Case Studies

Case Study for GSCS – Concerning Risk Assessment Solutions for Bio-Rad

Executive Summary

“Enlisting Global Supply Chain Solutions to provide Risk Assessment Solutions has enabled us to better understand the aging of our overall BOM and to build up our alternates, thereby minimizing our risk of not being able to produce product.” Bio-Rad Procurement Team Member

Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIOb) has remained at the center of scientific discovery for more than 50 years, manufacturing and distributing a broad range of products for the life science research and clinical diagnostic markets. The company is renowned worldwide among hospitals, universities, and major research institutions, as well as in biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies for its commitment to quality and customer service. Founded in 1952, Bio-Rad is headquartered in Hercules, California, and serves more than 100,000 research and industry customers worldwide through its global network of operations. The company employs approximately 6,800 people globally and had revenues exceeding $1.9 billion in 2010.

Bio-Rad engages GSCS® to provide Risk Assessment for BOM’s within their supply chain. The results allow Bio-Rad’s Procurement Team to further build out their BOM’s and by engaging their engineering teams; expediently can get approval of alternates identified.

The Challenge

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Bio-Rad’s Procurement Teams depend on Distribution partners, who are line card limited, to give them insight into the aging of their electronic components at the BOM level. This typically was provided as a component was going EOL – End Of Life; when it is too late to take proper steps to prevent a loss of production. Another example would be a high demand for a particular part, even something as simple as a capacitor or a resistor, can create a stop within the manufacturing world, if the supply runs out. There are numerous steps that must be taken in order to react and address the issue. These all involve time and a lot of money.

Another scenario, which unfortunately happens, is when even just one component goes EOL, if the BOM has not already identified approved alternates, this can result in a stop of production until an alternate has been identified, presented to Engineering to review/approve. The approval process can often require that the component is populated on a production board and then tested in order to validate that the performance of the board is not impacted by the changed part. This takes time. Time is money.

Additionally, engineering design teams that generate new designs are many times not aware of the aging of parts, nor of their availability within the market. Their focus is directed towards the functionality of the part. This can create a very big challenge if the engineering team does not have visibility that any of the parts on the BOM are a risk. Especially when the product is in the life sciences/medical space.

The Solution

With the help of Global Supply Chain Solutions’ (GSCS®) Risk Assessment Solutions, Bio-Rad has been able to pro-actively gain momentum in working both with normal production builds and with their design teams, to provide greater visibility on the front-end. When a new design is being created, GSCS® can provide a Risk Assessment to ensure that the electronic components are not a risk, as well as building out alternates by having them reviewed and approved on the front-end of the product life cycle, during the design phase.

The Results

Teamed with GSCS®, Bio-Rad has been able to successfully implement key improvements, having enhanced their BOM content, thereby minimizing overall risk of their electronic components. Further, Bio-Rad has been very pleased with GSCS®’ performance and turn-around time of these Risk Assessment Solutions Reports.

  • Risk Minimized
    • Improved visibility of the over-all health of their electronic components has improved.
    • Improved visibility of how many suppliers carry these specified parts.
    • Improved visibility of whether the parts are lead free or not?
    • Improved visibility of the aging and life expectancy of each part.
  • Time Saved
    • Pro-actively evaluating Risk Minimization Solutions during the design phase saves time.
    • This can translate to a faster time-to-market.
    • Engineering validation has been worked through to ensure parts are covered in order to prevent a line-down situation.
  • Money Saved
    • Time is money.
    • Prevention of a line-down keeps revenue flowing.
  • • GSCS® is easy to work with
    • Single point of contact
    • Consistent format of data/reports provided back to Bio-Rad.
    • Comprehensive data provided that is extremely beneficial.
  • CPN – Customer Part Number and BOM Scrub is an added benefit
    • Data/Reports provided also function as a means to ensure thorough descriptions are consistent for their system.
    • Bio-Rad benefits from the format of how GSCS® submits our data/reports which results in an easy upload into their system using their Bio-Rad Part Number.

Global Supply Chain Solutions, LLC

11494 Luna Road, #100
Dallas, TX 75234
+1 972.401.4727

Bio-Rad Laboratories – Life Science Group

6000 James Watson Drive
Hercules, CA 94547
+1 540.741.6465