Tensoft has been helping semiconductor manufacturers integrate efficiently with their supply chain partners since 2001. During that time, we’ve built integrations to all of the Tier 1 semiconductor supply chain partners, most of the Tier 2 partners, as well as even some very small partners that we worked with as “one-off” integration efforts. As you might expect, sixteen years of experience doing this type of work has provided plenty of learning opportunities and experience.
The end goal of semiconductor supply chain partner integration is to bring supplier data into the semiconductor manufacturer’s supply chain system. Starting back in 2001, we began to analyze how to do this, asking ourselves: What are the best practices? What are the ways to achieve this? How do we get it done efficiently? How do we make it supportable? How do we keep it operational? Over the years, we’ve expanded both the breadth of what we do, the types of data that moves back and forth, and the models that we use, from flat files to xml to RosettaNet.
Today, we’ve re-framed the challenge and the solution. These are the keys that we’ve found to today’s solution:
1. It’s best to use the data in whatever form the suppliers provide it – no requests for changes of any kind, just give us your best data and we’ll take care of the rest. There are lots of benefits to this approach, from speed of onboarding to quality (because this helps suppliers have repeatable processes).
2. The raw data from the suppliers can be very helpful to capture. So, we’ve expanded our solution to give our customers access to the raw data before it goes in their ERP and/or supply chain system. To do this, we’ve created a repository so that the raw data is accessible, exactly as the suppliers have provided it.
3. Now that we have this raw data, we can handle the formatting to push to your ERP or supply chain system. That’s where we can start to get into data consolidation, or data formatting or specific message formats or specific xml formats. We can then send the results to our customers with our EAI capabilities.
There are substantial benefits to this approach, beyond the value of the integration. Access to the raw data from suppliers makes Tensoft SemiOps SI an even easier to track, faster to use, and better quality solution than its previous incarnations. Collecting the full range of data supports the fact there’s often more than one variable or lot that our customers want to collect at the time of receipt. Adding connection points like in-process data, where they’re not telling you that it’s done, they’re just telling you they’ve started or where they are in the process, allows for a broad additional set of functions from vendor performance monitoring to more accurate planning. This type of data can streamline the ordering process, it can streamline the vendor invoice match process, it can streamline the shipping process to end customers and other locations. From order to in process to receipt to invoice to shipment – it may be more data than you have ever had available for integration to your supply chain system before.