As we are getting closer to the end of the year, it is a great time to talk about the OpenBOM roadmap for 2022 and speak about what was done and what is coming up next year and beyond. We live in a SaaS world and leverage all great things about being able to develop things in a fast and agile manner.
Unlike many legacy PLM and ERP systems that don’t change for years, OpenBOM is releasing new features, updates, and fixes all the time. You can always talk to us, share what is missing and what needs to be fixed and be sure, it will show up soon in the product. New features and functionality are coming all the time, and with that in mind, new OpenBOM releases come out on average every 3-5 weeks.
We are full speed ahead in the development of OpenBOM. We are making many improvements in various parts of OpenBOM. But here is a shortlist of our top development priorities with some references to blog articles where you can see some early previews and a sneak peek of what is coming next.
Agile SaaS Development
Looking back at 2021, we will have a total of 11 releases (OpenBOM updates), but moving forward we will be making it even better. As OpenBOM is getting bigger and maturing, you will see part of the OpenBOM system updated sometimes independently with even higher speed. Especially when it comes to multiple integrations and subsystems- we brought updates more often with new features and fixes. You are probably already familiar with the OpenBOM review feedback feature.
A new notification system will be deployed to provide you with detailed information about new releases, features, and functionality as soon as it is deployed and available to you. This is a much easier experience and is less hassle than following emails.
Professional User Subscription For Small Businesses
You’ve been giving us feedback about the value of OpenBOM for small businesses and how small manufacturers, contractors, and individuals can leverage the value of OpenBOM to manage catalogs, Bill of Materials, inventory, vendors, and purchasing. The features that were highly demanded by everyone are:
- Managing orders from catalogs
- Receive Purchase Orders
- Integrations with financial systems (eg. Quickbooks online)
We will be re-packaging some of OpenBOM’s subscription features to make them available in the individual professional user subscription, which will make it easier for small business owners to adopt. More information will be provided later this week together with OpenBOM subscription and pricing updates.
Change Management and Change Order Dashboard
We have more larger companies coming to adopt OpenBOM from variety of industries – aerospace, automotive, robotics, industrial products, high-tech and medical. They bring demands for higher complexity in BOM management, configuration and change management. To help all these customers we planto improve Change Management functionality and we are already working on it. Check a video preview of Change Order dashboard, how to make multiple change requests, and a bigger vision for configuration management of complex products. Watch some of them coming in the next few weeks. We are also working on configurable routing workflows features
We are expanding OpenBOM change management capabilities with a new custom object – Change Order to aggregate multiple changes and introduce Change Order Dashboard that will provide a centralized way to access all open, approved, rejected, and pending orders.
Check out more about what we are planning to bring in the article. We are planning multiple change management improvements coming to OpenBOM in the next releases including advanced approval routing, notifications, and others.
Document Collaboration and Product Data Management
Managing product information and capturing product data is extremely important for all industrial companies these days. While Bill of Materials and product structure is a central part of this information, to expand and provide tools for document control and WIP (work-in-progress) collaboration caught our attention. To help our customers and to provide more holistic data management and collaboration capabilities, we decided to extend OpenBOM data management capabilities to provide a solution for document management, real-time document collaboration and product data management.
We are bringing a new service OpenBOM Drive – a virtual drive to manage documents. The virtual drive can be available to all users in your company as well as to all other members of the extended teams, contractors and suppliers will be available in the cloud and play the role of storage as well as collaborative space where everyone can share files, manage file revisions and access information at the same time. OpenBOM Drive will be available via Windows Explorer user interface for users working with desktop applications.
The purpose of this service is to help manage work-in-progress documents and files, to support file collaboration and vaulting capabilities. Files are a big part of everyday collaboration for engineers and manufacturing companies, but these files are still very messy and located everywhere. OpenBOM Drive will help to organize files in a single source of truth so you can collaborate instantly with your colleagues and teams around the world.
Advanced Purchasing Process Improvement
We realize how important it is to connect product development and engineering activity with production planning and procurement. Bill of Materials is a tool to help you purchase the right components and to organize RFQ and Purchase Orders process. Thank you for all your feedback about current functionality. We are looking forward to improving it. More information will be shared soon. If you have requests and would like to give feedback about the purchasing process, please contact us- we are always grateful for your feedback.
OpenBOM in AEC
The AEC industry has a great opportunity. A recent McKinsey study found that the construction sector’s annual productivity growth has only increased 1 percent in 20 years. In fact, in the U.S., while manufacturing, retail, and agriculture productivity grew by 1,500 percent since 1945, construction barely increased. But, if construction productivity caught up to the total economy, its value would rise by $1.6 trillion a year, a notable jump for an already large sector.
But what this study also revealed, is that the push to make our buildings sustainable also has the potential to be a true disruptor for the industry, introducing a new era of productivity that will truly allow for real efforts to be made towards the decarbonization of buildings.
At OpenBOM, we started our construction journey by introducing AECBOM together with VIMaec and the integration with Autodesk Revit. You can read more about it here.
I outlined some major topics we’re working on at OpenBOM for the moment. Some of the features and functions described will be coming for the first time in the next few weeks, but we will continue working on them in 2022. Watch out for OpenBOM’s subscription and pricing updates later this week with more information about how new features and functionalities will become available in OpenBOM subscriptions. As always, please give us feedback and let us know what you think.
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