Case Study: Global Semiconductor

This semiconductor design unit was growing and leading in market share with its core business.  The test resource management practices were non-standard and ad hoc.  Nobody knew how well the test equipment was being used but they had a sense there was some opportunity to be exploited.  The director of engineering thought they were spending too much time in the testing process and too little time designing.  He didn’t have concrete facts, but could tell that their test asset management practices – or lack of – were creating distractions for his engineers.

The Challenge 

The business was focused on maintaining and growing its leading market share position in its core business.  In addition, they wanted to leverage their core knowledge to expand into new markets.

To enable their growth and flexibility leadership was looking for ways to drive efficiency into their design operations.  They had a plan to install test labs on strategic customer sites to grow their relationship and market share but had yet to determine how to fund it.

After exploring their options the company turned to The Sente Group to gather the facts regarding their test assets and the management of those assets.  Sente’s fact-finding work revealed the following snapshot of the test environment:

  • Equipment utilization was 9%
  • Ongoing costs were high due to a wide range of non-standard equipment and test methods
  • Calibration cycle time was 8 to 10 days with 5% of the inventory past due or extended
  • Division personnel were open to changing their practices but were used to a “silos” mentality
  • Engineering distractions due to ineffective management of test equipment resulted in about 2 hours of wasted time each week for every engineer and technician

Sente also delivered a blueprint for future action that specified the financial and operational impacts that could realize through strategic management of its test resources.  Sente’s analysis suggested that moving forward with a TRM solution would help the company increase the efficiency of its design operations, add flexibility and lower overall costs.


The Solution

After analyzing Sente’s Total Cost of Ownership model to confirm that Sente’s custom-tailored solution made sound financial sense, leadership in the company approved moving ahead with implementation.

The division controller confirmed that the company wanted to understand Sente’s Total Cost of Ownership model – which was very detailed – and make sure the cost savings were real.  After review, their analysis confirmed that TRM would save us money.  But at the end of the day, they reported they moved forward because of the increased capacity the solution would provide to their engineering organization.”

Rather than have Sente tailor and install TRM and then train their personnel to execute TRM, the business chose to put Sente personnel on-site to take full responsibility for TRM performance using Sente’s software and related tools.

Sente’s solution has continued to evolve and mature.  More effective standardization of test assets, benches and practices has delivered higher utilization and faster cycle times.   Additionally, Sente’s detailed technology plans—which include clear capital justification—enabled the business to secure hard-to-get capital ahead of other divisions.

Leadership knew we could grow market share with a strategic customer with an on-site application lab.  Unfortunately, the timing coincided with a corporate freeze on capital spending.


The Results

  • Test equipment utilization increased to over 40%
  • Instituted shared test benches process resulting in:
    • 40% increase in bench utilization
    • 100% engineering satisfaction rating
  • Calibration cycle time reduced by 68%
  • Past due calibrations reduced to 0 for 28 consecutive months

Additionally, the capacity provided by Sente’s TRM solution enabled the company to move forward with an investment in the customer-based lab doubling their market share with that account.

Case Studies Archive

Case Study: Leading Global Broadband Service Provider

The company was growing double digits but needed to free up investment from operations for growth projects. See how they tripled utilization, freed up capital and resources to enable that...

Case Study: Global Semiconductor

This company had a leading market share and wanted to solidify its position with its strategic customers by installing test capabilities on their sites. See how a 40% increase in...

Case Study: Fortune 100 Global Aerospace

Like many aerospace companies, this one had many sites and different legacy cultures on each. See how they installed common resource management tools, increased utilization 3X and funded new programs.

Case Study: Fortune 100 Space & Communications

The hoarding culture was slowing this company down while impacting cost and quality. See how a journey to common processes and collaboration lead to a 50% reduction in assets as...

Case Study: Leading Defense Manufacturer

See how a Blueprint-for-Action baselined their situation and rapidly installed Scireo suite. It enabled a 50% reduction in obsolete equipment, provided equipment for their growing workforce and solved their compliance...

Case Study: Fortune 100 Aerospace Manufacturer

This company's factory support group was struggling to satisfy its customers without factual data. See how installing Scireo TRM software helped them improve response time 85%, reduced downtime 30% and...

Relevant Content

Equipment Utilization: What’s your number?

Hoarding Kills Utilization. Measuring equipment utilization is the best way I know to determine if your assets are being hoarded and, as a result, your business is incurring all of the costs of lost time and unnecessary money spent that comes with hoarding.  The genesis for founding Sente was in a conversation I had years…

Stop Hoarding, Start Collaborating, Accelerate Results

Why do People Hoard? Hoarding is the result of people not trusting they will get what they need when they need it.  They hoard test equipment, knowledge about tests, or services required to keep a test environment up and running and compliant…like calibration, repair, maintenance services.  They do this because they feel if they don’t…