Kenneth Fordyce, R. John Milne, Chi-Tai Wang, Horst Zisgen


Managing the supply chain of a semiconductor based package goods enterprise—including planning, scheduling, and equipment
configurations—is a complicated undertaking, particularly in a manner that is responsive to changes throughout the demand
supply network. Typically, management responds to the complexity and scope by partitioning responsibility that narrows the focus of most of the groups in an organization—though the myriad of decisions are tightly integrated. Improving system
responsiveness is best addressed by an advanced industrial engineering (AIE) team that is typically the only group with the
ability to see the forest and the trees. These teams integrate information and decision technology (analytics) into an application which improves some aspect of planning, scheduling, and equipment configuration. This paper illustrates the need for AIE teams to serve as agents of change, touches on three success stories, highlights the sporadic progress and incubation process in applying analytics to support responsiveness where forward progress by early adopters is often followed with stagnation or reversal as subsequent adopters require a natural incubation period. This paper and its companion paper (Part II. Fab Capability Assessment) identify modeling challenges and opportunities within these critical components of responsiveness: semiconductor fabrication facility/factory capability assessment, moderate length process time windows, moving beyond opportunistic scheduling, and plan repairs to modify unacceptable results. Although aspects of this paper have the feel of a review paper, this paper is different in
nature—a view from the trenches which draws from the collective clinical experience of a team of agents of change within the IBM Microelectronics Division (MD) from 1978 to 2012. During much of this period MD was a fortune 100 size firm by itself with a diverse set of products and manufacturing facilities around the world. During this time frame, the team developed and institutionalized applications to support responsiveness within IBM and by IBM clients, while staying aware of what others are doing within the literature and industry. The paper provides insights from the trenches to shed light on the past but more importantly to identify opportunities for improvement and the critical role of advanced industrial engineers as agents of change to meet these challenges.


demand supply network, system responsiveness, tool capacity planning, waiting time, hierarchical production control, systems integration, semiconductor manufacturing

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