What is it?

Managing changes is an important product lifecycle management function. It is essential to be able to track historical changes and to access previously released information such as bills of materials, items, and documents.

Revision control is a mechanism that provides a way to store historical information and keep track of items, BOMs, and documents. A revision is an immutable record of information that can always be accessed but cannot be changed. It includes information such as data property files, as well as information about when the change was performed, by who, and why.

Complex product information requires a way to control revisions of interconnected (hierarchical) structures by estimating the dependencies between different levels (assemblies, sub-assemblies, and parts).

Why do you need it?

If your product development team is still using Excel spreadsheets to manage data, your company may find itself in an Excel mess. Data errors could cost you a fortune in the future.

It is crucial to track the lifecycle of a product. Similarly, revision control is a fundamental mechanism to track the complete history of changes made to a product over time. It is equally important for all lifecycle stages – engineering, planning, manufacturing, maintenance, and services. Failing to properly manage revisions can lead to a business losing large amounts of money due to disorganization.

It is also important to have control over multiple revisions as it allows you to give support and/or service the specific revision that was previously sent to the customer.

Why is OpenBOM different?

Changes are constant but with OpenBOM you are easily able to track and revise any changes in items and BOMs.

OpenBOM provides a simple yet flexible mechanism to track changes and revisions. It features automatic tracking of change history as well as collaborative change tracking combined with the “Save Revision” command. (Note : It can be integrated into ECR/ECO functions.) Revision control involves the tracking of the item’s/BOM’s history, including file attachments, and attributes.

The main difference with OpenBOM is the ability it gives you to perform changes collaboratively with multiple users, capture them automatically, and later perform the “Save Revision” command. These functions provide a unique level of collaboration combined with revision management of hierarchical structures.

OpenBOM provides a unique way of collaborating on revision management that ensures accuracy. Instead of creating a new revision, making changes to it, and then releasing the new revision, you can easily view the “Latest State” that allows team members to edit information in real time. This means that everyone uses the same up-to-date revision.

OpenBOM change reports, requests, and change orders allow you to track the history and compare the differences between revisions before they can be made. This report can be displayed in OpenBOM as well as exported as an Excel file.

How does it work?

OpenBOM’s revision mechanism is available in catalogs (for an item) and bills of materials. The application tracks all changes automatically and also, provides a mechanism to save a revision (for extended ECR/ECO functionality, check the “Change Management” article).

To access revisions, navigate to the item revision or BOM revision menu. You should be able to access the list of revisions as well as impact the process of revision creation. OpenBOM supports both (bottom up and top down) ways to manage revisions.

Check “More” for revision and history documentation.

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