If you’ve been in the semiconductor industry for any length of time, you’ve probably seen some of the world’s most spectacular spreadsheets. You may have even created one of these masterpieces of supply chain planning and execution yourself. If so, our hats are off to you! The semiconductor supply chain is famously complex, so managing any part of it is a challenge. But what if you had a way to handle the needs of other critical parts of your semiconductor operation, as well as your own operational needs?
That’s exactly what Tensoft SemiOps was designed to do – holistically handle the whole requirement. In addition to supply chain status and planning, Tensoft SemiOps also handles procurement management; genealogy to support your engineers and customer audit; inventory and transaction history, and production finance. Bringing all of these areas together really helps to improve information flow, consistency and quality across your entire organization.
But what does that look like in everyday use? Well, if you have to resolve a problem with your products, Tensoft SemiOps has collected and maintained the production history you need. Procurement management is about collecting the quotes, getting the right prices for the right suppliers, integrating to your suppliers, and matching supplier invoices to the lot level. It also takes care of inventory management, so that you can accurately keep track of what you consumed and make sure that none of it leaks out or is lost. And then there’s cost management – Tensoft SemiOps makes sure that you have inputs and outputs to do an updated cost history and inventory history, so that you can understand change between periods. If you need to integrate to your ERP or Financial System we have all of the required data and APIs to support that in a traceable and robust manner.
Here’s a very specific example from Ted Tresch, the former Operations Manager at Tensoft customer Open-Silicon: “Many systems match purchase orders to invoices and receivers. One of the things we like about Tensoft SemiOps is that it does ‘quad’ matching. That is, it also matches the PO, invoice, and receiver to the lot number. That’s essential to tracking lots through the process. From an operations standpoint, we use the lot number for failure analysis and quality control. From a financial standpoint, tracking the lot numbers is key to our contractual arrangements with suppliers and holding them responsible for their work.”
Maybe you’ve never given much thought to production payables though. However, once semiconductor companies ramp, OSATs – your back-end production/ assembly and test vendors – can generate an enormous number of invoices. We’ve had customers whose month-end process for paying their suppliers was to physically print and sort those invoices, since it was otherwise impossible to figure out what to pay and what not to pay. As a result of all the data that it manages, Tensoft SemiOps provides accurate tracking so that bills can be easily validated. That helps our customers approve and review invoices by giving them all the information that they need to do a match, as described above.
Simply as a byproduct of data collection and tracking, Tensoft SemiOps helps with a common issue with suppliers. As you may have noticed, suppliers are not very good at putting all of the required information on their invoices. For example, invoices may not include the purchase order, received date, etc. But what they almost always include is the lot number. Consequently, backend suppliers – sometimes even frontend suppliers – invoice by lot. Tensoft SemiOps’ ability to provide forward and backward lot traceability has enabled our customers to uncover up to $80,000 per month in over-billings.
While we love spreadsheets as much as anyone who depends on them regularly, multi-departmental processes really benefit from a holistic approach and a unifying system. Tensoft SemiOps provides that unification, both for pre-ramp and mature semiconductor companies. For answers to your questions, please feel free to contact us.