The world of software is changing. Most manufacturing companies have some legacy PLM software in place. Those companies that don’t have a legacy PLM usually have homegrown spreadsheet-based solutions (usually Excel or recently Google Spreadsheet). As the industry evolves and new requirements arise, those systems become increasingly difficult and expensive to use and maintain. Digital transformation is knocking on the doors of manufacturing companies. The time is ripe for manufacturing companies to check out a better way to manage their businesses.
Leading analysts are confirming that the PLM industry is moving fast towards transformation. According to Gartner, in 2-5 years – 5-20% of the PLM market will be using cloud-native PLM platforms. According to CIMdata research, 66% of industrial companies are considering a move to cloud-based PLM solutions.
Back in the legacy past, PLM systems were big monsters that required installation, configuration, and implementation time. It took months to get up to speed with PLM systems. However, the worst part of this was, in fact, that no one in an organization was able to experience PLM technology before it was installed and implemented. So, companies were buying a “black box” with almost no warranty. If you’re a long time in PLM, you probably heard about famous PLM implementation failures.
Modern SaaS software is different. Instead of installation, you just register on the website. And instead of a long implementation time, you can configure a flexible SaaS PLM environment to do what you need.
OpenBOM provides you a unique way to experience what it can do by registering on the website and starting a free trial to experience all functions from standard OpenBOM subscriptions (User, Team, Company, Drive). In my article today, I want to give you guidance on how you can try OpenBOM and what main functions of OpenBOM you can test.
To start a trial you need to navigate to the OpenBOM website and click on Register for Free. That’s it – you will be up and running in OpenBOM in a few minutes after the registration.
After you log in to your OpenBOM, account, start a free trial by clicking on the button and you will get an OpenBOM environment for 14-days. You can choose the trial level (pro user, team, or company). Unless you want to test a specific level, my recommendation is to select “company trial”.
Sample Data, Dashboard, and Navigation
Immediately after you registered your account and started the trial, OpenBOM creates your account with sample data. So, you’re not in an empty space and you can navigate across samples of items, BOMs, and other pieces of information. Check them out. My recommendation is to test the dashboard, navigate to “where used”, explore catalogs, open the bill of materials, navigate, switch between multi-level and flattened BOM as well as try to use search functions.
You can try to modify existing BOMs, and add items to catalogs. It will give you an idea about the OpenBOM user experience.
Drop Files Into Drive (PDM Service), Check-in/out
The next step after exploring the OpenBOM dashboard and basic catalog and BOM environments, you need to check how OpenBOM can help you manage the engineering vault, store files, manage versions, check-in/out, and collaborate between engineers (note – you can skip this step if you’re not interested in managing CAD files in OpenBOM).
There are two ways to access Drive – (1) File Explorer; (2) Web dashboard. Both screenshots are below. More information about it is on the OpenBOM Drive documentation page.
Once, you’ve got files on the Drive you can try to check out/in, make edits, and versions, and try 3D Viewer. OpenBOM gives you a basic PDM system. Read about how OpenBOM Drive is different from traditional PDM.
CAD Add-in and One-Click BOM
OpenBOM integrates with many CAD systems (MCAD, ECAD, PCB design, and others). You can install all out-of-the-box integration and install the add-in in your favorite CAD systems. Once it is installed, you make a quick setup, load a simple assembly and run the “one-click BOM” generation process. It will generate a BOM, which will give you an idea about the power of OpenBOM for all CAD systems.
Data sharing, BOM Analysis, Revisions
OpenBOM gives you a powerful way to share data in real-time. You can do it using the share command. It is ok for trial, but keep in mind, that the OpenBOM Share function is super powerful and allows you to automatically share data using a role-based model supported by Team Views.
Formulas and Cost Rollups
The calculation is one of the most fundamental functions in BOM and the data management environment. OpenBOM gives you a very flexible method to create formulas and run different types of calculations. One of the most typical ones is “Cost rollup”. You can see the calculations made in sample BOMs and modify them to apply to a newly created BOM.
History, Revisions, Changes
OpenBOM automatically captures the history and all changes you perform in your data. This fundamental automatical change capturing gives you a way to track everything you need. But you can step up and start managing revisions and change management process (ECR/ECO). You can always explore the history of item changes and BOM revisions. Check this out – Change Management and Revision Control and Change Management Course.
Inventory, Order, Vendor, POs
OpenBOM gives you a way to organize planning, manage vendors (contractors and suppliers) as well as create Order BOM and Purchase Orders. What you can do first is to try a demo Order BOM creation process from a demo BOM (eg. Wireless router). It has all settings of vendors, and quantity on hand and allows you to explore an Order and POs (RFQs). Check the course of engineering to the purchasing process.
OpenBOM provides a unique approach for PDM and PLM, which is a cloud-native SaaS platform capable to import data in a variety of forms and manage it accordingly. I hope the article gives you a great outline of how you can evaluate OpenBOM in 2 weeks (14 days). During all these periods you can contact OpenBOM support and ask questions about the features and functions of OpenBOM.
Register for free to start your OpenBOM Trial for 14 days.