It used to be simple. You always purchased Widgets from Widget Company and so you used their part numbers as your internal part numbers.
When they moved production from Ohio to China delivery times increased but you compensated by stocking more Widgets so you could quickly respond to your customers'needs.
Then came the loengthy total Covid shutdown of manufacturing in China, followed by the increasing hostility between the USA and China, Tariffs, and the current movement of Widget Company production to Vietnam, with final assembly in Mexico.
Now availability of Widgets from Widget Company has become highly problematic and you have to buy Widgets, as available, from several of Widget Company's competitors, all of which use their own part numbers, which are different from what you used to use.
Now you are confronted with part numbering mayhem, as you are receiving interchangeable but not identical parts from different suppliers with different part numbers, which can cause major problems in your manufacturing and distribution operations.
In this white paper Peter and Eric Green examine the part numbering issues that have arisen from fracturing of the supply chain and how to fix them.
To learn more about these issues and how to solve them, please read
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