Gates Underwater Products Uses OpenBOM To Connects Design Engineers, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Teams Together

Gates Underwater Products
Gates Underwater Products

San Diego California-based Gates Underwater Products has been a pioneer in underwater cinematography for over 50 years! They continue that tradition today delivering reliability and innovation their customers have come to expect.

President John Ellerbrock attributes that success to their adaptability to ever-changing consumer and professional demands of underwater cinematography.  OpenBOM is pleased to be part of the technology stack that keeps Gates a leader in the industry.

Bottom line,” says John, “OpenBOM is a perfectly suited, good value product. It’s an excellent match to our needs.”

John goes on to say that he appreciates how OpenBOM fits the size of his business as they scale, “I did not anticipate the overall benefit of the Solidworks integration” he says.  “It was a big WOW!  moment.  Since then the scope of what we put in OpenBOM has grown.  We can control more information, specifications,and requirements. OpenBOM forces adherence to a process!”

See What John Ellerbrock Has To Say About OpenBOM

John’s background as a business leader is in government style configuration management and Form, Fit, and Function requirements. 

“Gates designed on hand drawings when we (my wife Karen and I) purchased the company in 2002.  We immediately required different systems for design and inventory control, so we went to Solidworks and Excel.  But as Gates grew, there came a point where we had too many spreadsheets, and none reliably interconnected.  Our design and assemblies simply outgrew Excel.”

According to John, his team needed a way to:

  1. Capture and maintain BOMs
  2. Provide a single repository for cost and inventory
  3. Perform product pricing calculations and forecasting
  4. Document and manage costs of good sold
  5. Share and allow simultaneous use…..  Not emailing!!

John turned to OpenBOM.  He started the company off with a single seat of OpenBOM then added the Team subscription as demand warranted. “The OpenBOM Team product is a good fit for us as a company.  We have Engineers on CAD, folks in manufacturing and assembly, and recently incorporated OpenBOM in our supply team.”

“OpenBOM is our single source of truth,”  says John. “ We have one location for parts catalog, COGS, inventory management, and for assembly BOMs.  All in OpenBOM, which has an intuitive and easy to navigate interface.  Creation and update of BOMs is driven from within the Solidworks environment, so the link is always preserved and synced.  Someone in purchasing can open the BOM in OpenBOM and see the exact product and know what to buy.”

“We are moving steadily toward running the business on OpenBOM.  It just works the way we want to work.  Naturally, and as a long-established company, we have a large backlog of existing products so migration to OpenBOM takes a systematic approach.  In the end, we will have a fully digital representation of our products in Solidworks and OpenBOM”

My favorite thing about OpenBOM is “it is right-sized for my company.  Filling a niche that MRP systems are not.  Other programs are too limited or too cost too much.  OpenBOM offers a lot of benefits to a company in a certain range and at a great value.“

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