What Can You Do With OpenBOM Free Account?

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
3 May, 2022 | 4 min for reading
What Can You Do With OpenBOM Free Account?

Industrial companies are constantly evolving with new technology and processes. The engineering and manufacturing process can be complex and difficult to manage. OpenBOM is a cloud-native platform that helps you to manage product information, and product lifecycle, connect your engineering and manufacturing teams as well as connect with contractors and suppliers.

OpenBOM is an online platform and it is available for our users and customers via subscriptions. In my earlier article, I provided a summary of all subscription services, which gives you a quick overview of what they do. 

In my article today, I want to talk about OpenBOM Free User Subscriptions, their value, and why you might consider having OpenBOM Free User subscriptions even if you’re not planning to migrate to one of the premium subscriptions such as a professional user, team, or company. 

Digital Transformation and Escape From Excel 

If you’re like most manufacturers, your bill of materials (BOM) is probably a mess. It’s likely scattered across multiple Excel files, and it’s difficult to keep track of changes and revisions. What’s more, if you need to make any changes to your BOM, you have to tediously go through each Excel file and update them all manually. This process can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially if you’re working on a tight deadline. 

Excel is a first go solution for every engineer or company to manage the Bill of Materials. History is the root cause for all the mistakes engineers and manufacturing companies do when they pick this choice. 

Here are 3 reasons why companies slip into Excel data management. 

  • Existing CAD exports are using Excel 
  • Flexible to add any data
  • Clear ownership and zero $$$ to start 

While Excel (or other spreadsheet software) can be easy to start, it brings tons of problems and hidden costs down the road. 

So, regardless of what you do to manage Bill of Materials, Excel or a spreadsheet will quickly bring you to the point where you will pay much more to keep managing your data using Excel. 

OpenBOM Free User Value 

Here are the top 3 fundamental problems that you will have to deal with if you will keep managing data using Excel spreadsheets. 

  1. Generate Part Numbers and manage a single source of data about items 
  2. Cannot manage a structured data 
  3. Cannot manage the history of changes (eg. revisions) 

No matter what you do with Excel when you have two projects or two BOMs, you need to replicate the item information – Part Number and all other attributes (eg. Description, Cost, Manufacturer Part Number, etc.) Such duplication is not good and having your data in such a format, will expose you to mistakes, find a single correct record about a specific Item. 

Structured data (eg. BOM, or what is called product structure) is represented by a hierarchical structure of components, with their relationships and dependencies (e.g – Where used?). There is no Excel or spreadsheet capable to manage such a data structure. OpenBOM has it automatically done by anyone. When you create a BOM, OpenBOM automatically recognizes the relationships and allows you to manage them in a simple way. 

Change is the only constant in product development. Therefore to manage changes and being able to differentiate between multiple revisions of the BOM and items is very important. OpenBOM gives you this out of the box. 

Besides these three important value differences, the OpenBOM Free user subscription provides some of those that are not specific to BOM, but are very helpful to any product development professional. 

  1.  Easy import of data from Excel (or Google Spreadsheet)
  2. Visual BOM representation with image previews 
  3.  Easy link to other sources of information. 
  4.  Automatic backup 

How to Start Using OpenBOM

To start using OpenBOM for free is simple. You just need to create a new registration on the website and you should be ready to go. OpenBOM is available via the browser interface. It should be really easy and simple to use. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Free User 

We are facing many questions about OpenBOM Free users, so I decided to put some sort of typical Q&A to them in my article. 

Q: Can I use the free OpenBOM Subscription with CAD systems? 

A: No, you need to have a subscription

Q: Can I share data with other users? 

A: No, you need to have a subscription to do so. 

Q: Can I export data using free user? 

A: No, export is a premium function 

Q: Is OpenBOM open source? 

A: OpenBOM is not open-source, it is an application (SaaS) that runs in the cloud. OpenBOM word “open” emphasizes openness and helps to manage manufacturing companies. 

Conclusion

Although OpenBOM free user is quite limiting, you can use it as a first step to start your digital journey and organize your BOM data from multiple systems and under the same root. 

REGISTER FOR FREE and see the immediate value of OpenBOM services. 

Best, Oleg

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