3 Do’s and Don’ts of OpenBOM Onboarding

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
5 January, 2023 | 5 min for reading
3 Do’s and Don’ts of OpenBOM Onboarding

When starting to use OpenBOM, manufacturing companies want to get up and running quickly with an easy onboarding process. At OpenBOM we provide a tailored process to help you with onboarding as part of OpenBOM subscription. It is important to understand the long-term implications of not taking the time to properly implement OpenBOM correctly from day one. Taking a few extra steps when initially setting up OpenBOM eliminates potential headaches further down the road – as well as lost time and money. In this blog post we’ll go over 3 do’s and don’ts that should be followed during the initial onboarding of your organization on OpenBOM in order to maximize efficiency now and in the future.

The OpenBOM onboarding process is a virtual training, organized and led by an OpenBOM specialist that helps a new customer to implement and start using OpenBOM successfully. You can learn about the overall process here – OpenBOM premium onboarding process. 

The onboarding starts with collecting your requirements and then helps you to grasp the idea and main principles of OpenBOM data management, learn best practices, and help to make essential decisions that will allow you to properly implement OpenBOM.  

3 Do’s   

After onboarding many customers, this is our top list of things you must do before starting any onboarding training with OpenBOM.  

General understanding of OpenBOM 

Having some high-level understanding of what OpenBOM is and what OpenBOM can do for your organization is a healthy starting point. We recommend spending 1-2 hours with the OpenBOM website, videos, and documentation to get an “idea” of what OpenBOM is and how it helped other companies. We highly recommend reading customer stories to learn about the benefits. Although, some of your people already did it before purchasing an OpenBOM subscription to have everyone aligned initially is an important step and can help you to use OpenBOM training more effectively. 

The decision about Part Numbers 

Part Number is a big topic and we are facing it in every customer onboarding process. In every organization, Part Numbers represent an important decision about how to manage data. Because they (Part Number) is a key element and have an important role and implication on every process, having a general agreement about how to manage Part Numbers is important before you start an onboarding process. If you didn’t do that, you risk spending an entire onboarding time on debates about how to organize and manage Part Numbers. 

Sample data 

A simple set of sample data can be very helpful during the onboarding process because it will allow you to use your own data samples when learning OpenBOM. It will also help you to ask the right questions.

3 Don’ts   

After working with thousands of engineers and companies, this is a list of three typical situations that can potentially lead you to failure during the OpenBOM onboarding process. 

Not having a vision “result” of where you want to get to

Understanding where you want to go is an essential step in OpenBOM implementation. While we, at OpenBOM, have a lot of experience with data management, it is you (and you only) who needs to bring a desired vision of what you want to do with OpenBOM. To have a picture of how you want to see the end results of the onboarding process and OpenBOM implementation. Not coming up with that “vision” will prevent you from getting things done. 

Not to have an admin person present

Defining an admin account and deciding who should be an administrator is extremely important. Some of the settings and configuration must be done only by an administrator. Not having this person in a training room will prevent you from finishing important tasks and settings during the onboarding process.

Messy CAD data 

CAD data can be messy and you can live with such data for a long time without knowing this is what you have. Duplicated file names, absence of identification, data conflicts, and broken CAD relationships – this is just a short list of what can possibly go wrong with your data. Bringing messy CAD data to the onboarding training can slow down the onboarding process and keep you focused on the bad data you have instead of moving forward. Getting to know your sample data is an important step before onboarding. 

Big No-No: Thinking “Excels” 

As you start using OpenBOM there is one big nonstarter situation you need to avoid. Although 

OpenBOM looks and feels like a spreadsheet, it is essentially a sophisticated database that allows you to manage structured data, relationships, and processes. 

Old habits are dying hard. In many ways, Excel (or spreadsheets) is the way of thinking about data and it can lead you to a very problematic outcome if you will try to treat OpenBOM as a place to manage your Excel files. 

A key element of the OpenBOM data model is a single source of truth about product data, lifecycle, revisions, relationships between items, and additional information. Ignoring it can lead you to mistakes and miss the value of digital transformation. 


Digital transformation is a process of changing your personal and organizational processes from using traditional “analog” data such as documents and switching to new digital processes and forms of data management. Using documents such as Excel won’t make processes in your organization digital. This is a very critical mistake many companies do. You need to think about data in a very granular form, managing items, revisions, product structure, and dependent processes together. Eliminating “document” boundaries will make data accessible and will streamline processes – this is a key element of your digital transformation success. 

Not subscribed to OpenBOM yet? REGISTER FOR FREE and start your 14-day trial to learn how OpenBOM can help you today. 

Best, Oleg 

Related Posts

Also on OpenBOM

4 6
12 June, 2024

In today’s fast-paced manufacturing environment, companies are increasingly seeking ways to work in a more connected and efficient manner. The…

11 June, 2024

In my previous article, I briefly introduced you to upcoming OpenBOM enhancements related to product structure management and the introduction…

8 June, 2024

In the modern manufacturing and supply chain management environment, streamlining processes from engineering to procurement is vital. To support customer…

7 June, 2024

The common story is for manufacturers to outsource production overseas to take advantage of lower costs amongst other things. At…

6 June, 2024

One of the questions that often causes confusion in product development and manufacturing is change management. This topic has many…

5 June, 2024

The last two decades of SaaS development have changed the way customers are buying software. What was before a lengthy…

4 June, 2024

Modern manufacturing requires streamlining product information management and the application of efficient and robust cost and ordering processes. Cost calculation…

31 May, 2024

The demand for digital solutions in hardware product development has never been higher. As projects grow in complexity, the traditional…

30 May, 2024

In the world of precision engineering and underwater filming equipment, efficiency and reliability are paramount. Gates Underwater Products, a leader…

To the top