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The circumstance in which a good or service is no longer desired, especially when a new, better good or service becomes available. For example, relatively few people use VHS tapes because DVDs are both more convenient and are higher quality. VHS tapes, then, have undergone obsolescence. Some companies deliberately render their products obsolete because it makes customers more likely to come back and buy new products. See also: Planned obsolescence.


  1. the tendency for products to become outmoded and to reach the end of their effective PRODUCT LIFE CYCLE. Obsolescence may be due to changes in style, fashion, materials used and the functions performed. With rapidly advancing technology and more fickle public tastes, product life cycles are tending to shorten as new, more sophisticated products supersede established products. Firms may respond by frequently updating their existing products in order to lengthen their life cycle. Alternatively, firms may deliberately follow a strategy of ‘planned obsolescence’ by bringing out a continuous stream of new products both to establish COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE over rival suppliers, and to increase their total sales by inducing customers to replace products more frequently.


  2. the reduction in the value of a FIXED ASSET because of a significant change in demand or technology which renders the asset out of date, or comparatively inefficient.

    Renting or LEASING plant, machinery and equipment avoids the risk of obsolescence, since at the end of the rental or lease period a firm may rent or lease a more modern fixed asset.


A loss in value of an improvement because something makes it undesirable or no longer useful,even though it might be structurally sound.

• Functional obsolescence occurs because of factors within a property, such as a poor floor plan or lack of modern amenities. A three-bedroom, one-bathroom house with a one-car garage would generally be considered as suffering from functional obsolescence.

• Economic obsolescence, also called environmental obsolescence and external obsolescence, occurs because of factors outside a property. Examples include construction of an airport near a residential area or a change in highway access leaving a retail area stranded.

References in periodicals archive ?
To help manage obsolete parts, BAE Systems experts will use the company s Advanced Component Obsolescence Management (AVCOM) tool.
With growing pressure on defense budgets, Strategy Analytics believes that it is vital that standards for obsolescence management be established, so as to allow the economic implications of those specifications to be properly evaluated on a TCO basis.
With a database of more than 15 million parts and access to information on an additional 50 million parts throughout the company's partnerships, it is a major Air Force tool for obsolescence management.
Astronics will provide full logistical support for Bowman Radio Test solutions (RTS), including necessary repair and calibration, spares provisioning, obsolescence management and logistics support analysis required to maintain the 80 systems currently fielded.
For long term programs that require the assurance of product continuity and compatibility, GE Fanuc Intelligent Systems offers customers, as part of the company's Product Lifecycle Management program, a range of services including revision control, design freeze and obsolescence management.
As per the agreement, GE will be responsible for offering remote service with hotline support, a short departure guarantee for on-site repairs, strategic spare parts and obsolescence management, single contract/single entry point, personnel training (including levels and certification) and contract management.
The services offered by GE under the framework agreement include remote service with hotline support, a short departure guarantee for on-site repairs, strategic spare parts and obsolescence management, single contract/single entry point, personnel training (including levels and certification) and contract management.
Acquisition Allows IHS to Deliver End-to-End Engineering Obsolescence Management Solution
The PBL program encompasses new build spare parts, repairs, onboard spare parts support, obsolescence management, inventory control, configuration management, serial number tracking and customer database entries involving most every active Navy surface ship and submarine, as well as select foreign naval surface ships under Foreign Military Sales agreements.
This will also include provision of ad-hoc spares and a support solution including but not limited to asset and obsolescence management of the consumable items.
This includes plant process computers, safety and non-safety control systems, nuclear instrumentation, obsolescence management, engineering and maintenance services.
The work would comprise engineering support, integrated logistics support, obsolescence management, configuration management, help desk, stores management, and ensuring fully functional capability on the in-service platforms.