How ATE Giant Teradyne Optimized Its Commercial Parts Sourcing Processes

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Industry

Semiconductor Manufacturing

Company Size

5K-10K

Location

North Reading, MA

The Background

Founded in 1960 and headquartered in Boston, Teradyne is an automatic test equipment (ATE) designer and manufacturer whose clients include some of the most high-profile names in the technology, electronics, and wireless communications sectors, including IBM, Samsung, and Qualcomm. Teradyne has the singular distinction of being the world’s largest supplier of semiconductor testing equipment, and designs and develops a broad portfolio of products for logic, RF, analog, power, mixed-signal, and memory technologies. The company’s LitePoint line of testing equipment, meanwhile, provides advanced solutions for a wide range of connectivity systems, with a focus on ensuring the consistency and reliability of next-generation wireless devices and cutting time to market for its large-scale enterprise customers. 

In addition to its standing as one of the foremost ATE organizations in the world, Teradyne also oversees a robotics division that encompasses Universal Robotics and Mobile Industry Robotics (MiR). Though operated independently, these companies collectively offer a comprehensive array of sophisticated automation products, from collaborative robotics and autonomous mobile robots to the motion control software that allows engineers to manipulate machine components with the highest possible degree of precision. These state-of-the-art robotics technologies help Teradyne’s manufacturer clients streamline operations, increase production efficiency, and contribute to safer, more optimized workplaces. 

Challenge

Shirley Loaiciga works as Process Coordinator and a Business Analyst in Teradyne’s offices in Costa Rica. One of her largest responsibilities in that role is fielding requests from Teradyne engineers asking for commercial parts to use in their manufacturing processes. “I am in charge of reviewing all the information” related to specific parts, Loaiciga said. This includes tasks like going over country of origin, confirming inventory availability, maintaining data sheets, EOL / HTS information coordinating with suppliers. On any given day, Loaiciga might receive 80 or even 100 requests from the engineering department about specific components integral to their projects. Though she was accustomed to the workload, Loaiciga found that she was struggling with the software tool Teradyne was using at the time to research critical parts data. “Sometimes we received concerns [from the engineers] about the information on the tool,” she said. Even when she would request more information from the platform, it “wasn’t uploaded on time” to be useful to her coworkers. 

In cases where Loaiciga wasn’t able to confirm the requisite details about parts in a timely fashion, Teradyne relied on a separate team to conduct extensive reconnaissance work to obtain the information. This group would have to reach out to multiple sites—in some cases, as many as five different manufacturers—to confirm the specifics the engineering department needed to complete their bills of materials (BOMs). These intermittent slowdowns were a drag on Teradyne’s operations. When the platform wasn’t providing prompt or trustworthy access to component data, Loaiciga’s sourcing work became a bottleneck that not only made her job as the commercial parts manager more difficult, but also reverberated across the engineering department, potentially affecting project timelines. 

Between the questions around data integrity and the struggle to find alternative sources of information, Teradyne’s Costa Rica facilities were struggling to maintain the deftness required of a multinational electronics manufacturer. The company needed to do something different.

Solution

Teradyne decided that it needed to bolster its sourcing and procurement resources. The firm’s existing parts management software was not adequately addressing the company’s needs—at least not with the level of consistency the company required. Leadership felt that the time was right to acquire a new tool to expand supply-chain visibility and make it easier for Loaiciga and her colleagues to glean critical, reliable intel for engineering components. 

Leadership identified Z2Data’s Part Risk Manager as a platform capable of helping Teradyne achieve this objective. The overarching goal was for Part Risk Manager to consolidate and centralize the myriad of data the company’s sourcing professionals needed to execute their jobs with maximum efficiency. 

Result

Teradyne onboarded Part Risk Manager, and shortly thereafter Loaiciga began incorporating it into her day-to-day operations. The effect was immediate and decisive. Prior to the implementation of the Z2Data platform, it would take Loaiciga around 10 minutes to carry out the work necessary to fulfill each individual request from the company’s engineers. But because Part Risk Manager gave her faster, more reliable access to critical component specifications—including compliance status, market availability, and lifecycle forecasts—she’s now completing requests in half that time. "Now, it’s taking around five minutes, because we have the information right away.”

“Now, it’s taking around five minutes, because we have the information right away.”

The Z2Data platform has, in other words, cut down Loaiciga’s time investment in each request by half, effectively doubling her efficiency. And while a decrease of five minutes may not seem like a staggering difference when considered in a vacuum, in the context of up to 100 requests per week, it represents a monumental shift in her capabilities and workflow. 

Part Risk Manager has done more than just enhance Loaiciga’s proficiency at fulfilling requests from Teradyne’s engineers, though. Because of the new level of efficiency the software has afforded her, she’s freed up more of her professional bandwidth to focus on other aspects of her role at Teradyne, including carrying out failure analysis. “I can give more attention to that [part of] the order process,” she said. 

The scope of the tool’s benefits has extended beyond the purview of the company’s commercial parts manager, too. Teradyne has a team dedicated to monitoring all product change notifications (PCNs) and obsolescence information related to the business’s manufacturing parts, and Part Risk Manager has given it faster, broader access to these highly delicate, time-sensitive developments. This enhanced visibility represents a meaningful edge for the Teradyne team, allowing the procurement professionals to be more agile and responsive in the service of conceiving and executing critical measures to adapt to a shifting component sourcing landscape. “Now with Z2Data,” Loaiciga explained, “they get information more quickly and they can react more efficiently.

“Now with Z2Data,” Loaiciga explained, “they get information more quickly and they can react more efficiently.” 

Taken as a whole, the functionalities conferred by Z2Data’s platform have given Loaiciga and her colleagues a sharper, more robust relationship with the various moving parts that constitute the Teradyne supply chain, helping them retrieve a wide variety of component information with greater speed, precision, and reliability. Asked if she would recommend Z2Data to other companies, the commercial parts manager was unequivocal: “Definitely.”

Asked if she would recommend Z2Data to other companies, the commercial parts manager was unequivocal: “Definitely.” 

Increased Efficiency

Better Component Selection

Time Savings

Shirley Loaiciga

'"Part Risk Manager gave me faster and more reliable access to critical component specifications, including compliance status, market availability, and lifecycle. I'm not completing requests in half the time it originally took me because we have the information right away."

Shirley Loaiciga
Business Analyst
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