which capitalize on the experience of its principals
and the global application of its software. Industry and market
trend analysis consulting is supported by the predictive application
of WWK software products. A core-consulting program for WWK is its
global two-day seminar on the successful management of new product
introductions. Further, WWK consults with individual clients in
formulating and executing business strategies to deal with global
strategic issues and ever-growing market competition. The Company
facilitates strategic and market planning. It also provides research,
assessment and implementation services for new products and new
Additionally, Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc.
offers a complete suite of custom software consulting services.
WWK's Software Engineering group provides complete custom solutions
through their experienced Project Managers and Software Engineers.
These solutions cover the entire development cycle including requirements
gathering, specification development, software development, testing,
installation, training/documentation, and ongoing support. Custom
solutions include but are not limited to accounting, financial,
reporting, inventory, time records management, process automation,
integration between systems, and commercial product development.
WWK began in Sacramento, California in 1991 as a consulting services
company. In January 1995, IDC Systems, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary
of Industrial Design & Construction, Portland, Oregon, acquired
the assets of WWK. In August 2003, Wright Williams & Kelly, Inc.
reacquired the assets of WWK.
WWK is headquartered in Pleasanton,
California with satellite offices in Austin and Dallas, Texas, Brigham City, Utah, and
Albuquerque, New Mexico. The Company utilizes employees comprising
technical backgrounds in software engineering, applications engineering,
economic modeling and business development. In addition, the Company
uses technical support personnel as software engineers and technical
documentation specialists on a quasi-permanent basis. Further, the
Company employs, under long term contracts, doctoral scientists
in operations modeling and research for software development in
full-factory cost modeling and capacity analysis and senior consultants
in the areas of business development and market research. The Company
also has consultants in its "Affiliates" program who are regionally
located in the U.S. to provide software support services for customers
having bought WWK software products.
WWK is indisputably the leading software developer for Cost of Ownership
(COO or TCO) modeling programs in capital intensive industries. Cost of Ownership
is a key metric in the semiconductor industry because it provides
a means to model future semiconductor manufacturing processes before
companies invest in new fabs, fab refurbishment, or technology migration.
Cost of Ownership modeling provides detailed and objective analysis
for decision making regarding equipment selection, materials use,
and process sequence design. The Company has also introduced factory
software models which, in addition to modeling Cost of Ownership,
provide a comprehensive array of capacity and profitability analyses
on full factory operations and layout. The sophisticated scope of
these programs embraces multiple product output and multiple process
lines. Simulations are precision tuned by probability and distribution
The need for the Company's products is fostered
by significant economic, technical, and opportunity factors present
in high technology industries.
Risk Management: New semiconductor
fabs now cost over $2 billion with next-product generation fabs
projected to cost $3 billion. Eighty percent of
the investment cost is related to the manufacturing process and
production equipment. There are over 900 fabs in operation worldwide
with a projected 100 new $2 billion-plus fabs to be built by
2010. Semiconductor manufacturers have turned to equity partnerships
with competitors, suppliers, and governments to raise the required
capital and manage the enormous investment risk. They can optimize
their investment potential and manage operational risk by adopting
advanced capabilities in manufacturing design. Among these advanced
capabilities are predictive software products that simulate and
model risk, productivity and profit factors. WWK is squarely at
the forefront of this trend.
Industry Growth: Semiconductor industry
sales have grown at a double-digit CAGR worldwide since 1980. Most developing
countries have identified electronics as a "pillar" industry worthy
of aggressive government support. Global semiconductor manufacturing
leadership is viewed by U.S. officials as vital to America's economic
base and defense strategy. Continuous growth and technical advancement
drive the construction of new fabs featuring expanded capacity with
more sophisticated, costly processes. Older technology in the existing
installed fab base eventually becomes a commodity often before the
fab investment has been recouped. In either event, WWK's productivity
measurement and enhancement software helps management decide which
technology, at what capacity, and at what return.
In the semiconductor industry, a new generation of devices is produced
approximately every two to three years. Each generation has four
times the number of transistors as its predecessor. This increased
density enhances the product's computational speed, memory capacity,
or logic functions exponentially. Intel's 286 microprocessor for
personal computers, for example, had its debut in l982. The next
generation 386 was introduced in 1985. Similarly, the 486 was introduced
in 1988, the Pentium in 1992, and the Pentium Pro in 1994. Each
generational advance in product technology requires semiconductor
manufacturers to spend 50% more in R&D than was spent on its predecessor.
Product technology also drives investment costs upward as increasingly
more sophisticated manufacturing capabilities are needed which renders
new equipment technically obsolete in three years or with each new
generation of product. International technology roadmaps project
this sequence to extend well into the next decade. The pressure
of relentless technical change and investment escalation has given
high visibility to risk and productivity issues. WWK's predictive
software products are invaluable decision-enhancing tools for management
in this complex and dynamic environment.
The COOL® Series: The COOL® Series of software modeling programs
provides Cost of Ownership (COO/TCO) and overall Equipment Efficiency (OEE)
analysis for homogeneous processing equipment. Cost of Ownership
(COO/TCO) is defined as total lifetime cost associated with the acquisition,
installation and operation of a piece of fabrication equipment.
The COOL® Series is the only software to comply with SEMI (an industry
trade association called Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International)
Standard E35. This standard is the semiconductor industry guideline
on the construction and use of Cost of Ownership modeling software.
The first program in the COOL® Series was developed by WWK in 1992.
Later enhancements were made available under a contract with SEMATECH,
the industry/government consortium in Austin, Texas which conducts
research in advanced semiconductor manufacturing technology. COOL®
is an acronym for Cost of Ownership Luminator.
Through the COOL®
Series, WWK offers one, integrated, standard-setting software modeling
program with 5 industry specific templates and a user-defined template
for new or additional applications. TWO COOL® is designed for all
equipment in "front end" processing in wafer fabrication. Another
template in TWO COOL® is specifically programmed for equipment in
assembly and packaging operations while a third variation is for
equipment in mask and reticle manufacturing. The newest templates
are designed for printed circuit board manufacturing, solar and flat panel displays, and a user
Since September 1996, the Company has offered process
sequence software, trade-named PRO COOL®, which allows users to
link together the data files that TWO COOL® compiles for individual
process stations into a process line. PRO COOL® provides manufacturers
with capacity and cost data for single product production in a contiguous
process sequence. The last program in the series, PRO COOL® for
Wafer Sort & Final Test, is software created and specifically designed
for equipment performing wafer sort and final test operations.
commercialized a new cross-industry software program in 1993 arising
from a custom development contract based on the company's reputation
and capability in cost modeling. This program, trade-named COOLSoft,
establishes the cost and time in the development of new software
programs. Though not an operational modeling software program like
the company's other COOL® products, it is an important product line
extension for engineering and marketing organizations to use when
coping with software development issues.
2001 marked the introduction
of COOL FUSION, an integrated sales tool platform employing TWO
COOL® cost of ownership (COO/TCO) software and proprietary client side
sales information. COOL FUSION allows organizations to empower
their field sales force with cost of ownership, throughput calculations,
customer requirements, and product configuration while maintaining
complete control of critical factors such as pricing.
Series: The Company released a new series of comprehensive software
programs for full factory capacity and cost modeling in September
1995. While PRO COOL® models the cost of a single product in a linear
and contiguous process flow, the Factory Series programs model
capacity, cost, and profitability for full factory operations of
multiple products and multiple processes. Factory Explorer® predicts
system capacity and bottleneck resources and estimates dynamic measures
such as cycle time, work-in-process and material dwell time. It
provides analytical precision by incorporating probability and distribution
curve analyses. Profit predictability is another key feature of
Factory Explorer® as forecasted revenues are related to factory
and product costs within capacity parameters.
A product allied to
Factory Explorer® trade-named Factory Commander® was concurrently
introduced as a comprehensive cost and resource evaluation model.
It performs high-level analysis of factory capacity, individualized
product flows, overall factory costs and is able to handle complex
manufacturing strategies such as multiple subassembly mergers and
full rework loops. While both Factory Explorer® and Factory Commander®
are full factory models for capacity, cost and profitability, they
differ by degree in their mission. Factory Explorer® offers advanced
precision in capacity simulation while Factory Commander® features
a more extensive array of cost discernment fields.
structure of WWK software is modular, making modification easy and
provides for speedy introduction of new releases. New releases (upgrades)
are frequent but usually evolutionary. Program and code quality
of all WWK software is underscored by very favorable market experience.
No user has ever returned WWK software for quality reasons. This
high level of quality earned WWK the Texas Instruments Supplier
Excellence Award in 1997.
In 1992, with the rapid growth of interest
in Cost of Ownership in the semiconductor industry, WWK developed
the course "Understanding and Using Cost of Ownership." This one-day
course in seminar-workshop format provides a solid framework on
COO/TCO from concepts through applications. Hands-on exercises are conducted
using the latest generation of TWO COOL® software. "Understanding and Using Cost
of Ownership" is the exclusive COO training program for Texas Instruments,
STMicroelectronics, Philips Semiconductors, and SEMI® as well as
numerous other industry leaders. By mid-2003, over 4000 industry
technicians and managers had been trained in COO/TCO through this course.
Upgrades of existing software products are projected for future
release at a rate of one in per twelve-month period for each major
product. New releases are almost always the result of customer requests
for specific applications features. Requests for expanded sensitivity
analysis, greater capability for cluster tool calculations, or specific
integrating features between software programs are representative
requests the Company receives and to which it responds. These are
selective opportunities usually involving evolutionary adaptations
which the Company markets at no additional cost.
The Company sees
another major market opportunity in connecting its predictive-value
software programs with Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. MES
consists of shop floor monitors and controllers connected to computers
in a system that schedules and monitors materials flow. The opportunity
is to wed real time data from MES with predictive data and model
optimization from WWK programs. Schedules and dispatching rules can be set from model
predictions. The schedule can then be monitored through real time
data feedback to establish change and accuracy of prediction.
The Company's current generation products versions have been in the market
on average for less than one year. Nevertheless, there are over
2900 users of COOL® Series products and over 400 for its Factory
Series. In addition, WWK has numerous clients in consulting and
training relationships and certain clients are involved with more
than one project with the Company.
WWK's installed base of product
users entails 51% in North America and 49% in Europe and Asia. Foreign
sales have been consummated through direct company contact and indirect
representation in Japan and Europe. Foreign business relationships
are made through training classes, trade association references,
media advertising, and product reputation.
The company successfully
positioned itself through 1995 as "the cost modeling company" while,
in fact, becoming an industry Cost of Ownership standard. As new
and distinct products were developed which offer capability beyond
cost modeling, the Company began a campaign to expand its market
perception to a "decision-making-tools" company. Print medium ads
since 1996 have carried the tag line "Real Tools for Real People
Making Real Decisions" and "Decision Tools for Productivity and
Cost Management". The Company is sustaining its positioning strategy with
full-page trade press advertising, contributing articles in trade
publications, new product releases, press releases of significant
sales contracts or co-development projects, and by maintaining its
excellent reference based on product reputation. These actions are
further supported by a state-of-the-art web presence (www.wwk.com).
In the semiconductor and related high technology industries it is
estimated that less than half of the manufacturers own any kind
of predictive or productivity enhancing simulation software. It
is further estimated that among those with some kind of simulation
software program, less than a third are actively and effectively
used. And, of those programs being used, the majority are nonstandard
customized template programs of individual company design.
is a picture of an emerging market whose existence has been fostered
by individual user initiatives and whose saturation level is indefinable
in size or functionality. The application of available commercial
product offerings is constrained by a lack of human resources with
specialized skills for understanding and using the programs at hand.
Standardized approaches are just beginning. User benefits in productivity
and risk management clearly add value over the program cost. The
service provider is given wide pricing latitude in exchange for
applications and operational competence and the ability to transfer
it to the customer. These descriptions are not unlike the personal
computer market in its early stages of growth. It is noteworthy
that Cost of Ownership's impact on operational intelligence has
come to pervade the thinking in the personal computer industry and
has extended beyond the sophisticated process equipment of its origin.
"Computers are still difficult to use and their Cost of Ownership
is still too high."
International Data Corporation Forum,
"The breakneck speed with which online technology
is developing and the vast efforts being focused on developing applications
for the Internet means that the Cost of Ownership required for proprietary
services to compete is prohibitive."