ECO-Effective Dates (Vantage 8.00.810B)

I have a general question in regards to effective dates and eco's. In
an effort to streamline our eco process, I would like to ask how some
of you might handle changes done to long lead time materials.
Currently our ECO's with these types of materials are filed &
labeled "on hold". They are then manually monitored and entered in as
it gets closer to the PO date due. As you may know, I can't have a
revision with an effective date of August when it's only January. If
we did any ECO's we might have in the meantime would also have to wait
until then. That just isn't efficient.

I am simply trying to cover all the bases before I am ready to give up
on the idea that this can't be done via the computer for long lead
time materials.

Does anyone have any experience or input regarding this?