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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reduction in the value of a FIXED ASSET because of a significant change in demand or technology which renders the asset out of date, or comparatively inefficient.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 ?
Aley graduated from the Naval Acquisition Logistics Intern Program in 2005 and was hired as a full-time member of PMA-275's Obsolescence Management Team.
Support and Obsolescence Management of the Internal and External Integrated Communication System on the 3 LSD(A) Platforms.
The anticipated scope of the contract will include support to concept and preliminary design, detail design, software and architecture development, factory testing, commissioning, support to operations and maintenance teams, and obsolescence management.
With a database accessing more than 100 million parts, the tool is widely used throughout the military and industry for obsolescence management.
Thales will be utilising its expertise in big data analysis, airworthiness and obsolescence management, in order to build an optimized supply chain for the French forces.
Benefits include shorter time-to-market due to re-use of proven architecture, higher integration with reduced cost, ease of system integration and obsolescence management as well as highly scalable and modular open real-time architectures.
Traditional semiconductor obsolescence management (OM) is reactive, can be unreliable and offers little cost control or security of supply over decades of system requirements.
The contract is for an ordering period of 17 months and a performance period of 34 months, commencing on the 8 August 2016, and includes obsolescence management.
The Strategy Analytics Advanced Defense Systems (ADS) service report, "Cost Implications of COTS Obsolescence Management Trends," concludes that while several methods for COTS obsolescence management have found favor in military procurement in mitigating specific aspects of COTS obsolescence, the defense industry needs to develop a comprehensive and standardized solution.
Mission Systems will continue to provide customer care, field support and engineering escalation resources as well as support for information assurance, spare parts and obsolescence management, and pursue life-cycle cost savings.
These products provide four tiers of service for the company's widely used Advanced Component Obsolescence Management (AVCOM) tool.
Working with the RSwN has also deepened Singapore's Defence Technology Community's knowledge in defence system management, particularly in areas such as life cycle management and obsolescence management.