Transforming Product Development: OpenBOM’s Innovative Strategy for Collaborative Change and Lifecycle Management

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
16 February, 2024 | 4 min for reading
Transforming Product Development: OpenBOM’s Innovative Strategy for Collaborative Change and Lifecycle Management

In the rapidly evolving landscape of modern product development, the complexity and need for collaboration are at an all-time high. Gone are the days of simple mechanical CAD (MCAD) file structures or basic printed circuit board (PCB) projects. Today, product design encompasses a multi-disciplinary data set, integrating mechanical, electronic, and software components into a comprehensive system-oriented approach. This shift demands a transformation in how product lifecycle management (PLM) systems handle the lifecycle and changes of design files, item/Bill of Materials (BOM) revisions, and change processes. 

At OpenBOM, we developed an innovative approach to address these challenges by organizing the agile new product development process covering design data management, item, and BOM control with change management that simplifies the way companies can manage their product development processes going down to order planning and procurement. 

OpenBOM differentiates itself by providing a comprehensive solution that goes beyond simple file storage or BOM control. It recognizes that modern design projects are not static; they are dynamic and evolve over time through various iterations and modifications. Also, the design itself is not enough and it must be connected to production planning and ordering (I will talk about it in my next blog).

Today, I want to start with two domains – (1) Design versions and (2) item revisions and BOM. 

Let me introduce you to the picture that describes the overall process of design (CAD) version, Item/BOM management, and revisions and change management. 

CAD Design and Version Control

When it comes to CAD design and version control, OpenBOM differentiates itself by offering a comprehensive solution that goes beyond simple file storage. It recognizes that modern design projects are not static; they are dynamic and evolve over time through various iterations and modifications. OpenBOM’s version control system is designed to capture changes in files, ensuring that teams can always access the most current design or revert to previous versions if needed. The attention to versioning helps prevent the common pitfalls of overwriting work done by multiple people or losing track of changes.

Moreover, OpenBOM integrates directly with various CAD tools, allowing designers to work within their preferred software while benefiting from seamless version control and data management and capturing information directly from the design environment (on the desktop or cloud). This integration ensures that the transition from design to data management is fluid, reducing the learning curve and improving user experience  among technical teams.

Item/BOM Control

At the core of OpenBOM’s approach to item and BOM control is its patented collaboration user experience. Traditional BOM management often relies on static documents or spreadsheets that quickly become outdated and can lead to miscommunication and errors. OpenBOM transforms this process into a dynamic, interactive real-time experience where changes made by one team member are instantly visible to others. This real-time collaboration eliminates the delays and confusion that often accompany the design and engineering process, ensuring that all stakeholders are working from the same, up-to-date information.

Furthermore, OpenBOM’s environment supports various levels of permissions and access controls (user-defined views), allowing project managers to tailor the collaboration experience to the needs of their team. Whether it’s providing read-only access to certain stakeholders or enabling full editing capabilities for others, OpenBOM’s flexible platform facilitates a tailored approach to project management and collaboration.

Item/BOM Revision and Change Process

The ability to snapshot an immutable state of a workspace and convert it into an immutable revision is perhaps one of the most powerful features OpenBOM offers for revision control. This feature ensures that at any point in the design process, a complete and accurate representation of the product (Items, BOMs, files) can be captured and preserved. This snapshot includes all relevant design files, BOMs, and associated metadata, providing a holistic view of the product at that specific point in time.

The revision process in OpenBOM can be instantaneous or proceed through a formal approval workflow, accommodating the diverse needs of different organizations. For companies that require rigorous review and approval processes, OpenBOM’s change request and change order system ensures that no revision is finalized without the necessary oversight. This system not only ensures accountability and quality control but also provides a clear audit trail of changes and decisions made throughout the product development lifecycle.


OpenBOM’s novel approach to managing design versions, item/BOM collaboration, revision management, and controlled change approval processes marks a significant leap forward in product development and data management. By addressing the key challenges of system-oriented design complexity, the need for seamless collaboration, and the establishment of a coordinated, connected product structure, OpenBOM provides a comprehensive solution that propels industries into a new era of efficiency and innovation. As product development continues to evolve, the methodologies and tools provided by OpenBOM will undoubtedly become indispensable to organizations seeking to navigate the complexities of modern design and production.

REGISTER FOR FREE and check how OpenBOM can help you. 

Best, Oleg 

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