“If something can’t go on forever, it’ll stop,” said 20th century U.S. economist and political advisor Herbert Stein, who isn’t even the most famous Stein in his family. His son, Ben Stein, has a more famous (if more mindless) quote: “Bueller, Bueller, Bueller…” from the famous ’80s movie, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Herbert was referencing broad, sweeping initiatives: political movements, economic systems, wars, peacetime, and public opinion. His quote contains wise words, but they’re applicable elsewhere, and the sentiment is particularly relevant to product life cycles for printed circuit boards (PCBs) and other electronic assemblies.
To put it bluntly, PCBs can’t go on forever. They’ll eventually stop.
Figuring out the product lifecycle for your projects is helpful for plenty of planning activities, including:
- Parts ordering
- Delivery of electronic components
- Meeting project deadlines
- Optimal supply chain software performance
Notice a pattern? You guessed it: Product lifecycles are directly linked to electronic parts procurement. The sooner you grasp the importance of your product lifecycles, the better off your entire sourcing staff will perform.
The clock ticks – it always does. Project deadlines loom ahead. The amount of time you have to deliver quality, reliable products won’t last forever. That’s why it helps to have an e-commerce marketplace, not just a typical parts aggregator, to make good on promises to your customers.
Sourcengine™, the leading e-commerce marketplace for electronic parts, empowers sourcing professionals, engineers, designers, and other employees to take control of the procurement process, which enables the most efficient, practical product lifecycles.
The Stages of Product Lifecycle: How Intelligent Electronic Parts Sourcing Promotes Successful End Products
Let’s review the main stages of typical product lifecycle development, along with different ways parts procurement ensures optimal results along each step of the entire process.
· Introductory/Planning phase. This is where the sketch on the napkin becomes a workable prototype.The final product is far from complete, but initial planning is often the most exciting – and rewarding – part of the product lifecycle. Here, parts procurement specialists should focus on precise planning, bulk order processing, and exploring different vendors and suppliers.
· Initial release/Growth period. When prototype becomes purchasable product, your product lifecycle really kicks into gear. Increasing demand, unforeseen quality issues, and other procurement challenges demand much more than simple parts aggregators to keep up with this hectic lifecycle stage. You need our e-commerce marketplace to limit costs, manage engineering change notices, and other “second-stage” tasks.
· Slower growth, product maturity. Think of this part of the product lifecycle as adulthood. Your product has earned its reputation. The excitement from the premiere launch is long gone, but steady orders and fewer quality issues allow your engineers, designers, and researchers to focus on user experience (UX) and the eventual phasing out of all the product lifecycle stages, this could be considered the “cruise control” phase.
· End of life. Remember Mr. Stein’s quote above? Well, this stage illustrates the eventual fate of every PCB, electronic assembly, and other electronic parts: it stops. Product support slowly fades. Newer products enter the marketplace. It was a great run, but it’s time to officially take your once-promising prototype off the shelves. For many parts procurement professionals, this is also the potential start of the process all over again. Many end-stage product lifecycles immediately begin anew with a next-generation model. For successful companies with a large product catalog, the end-of-life stage is simply the re-birth of tomorrow’s can’t-miss component.
How Sourcengine’s E-Commerce Marketplace Helps You Manage the Parts Procurement Lifecycle
Now that you have a better understanding of complete product lifecycles, it’s easy to apply those same principles to the parts procurement lifecycle. An entire project – from initial sketch to final product delivery–certainly has a much larger time frame.
One of the critical sub-lifecycles within any project is parts procurement. Time is of the essence for ordering electronic components. Your supply chain software demands top-notch performance. Sourcengine helps you manage, streamline, and optimize the parts procurement lifecycle, thanks to advanced technology, helpful resources, and our all-in-one, do-everything parts ordering platform.
See how Sourcengine’s robust e-commerce marketplace is your best option for practical yet powerful parts procurement – and how, in turn, it helps you optimize entire product lifecycle processes. Schedule a demo to learn more about our supply chain software and related resources. Or, sign up today and experience e-procurement the way it was meant to be.