“We’ve reviewed your product and it seems to be very interesting. However, we don’t see the direct benefit for our company.” When we hear a statement like this from a prospective customer, we wonder: Did we do something wrong in presenting our solution to the prospect?
Well, there is certainly an underlying issue regarding all investments in data analytics in the semiconductor manufacturing industry. For example, in considering investing in a new, more energy-efficient heating system, a mathematical return-on-investment calculation can be done. You’ll get the same heat for lower energy costs, and you know that after the next X months you will have saved an amount of Y.
For an investment in data analytics, some assumptions have to be made about how the system will help you save costs. And this is the tricky part.
It is very easy to show that if our yield analysis software, YieldWatchDog, helps to avoid just one significant yield excursion, the financial benefits will far outweigh the costs of the software. But it is human nature to hope for the best, and people tend to believe that their production will run stable even without the additional investment in data control.
I thought I would provide some examples of how YieldWatchDog has had a positive financial impact on our customers in the semiconductor manufacturing industry:
· A major European factory had a process issue and did not know exactly which of the wafers were really affected. The signature of the problem was subtle, and connecting the dots seemed to be too difficult and labor intensive, so scrapping of thousands of wafers was considered. Then a yield engineer used the advanced algorithms integrated in YieldWatchDog to isolate the few wafers that were actually affected and thousands of good wafers were saved.
· A world-renowned business consultant company estimated that an Asian fab could improve efficiency in daily engineering by 20% by utilizing YieldWatchDog, due to the easier and faster access to production data.
· YieldWatchDog was chosen by a US chip supplier to help facilitate a major product ramp up for an important customer. The dedicated support engineers from DR YIELD added several special features that were needed during that critical phase and our customer had a successful product launch.
While you can probably assign a distinct dollar value to the first two examples, the third one shows the problem: How do you calculate that a project went well? And especially, what was the exact contribution of the software within the project, which also involved many smart and committed people, that made it successful?
Instead of trying to come up with a clear return-on-investment calculation for each customer, I find looking at this from another angle to be insightful:
Every single YieldWatchDog customer that operates more than one fab has – after the initial installation in the first fab – decided to expand their contract and implement YieldWatchDog on its other sites as well.
Therefore, we can conclude we are providing value to our customers.
About DR YIELD software & solutions GmbH
DR YIELD provides the leading-edge advanced analytics software YieldWatchDog for analysis and control of semiconductor manufacturing and test data. This enables semiconductor manufacturers as well as Fabless companies to improve important manufacturing dimensions such as equipment availability, throughput, operating costs and yield. Once installed YieldWatchDog allows you to get actionable insights into your data. For detailed information click here