Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Coming soon.....a FRU to Marketing Cross-reference database

Work is close to complete on a new type of database.  Instead of system units and options for various countries, this new project will contain selected FRU (service) parts and their marketing equivalents. This is an update of the concept I had many years ago, and may help solve the problem of what to do with parts left over after a field upgrade.  For example, consider a Lenovo system unit with two memory sockets, each containing a 1 GB memory module, for a total of (1+1=) 2 GB.  Any increase in total memory will require removal of at least one of them, to free up one or more sockets, and replacement by one or more larger modules (e.g. 2 GB, 4GB or 8GB).  The question then arises - what to do with the removed memory ?  Each memory module has on the back a FRU partnumber (Field Replaceable Unit), but this number cannot easily be identified as a valid option for other machines, especially for different families.  This new database, when installed on selected BlackBerry phones or Android devices in combination with the LenovoLook app, may help.  Start the app, enter the FRU number of the memory, press FIND, and you may get a hit, showing

1.   the marketing (option) partnumber
2.   a list of system units that support this option (this may be a long list, and it may include a list of situations  where use of this memory module is NOT supported, from among the first list)
3.   the current price of that option from Lenovo and/or one U.S. Business partner
4.   the supply from that U.S. Business Partner

This will help re-use memory which you purchased as part of a complete system some time ago, and can still be used in other machines with open memory sockets.  Initially the bulk of the current parts with supporting systems are memory.  More types of options may be added, on request.  These might include hard drives, optical drives,  and adapter cards.

Once you have found a match, with a list of supporting systems, you can copy-to-clipboard, and email it to your customer, right then and there - which they can use to compare with their existing inventory, to find any matching systems.  If your LenovoLook also has system unit databases created by the PC Sales Guide/Configurator, you can look up a sample system, and send that as well, which will list the number of memory sockets and if they are all filled with the standard memory.


This database can also be used for a reverse search, starting from the other direction - you want to increase your memory.  Suppose you have a ThinkPad L520, a 7859xxx model.  If you search on 7859, it will give you a list of both partnumbers containing 7859 (e.g. 53G7859), plus those options supported on a ThinkPad 7859.  So if you need to know which memory options will increase your 7859xxx memory, this will tell you.  But there is one more piece of information you need, that of how many memory sockets are provided, and how many are used.  For that you need one of the other databases you can create using the PC Sales Guide/Configurator.  In fact, you may need two.....one for current model ThinkPads, and another for withdrawn models, since you may not know if your model is still current.  Try the current one first, and see if you can find your exact model.  The Show function will open the extended description, and you can see the number of sockets, and if they are both filled with the standard memory.

Those interested in trying the prototype FRU database should send a note to help@pscfg.com