OpenBOM For AEC: Helping Industries Keep Organized & Grow

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
15 April, 2021 | 4 min for reading
OpenBOM For AEC: Helping Industries Keep Organized & Grow

Construction and Manufacturing are on a collision course and the borders are becoming more blurry every day. Below I’ll be sharing some insights on Manufacturing/Construction companies you may find interesting. 

Construction/Manufacturing Companies Worth Mentioning 

Earlier this week, I was talking to a company that focuses on building prefabricated houses. I cannot share the name of the company (yet), but the product is the one that every high-tech manufacturing company or even aircraft manufacturers can be jealous of. 

The entire design is done using super-sophisticated SaaS Mechanical Design (CAD) tools, house systems include electronics and cloud services that will monitor the house 24×7 and will inform you of any activity. 

Another company that I came across is building modular bathroom pods in the factory using predefined configurations and “as-built” shipping them to the construction site. 

My last example is the MEP company working on projects to build HVAC systems for hospitals – the complex projects include a large amount of electrical and mechanical equipment and many other components to be delivered and installed on-site. 

What is the common ground between all these projects? 

All of these projects that I have mentioned have a complex set of structured data, often called “project information” or, if you’re coming from a manufacturing background, Bill of Materials (or BOMs). This data needs to be extracted from design systems, organized, and enhanced. The outcome is then used to plan procurement and installation. In my earlier article, I shared more about this experience – Check Out The Critical Role BOMs Play In Construction

At OpenBOM we decided to step in and discover how OpenBOM can help construction companies and AEC businesses. We are still in the process of discovering and building the solution but in the spirit of agile product development methods, we wanted to invite all companies that are interested in the OpenBOM solution for AEC to check out our new website – AECBOM.COM and talk to us about your problems and solutions we can provide you. 

Construction projects include a wide array of organizations operating together on the same project (eg. apartment building, hospital, hotel, bridge, etc.), and good project management is an essential part of making engineers and everyone else involved in the project work efficiently and safely. 

The general problem for both manufacturing teams and construction companies involved in the distributed and diverse value chain is messy communication and the need to keep up with multi-faceted, multi-disciplinary data. The picture below gives you an idea of the complexity level. 

The main problem in this business is data management and communication. We are looking at how to help trade contractors (electrical, mechanical, doors, glazing, fire equipment, etc.) organize project information, manage a wide range of product components, and purchase equipment and components from manufacturers and catalogs

To help these contractors, we are going to provide a set of robust functions to organize project assets, provide visibility, organize catalogs, manage cost estimations, track approval and manage procurement, track materials between projects. 

These functions will be possible because of the robustness of multi-tenant, SaaS data management platform of OpenBOM, data model flexibility, and integration with engineering and enterprise resource planning systems. 

We are in the process of working on the integration and are very keen on talking to trade contractors, manufacturer reps, and general contractors so that we can truly understand their needs. 

Our vision is to help trade contractors to manage their projects via improved data management collaboration as well as to connect multiple companies in the AEC value chain together. 

This is how OpenBOM works: 

  • Create a global, secured, collaborative network for companies, suppliers, and contractors capable to manage product information and connects data and companies 
  • Use multi-tenant data architecture, integration with engineering tools and unique user experience to scale from very small engineers and contractors to large manufacturing and AEC companies 
  • Build intelligence-based using product data and network of manufacturers, suppliers and contractors 

Conclusion 

Manufacturing and construction businesses are getting more complex and looking for simplification. What is common between them is a high demand for intelligent and collaborative data management systems capable of managing the level of complexity and communication between contractors, manufacturers, and other players in the AEC and the product development business. 

Are you working on construction projects (HVAC, Electrical, or others)? If so, feel free to reach out to us – we would love to know what you think and see how we can help. 

Best, Oleg @ openbom dot com.

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