Tips how to move from Spreadsheets to OpenBOM

Oleg Shilovitsky
Oleg Shilovitsky
28 September, 2020 | 3 min for reading

Change is hard and I know this. Excels seems to be a safe harbor you love and hate and at the same time. Moving a company to another solution can be painful. Continue with Excel is a pain, but maybe your PDM system you have already can do a job? Also, IT people told you that they can develop a solution to solve the exact problems you have.

What possible concerns you might have before start using OpenBOM?

1- How to push an entire company to switch from Excel to OpenBOM? 

The truth is that you should not do so. The agile approach is your friend. Think about stages and not one big bang. First, think about how to organize data, extract BOMs and just rely on OpenBOM export to send it to Excel or PDF file and share it with everyone. No pain for others, but I’m sure you will drive their curiosity asking how did you do such a nice BOMs with images and make it all organized. By that time, you will save tons of money and time by stopping counting parts. When your colleagues are ready, move on.

2- What if something goes wrong? How can I manage my risks? 

OpenBOM has a monthly subscription. We put ourselves on fire and have to convince you to use it month to month. If something goes wrong, your risk is only one month. At the same time, think about how important for us to see you continue with the subscriptions.

3- Can I just use a PDM system?

While PDM systems are great to manage files, they usually suck in item-oriented PLM solutions, like OpenBOM. The ability to manage multi-disciplinary data, hierarchical relationships and business information are absolute winners. Most of PDM systems don’t have flexible parent-child relationships mechanism combined with manual relationships management. You can easily organize multi-disciplinary data in the structures and push it out downstream.

Here are some problems to remember

  • Staying with Excel might be good at this moment, but eventually, your data and process will become more complex and you don’t want to grow “CEO – chief excel officer” in your company. One day it will backfire for sure
  • Relying on PDM might sound like a good option to use the solution you have. But the truth is PDMs are never designed to share information downstream efficiently. Most of PDMs today are archaic database-driven application to manage files check-in/out. No business functions and flexibility OpenBOM can provide.
  • IT promises can be a way to create great relationships with IT people, but honestly, you don’t want manufacturing organizations to develop software. The priority and focus on IT will be in a different place long run.

What if you continue to use Excel?

If you will continue to manage BOM using Excel, it will cause you a lot of manual activity, spent time and potential mistakes. It can cost a fortune to your manufacturing business as a result of delays, wrong parts orders, and endless communications.

Here is what is going to happen if you will be using OpenBOM

You will maintain catalogs with all parts and assemblies you need to manage and order
You will manage Quantity on Hands to control your stock level
You will manage vendors and contact information aligned with catalogs.
You will automate the process of planning capturing information from BOMs and generating RFQa and POs with visual and accurate information

Even more, engineers in your company will do…

  • Eliminate the manual process of BOM management and manual CAD data extraction.
  • Reporting and updates will be automatically
  • The updates will be easy. Imagine that – you change the design in CAD/BOM and RFQ is updated automatically.
  • You will finally have FREE TIME not dealing with Excel maintenance
  • And you will FINALLY know how many parts you have, what did you order and when to expect it to arrive.

What stops you from subscribing to OpenBOM?

Get free 14-days trial…

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