Overcoming Data Management Bottlenecks: 5 Key Challenges to Expedite New Product Development

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
8 November, 2023 | 5 min for reading
Overcoming Data Management Bottlenecks: 5 Key Challenges to Expedite New Product Development

In today’s rapidly evolving business landscape, speed is often the difference between success and stagnation. This axiom holds particularly true in product development and manufacturing. The ability to bring innovative products to market swiftly can give companies a significant competitive advantage, opening up new opportunities and securing customer loyalty. However, achieving such speed in product development is not without its challenges. 

When we started OpenBOM, we had the vision to build a modern platform that helps manufacturing companies build products faster and use the data to help navigate through many stages of product design, engineering, and manufacturing without the pain and mess of organizing data in spreadsheets, saving files in cloud file storages and manually extracting data and transferring it between different systems, team members and organizations. The outcome was the OpenBOM Agile New Product Development paradigm

In this article, I’d like to share the crucial importance of speed in modern product development and explore five key challenges that can hinder progress. OpenBOM is a cutting-edge product development platform designed to address these challenges and accelerate your product development journey.

The Need for Speed in Product Development

The pace of business in the 21st century is relentless, and consumers’ expectations for innovation are higher than ever before. Companies must continually reinvent themselves and their products to stay ahead in the market. As a result, the ability to develop and launch new products rapidly has become a critical competitive advantage.

Faster product development means quicker time-to-market, which can lead to increased market share and revenue. It also allows businesses to respond more effectively to changing customer preferences and emerging trends. Speed in product development not only enhances competitiveness but also reduces development costs, minimizes the risk of competitors overtaking your ideas, and maximizes the return on investment.

1. Keeping Everyone on the Same Page

Effective collaboration is the key element of successful product development. Designers, engineers, and manufacturers need access to the latest CAD designs and product data to work together cohesively. Without a centralized system for managing and sharing this information, miscommunication and version control issues can significantly slow down the development process.

OpenBOM offers a solution by providing a single source of truth for product information. It ensures that all team members have access to the most up-to-date CAD files and product data in real-time. This collaborative environment enhances communication, eliminates version control issues, and streamlines decision-making, allowing teams to work seamlessly together and reducing costly delays.

2. Managing Complex Bill of Materials (BOM)

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is the lifeblood of any product development project, but it can be a hard task to create and manage accurately. Complex BOMs involve large assemblies, multi-level component relationships, and different disciplines such as mechanical, electronics, and software. Mistakes in this data structure and inaccurate information can lead to costly mistakes and production delays.

OpenBOM simplifies BOM management by providing an intuitive platform that allows you to create and manage complex product structures (BOMs) effortlessly. This streamlines the process and reduces the risk of errors, ensuring that your product development stays on track and within budget.

3. Automating BOM Creation from CAD

Manually extracting data from CAD files to create a BOM is not only time-consuming but also error-prone. Human errors in data entry can lead to inaccuracies and costly production issues down the line.

OpenBOM offers a solution (one-click BOM) by seamlessly integrating with CAD systems to automate BOM creation. It automatically extracts relevant data from CAD drawings and derivative files (STEP, PDF, DXF, DWG, etc.), populating the BOM accurately and efficiently. This automation not only saves valuable time but also ensures that the BOM is always up-to-date and error-free.

4. Streamlining Ordering and Inventory Management

Effective inventory management is critical for keeping production on track. Managing purchase orders (POs) and requests for quotes (RFQs) manually can be cumbersome and prone to errors. Delays in these processes can result in production slowdowns and increased costs.

OpenBOM simplifies and streamlines ordering and inventory management by providing tools to track inventory levels,  POs, and RFQs. This functionality ensures that the right components are ordered on time, reducing lead times, preventing shortages, and minimizing production disruptions. 

The OpenBOM batch planning process allows you to create an estimation of components that need to be ordered to deliver a product.  

5. Sharing and Streamlining Downstream Processes

70-80% of product cost is defined early in the development stage. Therefore, to ensure timely product delivery with the desired cost, you need to start a process of synchronization and communication with production systems such as ERP or MES, contractors, and suppliers early in the product development cycle.  

To have it done early in the development process allows you to focus on early product design, production planning, and material order early. To have cost estimated early in the process allows us to achieve much bigger savings compared to the process where communication with production planning, contractors, and suppliers happens later. Miscommunication or delays in these downstream processes can disrupt production schedules and increase costs.

OpenBOM offers integration capabilities that facilitate data exchange with these downstream processes. This integration ensures that data flows seamlessly between your product development environment and other parts of your organization or external partners, reducing the risk of miscommunication, delays, and costly disruptions in production. OpenBOM offers robust integration capabilities, REST API, out-of-the-box integrations, and many other tools to share and streamline communication. 

Conclusion

In a world where speed and accuracy are the most important things in new product development, OpenBOM serves as a valuable platform to help everyone, but especially young hardware teams, manufacturing organizations, and NPD teams of large enterprises. 

By addressing these five key challenges – ensuring data accuracy, simplifying BOM management, automating time-consuming tasks, streamlining inventory management, and facilitating downstream data exchange – OpenBOM empowers businesses to accelerate their product development processes.

OpenBOM has garnered positive feedback from many customers and its reviews on platforms like G2 further underscores its effectiveness. To experience the benefits of OpenBOM firsthand and accelerate your product development journey, reach out to OpenBOM Sales today. 

Register online and embark on a path to faster, more efficient product development. Don’t let these challenges slow you down – embrace the need for speed with OpenBOM and take your product development to the next level. In today’s competitive landscape, speed is not just an advantage; it’s a necessity.

Best, Oleg

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