Parts Classification is All About Speaking the Same Language

By: SiliconExpert on September 16th, 2019

Business Area Challenges and the Evolution of MitigationA 5 Part Weekly Thought Leadership Article SeriesArticle 5: Parts Classification is All About Speaking the Same Language

Authors:  Hani Ahmad, Senior Product Manager, SiliconExpert  and George Karalias, Industry Executive Consultant

Are you familiar with the story of the Tower of Babel? In a nutshell, it is an attempt to explain the diversity of language across regions. In the story of the Tower of Babel, Babylonians wanted to make a mighty city represented by a large tower that peaked in the heavens.  With no warning, they were suddenly speaking in different languages, unable to communicate with each other. This diversity of language made it impossible to complete the tower in that one laborer could not convey their need for a pile of bricks versus a bucket of mortar.  A simple supply chain problem—consistent language for critical part needs.

In today’s electronics industry, we do see instances of “babble”, or challenges in communicating component needs due to inconsistent naming/classification conventions.   Component manufacturers tend to describe their components using generic marketing-driven identifiers. Design engineers, on the other hand, traditionally use different identification methods because they must dig deeper into datasheets and other technical documentation to know more about a specific component, especially its capabilities. They compare it to others in the category and subsequently select the right component for their design. Because of the disconnect in identification, there is a real danger that time, resources, and most importantly, money will be wasted.

Additional factors that may create inconsistency and chaos across parts identification and parts management include:

Redundant components being added to the manufacturers’ library and eventual parts “bloat” due to differences in parts identification across various sectors of the organizationPart proliferation due to increasing product complexity associated with smart, connected devices.Redundancy through parts acquisition due to mergers & acquisitions

Parts classification is a critical component of any parts management strategy.  Component taxonomy normalization functions provide coherent data that thousands of the world’s largest brands can use to organize the many products and services they offer. It also drives efficiency within the procurement of those parts, including potential trade tariff impacts/limitations. Electronic component attribute data, including the taxonomy, enables users to search and compare millions of electronic components with hundreds of attributes within minutes.

SiliconExpert part classification centralizes multiple manufacturer product descriptions into a single, consistent e-catalog. An efficient standardized vocabulary tags data sets and allows for categorization using a four-level classification hierarchy for more granularity and a deeper level of detail. It creates thorough descriptions that are focused back on identifying individual products.

Automating your parts classification processes through digital mediums gives every organization a competitive advantage. Beyond the efficiencies of part normalization within minutes, digital part management platforms create seamless communication and processes between company divisions to eliminate the risk of redundancy in procurement, clear and visible inventory levels, obsolescence/compliance management and greater power of negotiation when purchasing for the organization vs just a business unit.

Contact your local SiliconExpert representative at to learn more about automated parts classification and the benefits of parts management digital platforms.