconductor subcontractors. In this first of a three-part series, we’ll look at William White’s perspective, in this excerpt from the GSA Forum’s article.
Question: What are your goals for the integration?
Answer: SCM integration should be approached as a service. While there is technology involved with the delivery, the customer goal is the ongoing successful operation of the Supply Chain Management (SCM) integration, rather than software deployment. Responding and addressing any issues that arise, no matter what the source of the issue is necessary. All goals relate to the quality of the service provided and the effectiveness and efficiency of the team in providing the service. Like the assembly and test provider, repeatable, robust and sustainable processes are desired. SCM providers want the best quality data possible, so seek to leverage standard supplier processes rather than asking them to adapt to us. SCM Providers also need to build in responsiveness, and to monitor the health of many simultaneous integrations, so should look for built-in monitoring and communications along with appropriate error trapping and precautions to handle the unexpected.
Question: What tips do you have for effective partnering?
Answer: Communication is very important, especially during the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) process. A project plan or task list based on best-practices, an ongoing commitment from decision makers, as well as the doers among the stakeholders, and the need to leverage a best-practices approach to the implementation are also necessary. Deviation from best-practices may be required – but should be explained and approved. While it may appear obvious, busy schedules and executive focus are not always easy to obtain. At the same time, getting all
parties involved at the appropriate times remains critical for an efficient and effective supply chain. These projects are not massive efforts with hundreds of tasks, but they do require coordination among multiple teams in multiple time zones – all with multiple demands on their time.
Here’s a basic sample task list that vendors should follow to achieve a successful B2B Integration:
- Help define required data and training on the required system processes.
- Supply best-practices knowledge and templates to the process.
- Deploy the required software tools.
- Support accurate definition of the required information to the assembly and test provider’s team.
- Focus on data quality first and the supportability of the resulting integrations.
- Complete required data transformation from the assembly and test provider’s format to support the SCM system.
- Support the semiconductor company’s testing and UAT processes.
- Continue to monitor and support operational B2B integration.
I would also stress the importance of visibility in supplier data quality and successful B2B integrations. Integration quality can suffer from a lack of internal focus on the quality and repeatability of SCM integrations and perceived value at the executive level of collaboration. It is often amazing to see the impact of small changes, such as adding supply chain integration quality to the semiconductor quarterly supplier review meetings. Knowing what is important helps all of the collaborators deliver!
The Tensoft DataOps Supplier Integration application automates communication between your subcontractor, supply chain vendors and Tensoft SemiOps, providing real-time visibility into your production activity. For more information about this service, please contact us.