OpenBOM 2024 Future Development Highlights

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
3 January, 2024 | 5 min for reading
OpenBOM 2024 Future Development Highlights

Happy New Year! 2024 is here and in my first blog, I want to share with you some of OpenBOM’s strategic development highlights. 

If you missed the updates we shared just before taking off to the holiday break, please check these articles: 

What’s New, December 22nd, 2023 update 

My Favorite New OpenBOM features from 2023

OpenBOM was growing in 2023 by bringing new capabilities and acquiring new customers and expanding existing customers. Check more than 450 reviews on G2 to learn more about what OpenBOM does and read OpenBOM customer stories online

The goal of OpenBOM is to lead with the vision of building a Digital Thread Platform for manufacturing companies capable of providing a way to connect their information silos, replace Excels, and digitally transform their operation in everything that is related to their product development and data management. 

As much as we love the vision, we are also a very customer-oriented company. We connect our vision with specific customer needs and help manufacturing businesses perform specific data management tasks such as managing files, bill of materials, purchasing and organizing procurement, and communicating with suppliers and contractors. 

In my article today, I want to share our vision and specific product directions we are planning to work on in 2024 – enhance product data modeling, focus on digital thread capabilities, continue with change management enhancements we’ve started in 2023 and work on our vision of OpenBOM AI. Part of the reason we do it is because we like to have a broad response on the our strategic development and correct and adjust priorities. 

Product Model Enhancements and Digital Thread

Digital Thread is taking a central place in organizing information and managing information flow in engineering and manufacturing organizations. In 2024, we plan to improve and enhance OpenBOM capabilities to manage product data in a robust way. 

These capabilities include:

a) Variants:  With the growing need to manage configurations of products, OpenBOM will provide a way to manage distinct structures of products with different features. What was started as a capability to manage 150% BOM, has turned into more robust and easy-to-select and manage data capabilities. The goal of providing variant capabilities without complex filter customizations. 

b) Multiple BOMs: Connecting information dots requires the need to support multiple environments – engineering, planning maintenance. Each of these environments has a product structure (xBOM), and provides the ability to define and integrate them. 

c) Effectivity: The platform now includes a mechanism to filter product structure based on the effectivity start/end attributes and by doing so to improve the way to filter data for manufacturing and production differently (not only by revision number) 

 d) Alternates: A very specific behavior to manage alternate parts (assemblies) with the same BOM. Such capabilities increase the robustness of the product data model and add capabilities to define a product structure with object and link effectivity attributes. This feature helps in scenarios where multiple components can be used interchangeably.

e) Custom Objects and Relationships: OpenBOM has expanded its capabilities to include custom objects and relationships, allowing organizations to tailor the system to their specific needs. It was done earlier this year – check the article. Now, we are planning to provide more robust ways to define custom objects including Object 

Change Management Enhancements

At the end of 2023, we made a series of big enhancements in Change Management capabilities – introducing change order templates, custom attributes for flexible data modeling, and notifications for people who need to approve changes. Check this article – change management templates. With the great feedback we are getting, we are also looking forward to doubling down on change management capabilities.

a) Routing and Approval Flows: We plan to provide a flexible routing workflow to set a path for approvers to get a request to make an action. 

b) Custom Data Objects to support change management: change management is exclusively supported for items in catalogs (and BOMs). The future enhancements will allow us to request approval for actions on other objects – design projects and custom objects. 

Apps and Behaviors Development

OpenBOM is dedicated to delivering a more intuitive and efficient user experience through the development of specialized applications and behaviors. These enhancements include:

a) Custom data behavior and business logic. As we learn from the way customers are extending OpenBOM, we are considering providing more robust mechanisms to couple data attributes with some business logic and be able to “add it” to the account. It will be part of OpenBOM low code implementation capabilities.

b) Enhanced Reporting: The platform now offers more advanced reporting capabilities, allowing users to generate custom reports and gain deeper insights into their product data to share with organizations that still haven’t decided to digitally communicate online and are also looking for “analog” communication options 

AI and Knowledge Graph Research and Development

The advancements of AI in 2023 were tremendous. At OpenBOM, we are continuing our research about how to contextualize LLM and KG (knowledge graph) to collect data about products for a specific company and provide a way to check BOM for mistakes and to generate a new BOM for a new product.  Learn more about it here – Accurate Product Data, Knowledge Graph, and AI. 

Integration Improvements

OpenBOM continues to strengthen its integration capabilities, promoting seamless collaboration and data exchange between various enterprise systems. Key enhancements include extending integrations with CAD tools, enterprise (PLM and ERP) as well as integrations with multiple online services. 

Conclusion

Businesses are turning more often to digital tools to support product development and management. From our side, we are looking at how to turn OpenBOM into a robust and scalable digital thread platform 

At OpenBOM, we like to collaborate with our current and future customers. One of the reasons we also publish a strategic roadmap development is because we want to align what we do with our users and customers. Not everything from this list will make it to the development and production stage. Some of these features might die and some might be falling off because of other priorities. 

But, you can influence our priority and the output. So, talk to us about the importance of the topics and features I discussed. If you like them, speak up – it will help us to ensure the delivery. If not, also tell us – this is not important and we do something else. 

REGISTER FOR FREE and check how OpenBOM can help you today. 

Best, Oleg

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