“I really like your product, I just need to convince my boss….” This is a phrase that we hear at least once a week in yieldHUB. Our system is used primarily by Product and Test Engineers. They love our product. It can be difficult to persuade your boss to invest in a new system, particularly when they aren’t familiar with it. We thought we’d create an article to help you frame it to your boss, and convince them to invest in a Yield Management System (YMS).
I enlisted the help of my colleague Carl Moore, Yield Management Specialist. Before working in yieldHUB, he managed engineering teams in successful companies such as Maxim Integrated, Memsic, and Allegro Microsystems. Carl says “The best way to persuade your manager to invest in anything is to show the value it will bring to the company or team. And how it will make his or her job easier.” Here are the key areas for you to consider before making your proposal.
A Yield Management System will benefit your boss in three key areas: yield improvement, productivity, and employee engagement. A good yield management system helps with all three. We will explain these in detail, along with other areas that are important for a successful business.
Carl: “This is the main advantage of a Yield Management System. It is so important and is integral to most of its benefits.”
- Department visibility: It allows an individual department to be seen. In cases where a department or product is seen as uninteresting, creating data can show its potential and value. Carl: “In many companies, the “sustaining engineering” role is often seen as uninteresting. In a company I worked for, I was enlisted to join the Manufacturing team, and this brought visibility and excitement to the Product Engineering role. We were able to save the company huge dollars, and the team became a very important department of the company, with very high visibility.” A good YMS is critical for success in this area.
- Team visibility: The reports allow a manager to see what’s happening in production and testing. At a glance, they see exactly where the project is at. If there are any problems he or she will get an alert. So, if they don’t get any alerts they can rest assured that there are no problems. Your manager will see the data without having to organize a meeting or get a status update. This will save him or her a lot of time.
- Inter-department visibility: With all departments using the same system it allows for cross-analysis. For example, imagine there are five projects in production and the yield goes down. The managers can compare and contrast the data in their reports to identify anomalies. Equally, if the yield of one projects goes down but the others are fine, the managers can cross check to find the difference and what is causing the error.
A YMS lets you spot trends, respond to issues quickly and alerts you when there is a problem. With the system in place, the engineer now has time to solve the problems. All of this combines to increase yield margins and reduce scrap. This makes the department look good, the quality of the products increase, the company meets its deadlines and its revenue targets. Investing in a YMS benefits everyone in the company.
A Yield Management System generates reports and analysis for you. This means that Product Engineers and Test Engineers spend less time gathering data and more time solving-problems. This makes them far more productive.
With a Yield Management System, Engineers spend more time doing the job they were hired to do, using their skill set. This makes them more engaged in their jobs. Engaged employees are often more productive than disengaged employees, and tend to stay in their jobs a lot longer.
Carl: “It takes a long time to hire and train a Product or Test Engineer. It takes longer for them to become fully productive in their role. By improving engagement, you increase the chances of them staying in their role longer. When selling YMS to your boss, this is a key facet too.”
With standardized reports across the company, it makes communication much easier. If you, as an engineer identify an issue, you can show it to your boss using data to illustrate your point. Equally, with all employees using the same reporting system it makes communication much easier. Yield Management Systems send reports regularly. As your manager has access to them, it means that everyone is up to speed in meetings. You won’t have to spend time explaining the latest developments. The system looks after a lot of this, it makes everything smoother.
Carl: “These days, communication is everything. It is an essential ingredient in businesses, but few people have enough time to communicate often enough. Over the years I’ve seen many issues in production that could have been avoided with adequate information and the right message at the right time. In addition to the reports and service, a YMS helps communication across the team, with your manager, and with the company overall.”
Without a system in place, your manager receives many different types of reports from different people every day. By using a system, the format of the reports is similar. This makes it easier for your manager to understand the report and make decisions based on it. He or she will be better able to spot trends as the overall layout is the same.
Carl: “Engineering Managers are busy people. They don’t have time to look at lots of reports in different formats. By consolidating information and reporting, you make their job easier. This makes them more willing to invest in a system.”
Reduced hiring needs
As the system creates reports, there is less need to hire people to generate reports for the company, even as the business grows. This makes your manager’s job easier as the company will save hiring costs and has fewer people to manage.
Many YMS provide customer service as well as software. Their support team deals with problems as they arise. You can contact them anytime if there is an issue. Vendors are often quicker to respond to queries on their bespoke service vs. internal employees who are managing a tool as part of their role. By investing in a Yield Management System, your boss has access to customer support that he or she would otherwise not have.
YMS’s are developed in line with market needs. They provide what you need in ways you may not have thought of. You’re likely to get added services and add-ons that you wouldn’t think to ask internal providers. Your manager will have access to a range of reports and statistics that they wouldn’t have even thought of. For example, in yieldHUB, we develop exciting tools and services that aren’t available anywhere else.
If your provider hosts the system, it reduces the load on your servers and IT team. A cloud-hosted system can save the company time and money and can free up your IT colleagues’ time to work on more strategic areas.
If the system is cloud-based, it is on all the time. When it detects an issue, it will send a notification. This allows the team to detect issues early on. By solving problems early on, you will prevent them from becoming bigger issues. This increases the chances of meeting company deadlines and improving profitability. Because the engineering team is freed up from procuring data, they have more time to solve the problems that arise.
Data and statistics
Yield Management Systems provide valuable data and statistics. This allows you to track trends over time, as well as in each project. This data is very valuable. When your boss has a system in place there is no end to what they could do with it.
UX and UI
Commercial tools and systems are designed to be user-friendly. If they weren’t, no-one would use them. Because of this, a system is likely to be easier to use than an internal option. If it’s easier to use, more people will work with it. This again is better for your manager.
Yield Management Systems provide the best representation of a problem. This makes the issue somewhat easier to handle, as they can better understand it. Many provide “High level to die level” analysis. Which means you get a broad overview of the project then you can zoom in on the areas you want to, even to an individual die.
Yield Management systems tend to be fast. You can generate a report at the touch of a button. For example, our module yieldHUB Characterize analyzes the data and present a comprehensive report with a menu section and thumbnails of 200 hundred tests in two minutes. The report can have many chart types or visualizations per test with filters also. Your manager can request a report before grabbing a coffee, and it will be ready by the time he or she is back at their desk.
Return on investment
The biggest pitfall of YMS is the cost. Many Engineering Managers balk at the idea of paying at the outset. But the return on investment of a Yield Management System is staggering. The YMS will quickly pay for itself. Before long it will be an indispensable part of your workflow.
It’s rarely easy to convince your boss to invest in software. By focusing on their targets, goals, and added value, you can make the decision easier for them. Yield management systems benefit the company overall. By highlighting the benefits, you increase the chances of the company investing in it. For more insights and help, our team of yield management experts are happy to help at any stage.