The year in review of IIOM

The year in review of IIOM
The year in review of IIOM

A year on from its formation, Mike Richardson looks at the progress made by the International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM) since its transformation from the Component Obsolescence Group (COG).

One year on from the change from COG to the International Institute of Obsolescence Management (IIOM) and it's time to see how the organisation is getting its message out to the industry. According to IIOM president, Stuart Kelly, the organisation has established new legal identities for IIOM International and IIOM UK. “We have appointed a Board of Directors with members from the UK, Germany and the US,” he begins. “We expect to have two new chapters in place this year in Benelux and the US. We also expect two other chapters to be formed in 2017, one in South America and another in Europe. Also, the first three UK IIOM member meetings have been well attended with audiences growing in number.” In terms of the organisation dealing with the transformation, as with many change management programmes, some early concerns needed to be addressed and overcome. “The future direction has been positively viewed,” states Kelly. “It will increase the obsolescence management networking community to a global level, leading to more opportunities to meet new engineers and new suppliers of resolutions. The early signs are that a ‘global' institute is a genuine realistic proposition within a few years.” Is its UK Steering Group satisfied that in hindsight, it has made the correct decision in moving the overall organisation forward in new directions? IIOM UK chairman and Finmeccanica UK's obsolescence manager, Jon Anslow says there is healthy interest from overseas and among new industry sectors. “They have supported the idea that it's time to recognise the professionalism of the discipline and address shortages of skills in this area of obsolescence through-life management and risk reduction,” he states. “For many members, the new opportunities for CPD take the discipline to a new level and recognise obsolescence management as a necessary skill in through-life support and servitisation programmes. So yes, in the UK board's opinion we're going in the correct direction.” Partnership potential
I'm also interested to know what tangible results the organisation has seen in improving training, guidance and general standards in obsolescence management since the transformation. Anslow says that since becoming an institute, opportunities have arisen to work with other engineering institutes to improve awareness and support the growth of the discipline. “IIOM is dedicated to developing the international obsolescence guide IEC62402 into a full standard,” he states. “The guide has been widely adopted in more than a dozen countries and comes from original work from the UK MoD and COG many years ago. “IIOM is planning to get permission from UK MoD and work with Cranfield University to develop the Obsolescence Management Capability Tool known as TOMCAT. This tool is recognised as unique and extremely valuable in assessing the capability of a company.” A modest increase in corporate membership has taken place, but Anslow reckons the expected growth will come this year when an individual membership option becomes available: “We have a list of delegates committed to undertake the CPD programme when it is ready.” Last year, the IIOM said it would provide all the benefits that COG provides, with additional benefits in individual memberships, corporate memberships, international ambitions, individual professional development, research, and assessments. What tangible positive results has it seen that are measureable in terms of these additional benefits actually performing? “As mentioned previously, interest in individual membership has been strong and individual members will be able to join in this financial year expanding the knowledge base of the group,” says Anslow. “International developments have been surprisingly swift and we're encouraged by new countries becoming aware of the benefits of proactive obsolescence management. In the UK new member enquiries are at the highest rate in several years.” With regard to the take-up for the Continuous Professional Development (CPD) recognised IIOM Certificate/Diploma, it's worth knowing how many individuals/companies have qualified and how the qualification scheme itself is progressing. Anslow claims the certificate is in development and will be available in April 2017. The diploma will follow in April 2018. “There is a list of interested individuals that have registered that will fill the first two year's intake. Interest has been from as far away as Brazil, Australia, Venezuela and Oman.” Anslow now leads the UK council and is delighted to be given the opportunity to take IIOM forward in its journey to be the international centre of excellence for obsolescence management: “The Council includes members from recognised companies such as Alstom, BAE Systems, AWE, Cranfield University, and General Dynamics.” The next year ahead Looking ahead, I'm interested to know what Anslow is hoping for the rest of the year, in terms of planning IIOM's conferences and exhibitions. “Planning is going well for the next International Conference in Bristol that takes place in June 2017,” he states. “This follows the inaugural IIOM conference that was successfully held in Edinburgh last June. We're working hard to ensure that the Benelux and US chapters are formed and hold their first meetings in country and working with organisations in other countries such as Italy, India, Australia and Brazil, where we plan new chapters will be developed in 2017 and 2018.” So, in answer to those who don't care about obsolescence management, well you should. And if you think the cost of education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance! “The world of manufacturing is changing with increased intelligence in the process from automation and robotics and management tools led by the investment in IOT,” Anslow concludes. “Obsolescence management will be required to be a part of this change. The EU is generating new circular economy legislation that will increase the need for durability, repairability and upgradeability this will bring obsolescence management into the consumer products sector. “In the next few years the increasing dominance of automated vehicles and the emergence of autonomous cars will require new support strategies for the automotive sector. Obsolescence will never disappear and new opportunities to apply proactive obsolescence management will occur. Nothing, no matter how well designed or conceived, lasts forever!”  

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