January 5, 2023

LevaData Bytes Series: Cost Savings

In this second video of the LevaData Bytes Series, our VP of Solutions James Nawrocki and Head of Professional Advisory Services Ron Giles discuss why the traditional method for sourcing direct materials no longer works, and the shift companies need to make to gain immediate cost savings and efficiencies.

Contact us for a Demo

December 13, 2022

LevaData Bytes Series: Data Visibility

In this two-minute video kicking off our new LevaData Bytes series, our VP of Solutions Consulting James Nawrocki talks about the data visibility challenge and how manufacturers can identify immediate savings using integrated insights and intelligence.

Contact us for a Demo

April 12, 2022

Protecting BOM Health & NPI With Portfolio Monitoring

Organizations are experiencing an increase in unplanned product redesigns, leading to missed product launches and missed shipments of sustaining products. Product redesigns are driven by unforeseen End-of-Life (EOL) of key components and component shortages from sole- and single-source suppliers. Product managers, engineers, and category managers cannot thoroughly vet components in their bill of materials (BOM) against timely market intelligence. This results in exposure to EOL, Part Change Notifications (PCN), component availability, and import restrictions. Additionally, NPI teams are limited in their ability to quickly identify alternative components and suppliers earlier in the process.

How LevaData Protects Your Product Launches & Associated BOMs

Acting as a single source of truth, LevaData integrates with PLM and design systems to break down silos of information. The platform continuously monitors BOM health, attributes, and project history. Built-in communication tools, project management, task assignment functionalities further allow professionals to collaborate seamlessly, significantly decreasing how long it takes to get new products to market by matching parts to identify comparable Form Fit and Function (FFF) parts and quickly find alternatives for qualification, rapidly improving turnaround time for qualifications.

LevaData’s AI-driven advisor explores all relevant sources of information to predict risks, identify savings opportunities, and suggest the best course of action. It compares alternate BOMs side-by-side for a real-time view of how any changes impact you from a price and risk perspective.

Additionally, LevaData acts as a single source of market lead time data within the component and sub-component categories. This allows customers to triangulate their quoted lead times against market lead times and leverage this to negotiate with their key suppliers in a competitive and successful manner. 

LevaData's integrated supply management platform offers access to revolutionary solutions like NPA, which applies AI to marketplace and supplier intelligence, allowing you to select the most profitable and reliable supply of materials for new products. Get in touch with us today to find out what we can do for your enterprise.

  • The Real Answer to Procurement Burnout
    In 2023, burnout continues to be a hot topic for supply chain and procurement professionals. With ongoing market volatility and inflationary pressures, workers are stretched […]
  • The Power of Data Aggregation
    Are you paying more than your competitors or peers for the same component? If so, which negotiation strategies—or alternative sourcing decisions—might reduce the gap? Does […]
  • The Role of Data in Sourcing Success
    It's difficult to source and buy direct materials at scale. While simple transacting may seem easy enough to understand, the process leading up to these […]
  • Protecting BOM Health & NPI With Portfolio Monitoring
    Organizations are experiencing an increase in unplanned product redesigns, leading to missed product launches and missed shipments of sustaining products. Product redesigns are driven by […]

March 2, 2022

Semiconductor Lead Time Updates: the Forecast for 2022

Back at the end of Q3 2021, LevaData shared insights as part of our ongoing series highlighting the latest trends and changes regarding semiconductor lead times. Today, we're sharing the latest updates to help your organization manage the disruptions and challenges posed by the industry's current state.

Before we can understand where we are currently, though, we need to look back. So, let's look back at what we saw for semiconductor lead times back in early Q4'2021.

Previous Trends

Around this time, we reviewed a basket of 20 different semiconductor types commonly used in the market. Upon review, the data suggested some dips in a few trends, which could have been regarded as early signs of lead time increase momentum starting to weaken. 

semiconductor lead times

Fast forward a few months to January 2022, and the data was far less promising. While it looked like lead times could have started leveling off or even begin declining in early Q4, the Omicron surge worldwide led to additional factory and regional shutdowns. This affected the semiconductor backend supply in particular, with a reaction from manufacturers to continue to raise lead times. The fact that lead time increases are continuing to climb is likely due to what we’re calling the continuing supply chain trifecta: decreasing inventory, supply that can’t catch up, and increasing demand. 

Evaluating the Data

When reviewing these trends through a holistic lens, one might feel hopeful in suggesting that there could be an arc of stability approaching. Unfortunately, the data as of today does not yet show this leveling-off trend in lead times.

The current outlook continues to suggest shortages for semiconductors into Q3'2022. Most semiconductor manufacturers are sold out on key product lines based on current production levels, with commitments from larger customers out past 52 weeks. Given that dynamic, there is less incentive for them to lower lead times at this time. Although we do expect lead times to level off and slowly decline from here, we’d advise against expecting any dramatic inflections. In fact, given the recent events in Ukraine and the potential impact on the global supply of raw materials used in semiconductor production coming from either Russia or Ukraine, such as neon gas, hexaflurocyclobutene, and palladium, we could expect further pressure on lead time trends remaining at the current elevated levels for some time.  

The largest increases are those found in Programmable Logic and MCU/MPUs. The lead times for Integrated Circuits aren’t quite as steep but are still continuing to climb. Even highly commoditized passive components like Resistors and Capacitors cannot escape the pull of the market to extend lead times.

But it’s not all entirely bleak. For example, even though Diodes have had problems, lead times have stabilized over the past several months. 

Looking Ahead

Even still, the overall takeaway seems clear: lead time relief that we had hoped to see in Q4 has been delayed, and it will likely take most of 2022 to moderate. We expect to see continued fluctuations in semiconductor lead times over the next months as supply and demand strive for better balance and as unexpected shocks continue to affect the market (such as the just-mentioned situation in eastern Europe). But the hope is that lead times will begin to achieve that "arc of stability" in the latter part of 2022. The key question is, which levels will they stabilize around?

Lead times are now anywhere from two to four times longer than they were a year and a half ago. Integrated Circuit lead time averages have quadrupled, while Non-Integrated Circuit lead times have doubled. The average? An increase of three times as much.

semiconductor lead times

The above graph, while not a true forecast, offers a compelling perspective on the potential timeline ahead. If lead times decrease the same way they increased, our best-case scenario to return to our previous “normal’ suggests we’ll be waiting for at least a couple of years. With new foundry capacity coming online in later 2022 and 2023, we expect lead times to begin to moderate in 2023, heading towards more historical norms in 2024. However, to some extent, the overall market shifts with increased demand from EVs and the continued drive to digitization may mean lead times may not revert fully back to past norms. It is very possible they may level off at higher averages for some time. 

Maintaining a Competitive Edge

As previously stated, there are two key requirements you must meet to stay ahead of the game and safeguard your supply chain. The first is getting access to and using reliable, up-to-date lead time averages and insights. The second step is to invest in a reputable, always-on risk navigation platform. LevaData's Supply Risk Navigator solution does just that, providing companies with the visibility and recommendations they need to protect their supply chains while maintaining agility. Contact us today to learn more about our AI-powered platform and what we can do to help you manage these and other risks.

  • The Real Answer to Procurement Burnout
    In 2023, burnout continues to be a hot topic for supply chain and procurement professionals. With ongoing market volatility and inflationary pressures, workers are stretched […]
  • The Power of Data Aggregation
    Are you paying more than your competitors or peers for the same component? If so, which negotiation strategies—or alternative sourcing decisions—might reduce the gap? Does […]
  • The Role of Data in Sourcing Success
    It's difficult to source and buy direct materials at scale. While simple transacting may seem easy enough to understand, the process leading up to these […]
  • Protecting BOM Health & NPI With Portfolio Monitoring
    Organizations are experiencing an increase in unplanned product redesigns, leading to missed product launches and missed shipments of sustaining products. Product redesigns are driven by […]

January 4, 2022

A Supply Management Wish for You in 2022

Though it may be hard to believe, 2022 is officially upon us. As we look to the new year and all the potential it has to offer, supply management and sourcing professionals everywhere are finalizing their corporate resolution lists in the hopes of securing a successful year ahead. The pressure to produce and thrive is on like never before, especially when you consider all the challenges, changes, and uncertainties presented in 2021.

At LevaData, our goal has always been to help organizations transform strategic sourcing into a competitive advantage. We want you to succeed, in every sense of the word, which is why we’re sharing our greatest wishes and hopes for professionals, organizations, and the supply management industry as a whole in 2022.  

What We Wish for You

My wish is that all organizations will capitalize on the rapid investment and adoption of advanced sourcing and procurement analytics. We expect these will increase dramatically over the next few years, and I hope organizations will keep up with this pace of change.

I also hope professionals will take measures to protect themselves from the likely significant increase in potential inventory liabilities we expect to see in the next two years. Based on anticipated demand slowdowns, high safety stock positions, and excess capacity buildout, I believe it's critical to invest in planning and procurement technologies to alleviate these expected inventory risks.

- Rajesh Kalidindi, Founder & CEO

My wish is that enterprises will recognize that attention to risk is now here to stay. Even as disruptions settle down and continuity of supply resumes, sourcing organizations will never again focus myopically on cost alone. My hope is that organizations will come to think of 2021 as an inflection point in raising awareness and fostering change in thinking across supply chain organizations. If we don't learn from the last two years and slip back into our old ways of myopic cost focus, that would be a sad outcome, indeed.

- Adeel Najmi, Chief Product Officer

With respect to the global supply chain and the procurement teams that have worked so tirelessly to keep them afloat, and in some cases, thriving, I wish for three things. Number one: let's not wait for the next black swan event to eliminate breakpoints and evident fractures in our systems and processes. Hope isn't a strategy, yet we've done just that with single-source suppliers and geographic isolation from critical, necessary materials.

Number two: the life of the practitioner in this category is chaos. We should stop that. I wish for them to earn much-deserved attention and exposure. Attention from executive leaders that the work they do is critical, and the breakneck pace of analog and obscenely manual efforts is simply unsustainable—even in the best of times. This is notable for direct material procurement teams. Invest in people by investing in digital transformation that's purposeful.

And, number three: I wish for sustainable solutions that are equal parts legislative policy, technology-driven, and workforce empowerment. Politicians should acknowledge the impact of international tariffs, for example, on the accessibility of parts. Automation doesn't replace work—it enhances quality. Use it. In parallel, educate these teams on practices that can weather downturns and change outcomes by improving minds.

- Scott Morgan, Chief Commercial Officer

In 2022, I wish to continue offering organizations a scalable supply management marketplace platform that allows buyers and sellers to collaborate to add value to their respective companies.

- Akwasi Peprah, SVP of Operations

I wish all executives and organizations could have factual, transparent information readily available, so any plans or strategies they make are based on facts and informed opinions—not emotions or assumptions. This could apply to debates going on in the U.S. government, the fear around COVID, or ensuring visibility of their supply chain data.

I want visibility of consolidated data and facts; insight should be provided based on that first, and then opinions can be applied afterward. Our world currently likes to provide a lot of opinions and choose their own facts to support their view. LevaData can take the "politics" out of data and show the simple facts so that everyone is using the same factual data perspective to make the best decisions for all.

- Brian York, VP, Product Management, Content

My wish is fairly simple and straightforward. The supply chain crunch seems to be continuing, and it may last through 2022. We are facing two new COVID variants; at this time, we don't understand how this risk in the supply chain may take hold or may not affect it at all. Manufacturers have dealt with shortages on key components, as well as higher raw material costs, and they are seeing some significant price increases. Transformation costs continue to change, as well.

My wish is that the variants are mild and do not affect suppliers' abilities to generate commitments to their customers. I also hope supplier staffing gets close to pre-COVID numbers, that transportation supply chain issues ease in the coming months, and that the shipments of goods will again be timely and as expected by Q2 2022.  

- Greg Bartek, Senior Director for Global Customer Experience Operations

A Bright Year Ahead

Of course, these wishes only scratch the surface of what LevaData hopes to achieve and provide in 2022. We believe the future is bright, and we look forward to continuing to offer supply management teams everything they need to ensure a resilient supply of direct materials and improve margins. As we move ahead, our greatest wish is that your organization finds the utmost success and agility in all your commercial endeavors.

December 16, 2021

Prediction Over Reaction: The Key to Winning Supply Risk Management

Supply risk management has never been as important to sourcing and procurement executives as it is today. Of course, managing disruptions has always played a prevalent role in assuring an agile, successful pipeline. But the relevancy of this responsibility cannot be understated, especially when considering the impact of all the black swan events we've seen in the last 20+ months.

Organizations everywhere have gone to great lengths to manage the effects of these upheavals, and it seems as though a few might finally be finding some relief. Agility, flexibility, and resiliency have all been the names of the game, and those enterprises that managed to react swiftly to the unprecedented risks have been applauded accordingly. 

But what if we told you that swift reaction isn't all for which you should aim? What if there are other areas of your process that deserve just as much attention and effort? 

Let’s discuss. 

Acting Swiftly Isn’t Enough

By now, it’s become clear that adaptability is one of the key hallmarks of a successful enterprise. At the onset of the pandemic, organizations strived to pivot and react quickly to the volatility presented to them. The ones that were able to do so came out relatively unscathed. But as we approach the two-year mark since COVID-19 entered the picture, it’s safe to say that most organizations have folded risk management into their everyday supply management processes. 

And this begs the question: if your enterprise is taking the same measures as your competitors (in this case, fostering a culture of agility and adaptability), are you really positioned to get ahead? Or, are you simply getting by? 

Prediction: The Secret Key to Success

supply risk management

To truly carve out a competitive position in your field, you need to be able to predict potential obstacles rather than reacting once they're at your front door. By knowing which avenues or events could pose a threat to your supply chain, you can take steps to mitigate an issue altogether. 

In the past, seeing into the future was considered impossible. But with revolutionary, AI-powered solutions like LevaData’s Supply Risk Navigator, organizations can transcend from simply reacting to preventing obstacles altogether. 

This technology enables businesses to predict future risks and take the required precautions to avoid them. Furthermore, the insights provided by SRN show users how to transform risks into advantages by lowering costs, reducing lead time impacts, and becoming the "customer of choice" for suppliers by being the first to act with them on a plan.

Your organization may not have a crystal ball or a psychic on retainer. But with the right platforms and solutions, you won't need them.

Discover what LevaData's leading-edge, AI-powered platform can do to level up your organization's supply risk management strategies. Learn more about our integrated platform here, and connect with us today to get started.

November 16, 2021

How AI Has Evolved in Business

Recently, as I was opening up my email, I was shown an alert on an old message I had sent ten days prior. The alert, which asked me if I wanted to follow-up on the message, was right on the money. I did, in fact, need to remind my coworker to reply. The event left me pondering on how far artificial intelligence (AI) in business has progressed and what lies ahead.

40 years ago, when I was studying under Professor Alice Agogino as an undergraduate student at Berkeley, I became enthralled with this topic. During one class, Professor Agogino created this basic diagram.


In those days, AI systems were known as expert systems. They made it possible for a larger range of people to complete more expert-level tasks. They increased the potential of users and changed the business's performance curve. By broadening the group of people who could complete certain tasks, experts were given the extra bandwidth to focus on projects requiring their unique skillsets.

This intriguing idea — that technology can increase human performance at scale — has continued to resonate with me over the years. It has shaped my interests, and my career path has followed the evolution of AI itself.

However, there were a few roadblocks along the way. Our systems' models tended to lag changes in the business; while they solved yesterday's problem perfectly, they eventually became stale. They required dedicated staff for both use and maintenance.

The Current State of AI

In three aspects, today's AI systems differ from earlier expert systems and traditional commercial solutions:

  • We employ them in various ways.
  • The focus on intelligence has turned away from automation in favor of augmentation.
  • AI technology systems develop from usage and adapt to changing business conditions.
How We Employ Them

Typically, traditional business solutions are fragmented. Each system plays a different role, creating a disjointed path forward. One set of systems informs you about how your business is doing right now (conventional business intelligence). Another assists you in making decisions about how to manage your business. Yet another allows you to keep track of what you did to run your business (enterprise resource planning).

Users must travel a long and winding route, from diagnostic and descriptive analytics to predictive analysis and optimization utilizing digital twin models. Then, once they’ve decided how to proceed, they must go back and enter it in their ERP.

Conversely, when using AI, the process starts with recommendations. Users can then investigate predictive, diagnostic, and descriptive insights as explanations. Even if humans make decisions that differ from the recommendations, AI provides step-by-step instructions for taking action.

Favoring Augmentation

In the past, expert systems were unduly focused on automation. AI systems can now help users navigate and orchestrate corporate processes. In my opinion, augmented intelligence is a better term for AI than artificial intelligence. Today, we think of AI as a tool that we can train and adjust to our own needs.

Learning & Adapting From Usage

Traditional business systems are stagnant and prone to going stale. They require enhancements and updates in order to implement any business changes or feedback. AI systems, on the other hand, are dynamic. They are always learning and adapting to changing company requirements. They become smarter and more effective over time as you use them more.

What's in Store

These capabilities, while amazing, do come with some challenges.

To begin, getting the most out of AI necessitates careful change management, both in terms of behavior and attitude toward technology. People will try to sabotage technology's progress if they regard it as a danger or a tool by which their performance targets may be stretched. AI adoption will also fail if it results in a loss of control or personal touch with consumers and suppliers, or obstructs cross-functional thinking.

People will, however, work to make AI a success if they perceive it as a new set of tools that makes their life easier, makes them smarter, collaborates across businesses, and achieves more.

Next, we need to consider the ethics of AI. Machine-learning algorithms pick up on what they've been taught and exposed to. If the data is skewed, the AI will be, as well. Furthermore, no one wants to follow instructions from a black box. AI models must be honest about their suggestions, including what assumptions were made, which trends were detected, and which options were investigated.

Finally, we must consider whether the problems we're attempting to solve using AI are the correct ones to begin with. Rather than managing AI, we should use it to expand the human reach and enhance lives.

AI has undergone a dramatic metamorphosis. Our businesses will improve the more we accept, profit on, and improve this technology.

LevaData's AI-powered Cognitive Supply Management platform offers the resources, insights, and confidence needed to turn sourcing into a competitive advantage. Learn more about our integrated platform to discover how you can harness the power of AI for your enterprise today.

Post by: Adeel Najmi

October 18, 2021

Are Your Biases Blocking the Path to Better BOM Health?

In many cases, a company’s BOM (bill of materials) starts out strong. Unfortunately, though, it rarely stays that way. The BOM your engineers first put together, the one vetted against then-relevant market information (including parts’ health, availability, and safety concerns) and your NPI process, might not be as reliable down the line. 

Every BOM is at risk of becoming aged or outdated when cross-referenced against market shifts, industry pivots, and component updates. The same components you initially banked on could become unavailable or unreliable – or they could become incompatible with changing compliance regulations.

There’s also the factor of updating the BOM to account for additional product lines or variants. All of this makes the original BOM your team compiled further outdated or incomplete in the current day and age.  

The point is, your product lines may have evolved significantly since that first, healthy, and fair BOM. And although you’ve likely cultivated processes to manage these changes and keep your BOM as healthy as possible, there may be one factor you haven’t taken into consideration: the human factor. 

The Role of Bias in BOM Assessments

People must be acknowledged as potential strengths and weaknesses that affect the end result, an element that is sometimes ignored in the product and supply chain management equation. In response to a complex environment, we redefine the issue space, focusing on a subset of inputs to make decisions. 

So, what exactly does this mean for BOM health? The answer is both simple and relatively complex: it’s an issue of bias. Without a system in place that serves as a guardrail against inaccurate or unsubstantiated inputs, BOM health is continuously subjected to the whims of human bias and the “known” experiences of those reviewing it.  

With that BOM or comparable BOMs, we may run some risk assessment or market availability check on a few critical, but troublesome, components in a database. Then we presume the other 80% of the BOM is fine. In our eyes, and based on what we have learned, this process isn’t just efficient. It’s also logical.

We utilize our existing knowledge based on providers and products lines and make a judgment call based on the information we believe is fact. After all, this type of critical thinking and reasoning has long been encouraged in the workplace, being seen as a representation of expertise, education, and effective decision-making skills.

But the problem with this approach is that it fails to account for the unknown or changes in the market. Learned behaviors and processes only remain effective so long as they take the full picture into account.

That’s why we need technological systems in place: to either confirm or correct our biases. Traditional BOM assessment (both in-house and those provided by consulting companies), may help you rectify some issues at the moment the assessment takes place.

But these processes only capture a moment in time; there’s no way to ensure the data and recommendations captured in these sessions will remain relevant or accurate months, weeks, or even days later.

Technological Systems: The Antidote to Poor BOM Health

What if a system was built to help us avoid biases and promote efficiency? Instead of depending on previous BOM and supplier experiences, we see the BOM health—risk, compliance, and component status—in our enterprise system, and we can change the view at any time.

With this kind of resource, the issue of human prejudice is mitigated. Not only does your staff now have the toolkit and support needed to act rationally, but you can view the current BOM health independent of its complexity, historical change, or our own familiarity and bias. Your products will thrive, and you’ll ensure a successful position amongst your competitors.

You can’t predict the future, but you can get the jump on your competition by thinking a few moves ahead. LevaData’s AI-driven advisor explores all relevant sources of information to predict risks, identify savings opportunities and suggest the best course of action. It compares alternate BOMs side-by-side for a real-time view of the price and risk impact of any changes.

Acting as a single source of truth, LevaData integrates with design and PLM systems to break down silos of information. The platform keeps track of BOM health, attributes, and project history throughout the process. Built-in communication tools, task assignments, and project management functionality further allow your teams to collaborate seamlessly, drastically reducing the time it takes to get new products to market.

Find out more by scheduling a demo today.

USA (Global Headquarters)

LevaData, Inc.
6200 Stoneridge Mall Road Corporate Commons, 3rd Floor
Pleasanton CA 94588
+1 (408) 899-8289


LevaData Software Solutions Pvt Ltd,
Cowrks, 2nd Floor, SKYVIEW 10,
The Sky View, Hitech City Main Road,
Hyderabad – 500081
+91 40 6819 8999