OpenBOM: Helping Businesses Facilitate New Product Development

Jared Haw
Jared Haw
31 March, 2021 | 5 min for reading
OpenBOM: Helping Businesses Facilitate New Product Development

Manufacturing companies are under increasing pressure to attract new customers and develop new products fast. You may think, money and resources are enough to make it happen, but you’d be mistaken.

When it comes to new product development, companies rely on established business software that helps optimize for complexity and structured process. Unfortunately, many companies keep relying on outdated software that results in a breakdown of collaboration which ends up costing them BIG!

It’s All About Data Management & Communication

Data management and team collaboration are in the center of innovation for large companies when it comes to the team’s new product development (NPD) processes and innovation units. Think about a startup inside a large company. On one side, you have almost unlimited resources of the large mothership. On the other side, you need to run the product development process and innovate faster, because you basically run against the time. 

Although many companies adopted remote communication tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams to improve communication, when it comes to the product data, these communication tools provided very little help. The data, the most important element of the new product development is managed using Excels and shared using Emails, which creates a huge burden on the process. 

How OpenBOM Is Helping A Fortune 500 To Fix This Issue 

One of OpenBOMs customers, a global consumer electronics enterprise (Fortune 500) has a new product development unit, which was running into the same problems I was just describing. 

The company was near the end of its new product concept and was working on the prototyping of production and small number unit production. The concern was their existing PLM and ERP products. 

The existing legacy PLM environment is too complex and too costly, cannot deliver an easy model to collaborate, and fails to provide an agile environment for production planning, which is typically handled by a super sophisticated corporate ERP system. 

For agile new product development, these two existing systems (PLM and ERP) were like a heavyweight that was slowing the NPD process down.

Don’t Take Our Word For It, See What Our Client Had To Say…

The head of the design team turned to OpenBOM to help bring it all together. Here is how he describes the problem the company was solving…  

“We just didn’t have processes in place to store non-CAD business information which was crucial to our product in our existing CAD / PDM system,” says the lead engineer at the company. “So we put it in Excel.  – and all the problems that flowed from that.”

“We had multiple places and Excel file copies which every member of the team must have access to.  We couldn’t control access or maintain a master efficiently. As a result, everyone had to be an Excel VLookup expert or we would break this complicated table.  The whole process was exhausting. Frankly, we needed something reliable and ready to scale with us!” 

Read the full story here – 

If you’re short on time, just read the following paragraph, which gives you an idea of how OpenBom puts everything in one place and allows for easy collaboration. 

“OpenBOM gives us what we need without the significant overhead of the big PLM system, without steering an ocean liner.” The engineering team is about 35 Engineers, many using the high-end CAD tool to design. Most of them are responsible for the basic PLM information of the design; Part Number, Description, Material, etc. All the usual properties go along with the CAD role.  Each of these people sends information directly to OpenBOM.

Our supply line management (SLM) people also use OpenBOM to check if PO’s or RFQs have been responded to.  They keep the prototype and production floor updated about lead-times, availability, and more, simply by adding a property to OpenOBM and tracking the information.

Next, our planning team communicates with the offshore team through a formal release process in OpenBOM so stakeholders around the world can easily access a complete set of information online, at any time.

And here is the huge time saver… 

“This time last year I personally spent 5 hours per week on BOM maintenance. It’s now 10 minutes a week. We see that same improvement with many of the lead engineers on the team.  OpenBOM frees the team to do the other things that are important.”

OpenBOM Real-Time Collaboration 

OpenBOMs unique technology allows it to combine flexibility, structured data, and real-time collaboration.

OpenBOM allows you to create a product structure with all the data elements which can be completely customized, allowing you to control the way data is created.  This gives you full control of…

  • Track references
  • product structure
  • Information Placement
  • Instances
  • Quantity Counts 
  • Rollups
  • Revision Management
  • And much more!

At the same time, OpenBOM provides a mechanism to share data instantaneously in a very Google Sheet-like manner. Check out our documentation for real-time collaboration

The most powerful feature is our instant real-time collaboration and simultaneous editing of data in the collaborative context. 

The following video gives you an idea of how you can share a fragment of the data with your team member or any contractor or supplier. 

Conclusion 

OpenBOMs flexible online data management and real-time collaboration features allow new product development for our Fortune 500 customer to run smoothly.  Even they had full access to full-stack PLM and ERP systems, these systems were not enough.

Are you running into a similar problem in your organization? 

If so, please contact OpenBOM, we are happy to talk and see how we can help. 

Best, Oleg

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