Platforms that capture/produce waveforms - oscilloscopes, digitizers, and in some cases EDA synthesis tools - are your most fundamental and widely deployed items of test equipment, and the primary means of understanding what your products are doing. For most companies, it represents 40-50% of the T&M spend. A decision to add a new platform to your work can:
Accelerate your workflow – or slow it down
Shorten your time to market – or lengthen it
Make your engineers more productive – or waste their time
Be an investment in capacity – or a drain on profit that never pays for itself
Align with corporate capital management objectives – or be a large, invisible departure from them
Unfortunately, we more frequently see companies miss the opportunity to transform toward a more competitive state and instead do things that simply hurt their business: waste huge blocks of engineering time procuring a tool that will sit idle 85% of the time, have virtually zero interoperability with the rest of the engineering infrastructure, dramatically over-spend, ignore their stated corporate financial objectives and frequently simply get the wrong instrument for their needs.
It's not a localized problem; it's spread across the organization and consequently, nobody in the organization owns it. There are tactical issues at the user/procurement layer, and strategic issues at the corporate layer.
Corporate often doesn't know or care about technology, and engineering doesn't know or care about asset management or finance, and most engineers are not measurement science experts either. An expensive peace process has settled out across the industry:
Engineering oversells corporate on what they need.
Corporate provides engineering with a maximum they're allowed to spend on the next box
Engineering buys as much instrument as their budget allows from their favorite ScopeCo salesman because "nobody every got fired for buying the best"
The result is a process everyone just wants to be done with, and the resulting solution resides at the point of mutually acceptable pain. Overspending by $150,000 and more on a single instrument is, unfortunately, common.
No credible source of independent technical or procurement advice
In the overwhelming majority of cases, your instrument vendor's sales engineers are your organization's sole advisor.
The dominant situation is that the totality of the advice on which instrument you need comes from the ScopeCo salesmen, or the AEs/factory experts (other salespeople) they bring in to "help with the problem." ScopeCo sales engineers are trained to get inside your tent and position themselves as so-called consultive sellers. There is no possible way this "free advice" works in your favor or should be your sole resource for matching your problem to their solution.
Your instrument fleet is a key resource in prosecuting your business, but virtually no effort is made to ensure the deployment accelerates your measurement workflow, or implements measures known to make your teams faster or more effective.
It is tempting to limit the discussion of the problem to the serious accounting and technology issues present in most mid-range and high-end scope acquisitions. But if being competitive matters at your organization, you need to put more on the table. If implemented intelligently, your oscilloscope fleet as well as related instruments and gear can be deployed in ways that are known best practices:
Instrument and EDA interoperability
Hardware abstraction and cross-brand correlation
Instrument and analysis automation
Measurement archiving and re-use
Reducing process complexity
Technology readiness & replacement
These things all help your engineers get more done and work smarter, but these considerations are applied at best in 1-2% of the cases we have seen.
Despite the significant scale of the expenditures individually and collectively, corporate-level capital management objectives (RONA, ROIC, capex/opex, etc.) or asset optimization practices are rarely applied.
While every competitive business understands that cost/procurement efficiency and asset optimization can be significant contributors to profit, the organizational T&M investment is generally not fully treated as an asset class; all aspects of the decision are typically left up to the engineers with little or no guidance as to what makes sense for the company. In most electronics manufacturing organizations, there is a considerable opportunity to immediately increase profit by addressing T&M as an asset class, with oscilloscopes and related hardware representing the greatest piece of that opportunity. By taking a measured look at how your organization procures and deploys its instruments, and understanding in detail the readiness level of that fleet in addressing your current and future work, numerous unnecessary costs related to hidden effects such as poor asset utilization and equipment sprawl can be eliminated to immediately boost profits. With the right approach, informed by the needs of both sides of the organization, T&M asset optimization is complimentary to boosting engineering effectiveness.
These are only four of a range of issues with scope procurement and deployment that eat profit. To learn more about these and the others, as well as effective, guaranteed solutions, please contact us and start the conversation.
Delivering IT optimization concepts and services to your T&M fleet
The level of training, support, and consulting that ASA has been able to deliver is outstanding. Mike’s company thinks and delivers solutions."
– Agilent District Sales Manager
Because this problem space is large, generally poorly defined, and distributed across organizational responsibilities and roles, the needs of one client are unlikely to match the needs of another. Consequently, ASA offers a range of tactical and strategic-level solutions tailored to the client's individual needs and backed by a 100% guarantee on the savings.
ASA ScopeMatch™ can help engineers, technicians and managers bring new instruments onboard very quickly.
For mid-range and high-end instruments, ScopeMatch™ can deliver transaction savings of mid-five to even six figures on a single instrument, as well as avoiding dozens of unproductive engineer-hours of evaluation time, and ensuring the instrument selected is a correct match to your current and anticipated needs without buying expensive additional capacity you can't apply.
For most organizations, the root problems rest squarely at the strategic level...
Solving these problems will often mean multiple millions to the company's bottom line. ASA ScopeAnalyst™ services address these directly.
ASA's ScopeAnalyst™ services are a comprehensive set of strategic-level results-oriented services designed to help business leaders (Directors, VP, CFO) ensure that their assets deliver maximum immediate competitive advantage and profit. While traditional asset optimization practices pit "the bean counters against the engineers," we consider the entire problem starting with your work. ScopeAnalyst™ services necessarily address a more diverse range of issues, optimizing both your asset procurement, deployment and readiness on the business side, and those assets' contribution to your measurement workflow (i.e. team effectiveness/efficiency) on the technology side.
ASA offers in-depth training to educate you in the skills required to efficiently and economically procure and deploy T&M assets, including M1 Waveform Tools, across your organization. Courses include...