OnQ is saving up to 50% of the time to engineering and purchase team to manage BOMs and Purchase Orders using OpenBOM


OnQ, headquartered in Hayward, Calif (outside of San Francisco) with manufacturing and distribution facilities in Ohio, lists many of the leading essential retailers amongst its clients. OnQ chose to partner with OpenBOM to shore up one executional aspect of an already high-performing engineering team.

“A well-designed retail customer experience drives sales. OnQ is unique because we offer customized design of structural elements of display, as well as full UI/UX design and remote device management to power exciting interactive environments,” says Chief Strategy Officer Carolyn Nolan“Working with OpenBOM enables us to offer improved efficiency and scalability to our customers.”

Anyone who has ever shopped in large retail stores is familiar with OnQ experiences. The company’s polished, stylish retail displays feature consumer items from cosmetics to high-tech digital devices. Many of these displays – designed and built by OnQ, using OpenBOM – allow customers to experience products and learn about their benefits in-store.

Vice President of Engineering, Gus Sharrock, leads a cross-functional engineering team and is in charge of the OpenBOM implementation at OnQ. Gus explains how OpenBOM fits into the OnQ Design and Engineering process.

“OpenBOM manages all the items that eventually end up in our build,” he says, “the singular goal of our OpenBOM implementation was to produce a reliable, stable, and accurate Engineering Bill of Materials to such a level that we can hand it off to our operations team, and source components. We identified specific needs and goals, and OpenBOM was selected because of its unique ability to satisfy those requirements.”  

Gus goes on to say, “Our requirements were clear from the beginning: First, we needed a robust searchable system of record for all our designs; and second, our engineers had to be able to submit a complete package (with a direct link to all drawings) to project managers. OpenBOM, as a company, really brought the entire package, satisfying our two primary goals, and delivering an outstanding training and onboarding experience to my team.”

“OnQ’s business is incredibly complicated due to many different configurations within a single retailer’s stores, each requiring a specific set of properties and CAD integration definitions, which OpenBOM supported,” says Steve Penny, OnQ Senior Director of Engineering.

OnQ had been struggling with manual BOMs and frequent change orders in shared Excel files.

“Now, everything is included in the drawing package. PDFs / DXF / SWX models and drawings and a STEP file for each design” says Steve. “OpenBOM dovetails nicely into our Solidworks property manager automation, a feature we really liked in the onboarding process.”

As is often the case, it’s the little things that can really amplify the efficiency of any process. OnQ had a well-defined internal process around each part or assembly Type, be it wood, metal, plastic, PCB, electrical, etc.

“The simple fact that every part in the BOM has a preview thumbnail image and we could easily filter on the Type, really improved our manufacturing process,” says Steve.

Steve estimates that the purchasing team has reduced the time it takes to process a BOM/Order by 50%.

“The onboarding process and the time Steve Hess (OpenBOM Director of User Experience) spent with my team forced us to look inward and standardize on names, categories, values, etc. This activity was very important to our success.

The fact is that OpenBOM helps us produce better work; and that ripples through our entire company.” – Steve Penny.

To learn more about OnQ please visit www.onqsolutions.com

To learn more about OpenBOM please visit www.openbom.com

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