Lacon Electronic: Global Supply Chain Management


Intelligent, software-supported management of internal and external resources, efficient project purchasing, analysis of life cycle signals, efficient cooperation between external and internal partners, and continuous improvement of all processes are just some of the tools that Lacon Electronic uses to successfully manage its global supply chain. Simplice Djiotang, Purchasing Manager at the electronics specialist, explains how it is possible to identify bottlenecks at an early stage, take countermeasures in good time and thus deliver on time at competitive prices despite a global competitive environment.

Global supply chain management is crucial to operating successfully in today's globalized economy. For a company like Lacon Electronic, which is one of the top 20 EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services) companies in Germany, exemplary planning of the global, widely ramified supply chain across all projects therefore plays a central role. The integrated planning and control of internal and external resources and processes is supported by tools such as the ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system Infor LN, the SiliconExpert component management platform, digital dashboards and others. This helps to avoid bottlenecks and inefficiencies, which significantly improves the overall performance of the supply chain at Lacon Electronic, as Simplice Djiotang, purchasing manager at the electronics specialist, also points out: "We use and process information and data from internal and external systems with the tools, which gives us excellent planning across all ongoing projects, as well as an end-to-end view of resources and capacities. This allows us to identify bottlenecks at an early stage and take countermeasures in good time."

The right component in the right place at the right time

Ein weiterer entscheidender Aspekt ist die Möglichkeit eines schnellen und flexiblen Projekteinkaufs, der auch den strategischen Part des Beschaffungsprozesses umfasst. Lacon Electronic ist so in der Lage, auf unvorhergesehene Ereignisse oder Änderungen in Projekten rasch zu reagieren und die Beschaffungsstrategie entsprechend anzupassen. “Diese taktischen Fähigkeiten ermöglichen es uns, agil zu agieren und sicherzustellen, dass die benötigten Materialien und Bauteile zur richtigen Zeit und in der richtigen Menge verfügbar sind, um die Projektziele erfolgreich zu erreichen”, erläutert Einkaufsleiter Djiotang. “Durch eine enge Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Einkaufsteam und dem Industrial-Engineering-Team können wir im Bedarfsfall flexibel auf neue Anforderungen eingehen und unseren Kunden somit einen reibungslosen und effizienten Projekteinkauf bieten.”

Another crucial aspect is the possibility of fast and flexible project purchasing, which also includes the strategic part of the procurement process. Lacon Electronic is thus able to react quickly to unforeseen events or changes in projects and adjust its procurement strategy accordingly. "These tactical capabilities enable us to act with agility and ensure that the required materials and components are available at the right time and in the right quantity to successfully achieve project goals," explains Purchasing Manager Djiotang. "Close collaboration between the purchasing team and the industrial engineering team allows us to flexibly respond to new requirements when needed, providing our customers with smooth and efficient project purchasing."

The procurement of electronic components can also be an enormous challenge due to rapid product developments and product life cycles, as was recently demonstrated in the Corona crisis. Particularly in the case of discontinued components, it is important to receive signals at an early stage in order to avoid bottlenecks. This is because, on the one hand, the product life cycle of electronic components or the time between market launch and formal end-of-life (EOL) is becoming shorter and shorter. On the other hand, changes to the product are also increasing for electronic component manufacturers, partly due to their own supply chain challenges. With corresponding PCNs (Product Change Notification), manufacturers then inform about technical changes.

Life cycle signals are constantly evaluated

Life cycle signals such as EOL or PCN and many others are therefore constantly monitored and evaluated in Lacon Electronic's Global Supply Chain Management in order to be informed in good time about changes and discontinuations of parts and components and to identify alternative procurement options. Simplice Djiotang explains: "The use of life cycle signals enables us to react to discontinued components at an early stage. In addition to the intelligent ERP system that also supports us with Life Cycle Signals, we also use SiliconExpert, a leading platform for product life cycle and component management. SiliconExpert provides an extensive database on electronic components, including data on product life cycles, manufacturer status and potential discontinuations. By integrating this platform with supply chain management, we are continuously and proactively informed about changes in the lifecycle of our components. This allows us to reschedule procurement in a timely manner and minimize potential delays for us and our customers."

Managing a global supply chain also requires transparent monitoring of the flow of information and effective collaboration between partners along the supply chain. Here, Lacon Electronic relies on modern technologies such as track-and-trace systems or digital dashboards to keep track of the current status of deliveries and processes at all times.
"The simple management and transparent process steps of our Global Supply Chain are of utmost importance for successfully meeting our promised delivery dates," emphasizes Purchasing Manager Simplice Djiotang. "This is because it enables us to efficiently manage the entire supply chain from the supplier to the end customer, identify potential problems at an early stage and act with foresight."

Continuous optimization of all processes

Continuous optimization of the supply chain and all associated processes is another cornerstone of global supply chain management at the electronics specialist. By analyzing key performance indicators and implementing improvement measures, Lacon Electronic can not only optimize its supply chain, but also strengthen its competitiveness in a global supplier market.
"Continuous improvement of all processes is therefore firmly anchored in the corporate culture at Lacon Electronic. We rely on the introduction of new technologies and the training of our employees to constantly optimize our supply chain and thus offer our customers further added value," says Simplice Djiotang.

Overall, Global Supply Chain Management is therefore crucial for Lacon Electronic GmbH to remain efficient, flexible and competitive. Forward planning through software tools across all projects, exemplary internal and external coordination, fast and flexible project purchasing, and the use of life cycle signals are just some of the aspects that have led to the electronics specialist's partners and customers placing their trust in its efficient and reliable supply chain.
Purchasing Manager Simplice Djiotang says, "Our successful Global Supply Chain Management helps Lacon achieve sustainable growth in a highly competitive global market."


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