UK supplier sparks new supply chain fears : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Issue date: 25 March 1999

Article source: Computer Weekly News Agco sparks new supply chain fears Bill Goodwin

New fears were raised about the ability of the UK's industrial supply chain to survive the millennium this week when a major manufacturer admitted that only a fraction of its key suppliers were on track with their Y2K plans.

Tractor manufacturer Agco said this week that although it had solved its own Y2K problems, it was concerned production at its factories could be interrupted because key suppliers, including some large firms, are falling behind in their millennium bug work.

A serious year 2000 failure in a competitor could also have knock-on effects in Agco's own supply chain, the company fears. "If a large company like Rover goes out of business, it could bring us down as well," said Agco Y2K project co-ordinator for purchasing, Nick Stephens.

Audits by the manufacturer, known for its Massey Fergusson brand, show 80% of its 500 suppliers are not on track to be ready by September. Nearly half have yet to complete the first stage of their Y2K programmes - a full equipment audit.

"We believe it's the biggest threat to our continued ability to make tractors," said Stephens. "If we can't get our supplies, we can't produce."

Stephens is concerned suppliers and competitors are not treating the year 2000 problem seriously. With lead times for bringing new suppliers on board of between four and five years, finding alternatives at this stage is not an option, the company said.

A high proportion are relying on manufacturers' year 2000 statements without carrying out their own tests on their production equipment, said Stephens. Tests by Agco showed equipment manufacturers' claims may not hold water.

Many suppliers could be failing to locate year 2000 problems because they have not compiled complete inventories. Many are relying on existing asset registers which may not be up to date and often ignore items like fire alarms and lifts.

"Companies need to get out their torches, a stick and a clipboard and poke about," said Stephens.

Agco, which has given each supplier an "idiot's guide" on the year 2000 problem, has invited 800 suppliers to a seminar on embedded systems this week in another attempt to address the problem. "We will tell them there is still time to do a proper assessment. They need to do some prioritisation and make an assessment of the risks."

When compliance claims are not all that they seem

Agco's tests have shown that manufacturers' Y2K compliance statements are not always reliable. Equipment which survives the 1999/2000 roll over could suffer from other date problems that the manufacturers do not always to identify.

A forklift truck manufacturer gave assurances that its machines did not contain an electronic clock. Agco established that the trucks contained a clock and that the clock was essential for scheduling service checks.

A lift, claimed by its manufacturer to be compliant, turned out to be potentially dangerous. The lift had not been programmed to recognise the leap year, so when engineers manually corrected it, the lift's internal clocks rolled over to the '0th' of March in the year 00 and then the 29th of October in the year 'C triangle'. "People could have been crushed," said Agco's Nick Stephens.

-- Norm (, March 25, 1999


Norm, what's going on here? This is the second story you've posted that doesn't paint a happy face. Are you coming around? <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 25, 1999.

Hey, that's my birthday! The 29th of October in the year "C triangle"

-- rick blaine (, March 25, 1999.

Must be a norm imposter or else he found religion and decided to post real world y2k article. Maybe his conscience got the best of him-- misleading so many people and aggravating the rest!!

-- cantbelieveit (, March 25, 1999.


I'm planning a big party when my birthday rolls around in the year "X hexagon." Everyone on this forum is invited!

-- rick blaine (, March 25, 1999.

Y2K feaver, Norm?

Is your forehead hot?

Got a "bug?"


-- Diane J. Squire (, March 25, 1999.

my theory is that "norm" doesn't care WHAT he posts, but is simply trying to get the forum closed down for massive copyright infringement.

-- hope i'm wrong (never@canbe.sure), March 25, 1999.

I suppose it would be too much to ask for a url on this one?

-- Arlin H. Adams (, March 25, 1999.

Good morning Arlin. Gary North has the story. It looks like they force you to register. <:)=

Story at Gary North

-- Sysman (, March 25, 1999. p?name=C17.html

-- a (a@a.a), March 25, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ