Here is a quick review of what OpenBOM does. For detailed description, navigate to OpenBOM Online Training Library. 

Where OpenBOM idea came from? I was managing product development teams and found how my work was getting easier if my teams had a shared Google spreadsheet with the information about what we do -projects, action plans, etc. Google Sheets can be easily shared and update information in real-time. It was my aha moment how to start OpenBOM. 

1- A continuous process for managing Items, BOMs, Planning (Order BOM), and Purchase Orders. 

Here is a foundation of the OpenBOM process:

Production planning can be thought of as the process, end-to-end, of using your BOM to buy the parts you need.  Video of the planning process.

  1. Assign vendors to items in Catalog
  2. Calculate quantities based on Bill of Materials for specific product batch
  3. Manage inventory of parts by controlling Quantity on Hand
  4. Organizing Order BOM to provide a summary of what needs to be purchased from which vendors
  5. Automate preparation of Purchase Orders to help sourcing parts and contract work

The video below shows you OpenBOM production planning and batch orders for assembly you designed in the CAD system.

Below is a snapshot of the process 

Here is a foundation of the OpenBOM process: 

Production planning can be thought of as the process, end-to-end, of using your BOM to buy the parts you need.  Video of planning process.

  1. Assign vendors to items in Catalog
  2. Calculate quantities based on Bill of Materials for specific product batch
  3. Manage inventory of parts by controlling Quantity on Hand
  4. Organizing Order BOM to provide a summary of what needs to be purchased from which vendors
  5. Automate preparation of Purchase Orders to help sourcing parts and contract work

2- An online (now it called SaaS) applications you can easily log in from any browser

OpenBOM is available globally via the browser in any part of the world. It runs on the most secured infrastructure (Amazon Web Services – AWS) and you can create an account and get access. Check the map on our website – we have users and customers from San-Francisco to Australia and New Zealand. We stopped updating the picture, because we cannot separate multiple dots in Europe and North America. 

3- User experience as easy as Excel or spreadsheet in data organization, calculations, and search

Take a look at the OpenBOM user interface. It looks and smells like Excel, but there is a sophisticated database system we run behind that simplicity. You can add/delete a column, change the order, add formulas and do almost everything you can do in Excel. All these operations will be translated into product data managed in a structured way. 

4- Support core product information data model

OpenBOM information model contains (a) Reference instance to prevent data redundancy (think about one screw copied multiple times in all your Excels); (b) Hierarchical (nesting) to create multi-level BOM, which is a real pain in Excel, without the ability to calculate quantities and rollups. 

You can organize data in the way of catalogs – database of everything you have – standard parts, materials, assemblies. The catalogs hold the common information about items – eg. description, manufacturer, cost, supplier.  In addition to catalogs, Bill of materials allows you to create a product hierarchical structure. Easy switch between Multi-level and Flattened BOM gives you the magic of BOM with an easy Excel user experience. 

Read more OpenBOM Training Library – Understand OpenBOM. 

5- Integration with CAD tools.

It is a pain to get data out of engineering tool and all engineering web applications in the past were lacking good CAD integrations. 

OpenBOM is integrated with ALL mechanical and electronic CAD systems. Take a look at the OpenBOM website integration page. We can easily extract information from your design and put it on OpenBOM. Even more, we will merge /update this information when your design will change. 

Check what CAD integrations OpenBOM supports today. 

6- Change Management process.

It is so hard in Excel and it must be an embedded function in OpenBOM to manage changes

OpenBOM automatically captures all changes. You don’t need to worry about it. Any change is captured in history and can be reviewed – who did what and when. In addition to that, a special revision mechanism allows you to keep baselines (immutable snapshots) of BOM revision at any moment of time. It works with the hierarchical structure, which eliminates the problems of managing the history of product structures. OpenBOM provides support for change management processes including change requests and approvals. Learn more here – Change Management and Approvals. 

7- Visual, Ease of share, export.

The value of information is based on how easy it can be shared downstream. We made it “open” – easy to share and consume.  

OpenBOM share function works exactly like Google Sheet. You click on share and you can make BOM or any piece of information available to anybody else. You can share information with people working in your company and also contractors and suppliers. You can control who can see which columns and data. A powerful Team view mechanism allows you to control data sharing options.

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