The last few decades of innovation were related to the development of internet and mobile technologies. The first of these innovations in the late 1990s was the internet. The technologies of companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Salesforce, Airbnb came from innovations in the internet. In the decade since 2007, innovation was all about the development of mobile technologies. Uber, Whatsapp, Instagram; these applications came out of mobile space.
The technologies which were developed during the internet and mobile era will empower manufacturing companies. As a result, the decade of manufacturing innovation is coming soon. Over the weekend, my attention was caught by DigiKey article, The Era of Micromanufacturing. It has a bit of marketing flavor, but I found the following passage important:
One of the fastest growing segments of Digi-Key’s business is quick turn contract manufacturers whose value proposition is built on speed and flexibility. Interfacing with us through APIs, these digital leading companies are able to respond to customer quotes faster and place orders on us without any redundant entering of POs or bills of material. Leveraging our high availability of in-stock product with same day shipping, these customers are able to respond to greatly reduced turnaround times and create additional value for their end customers.
Digi-Key’s model is ideally aligned to the business elements required to support this model. We are committed to maintaining the largest selection of components, in stock, for same day delivery. We’re also the recognized leader in available APIs to support digital connectivity, and we commit to expand this library of services to remove latency and unnecessary delays from the quote and ordering process.
One of the things we are currently working on at OpenBOM is enhancing the functionality of the OpenBOM part catalogs to provide our users a better ability to manage these catalogs, capturing parts and its information, keeping live information coming from online data sources such as DigiKey, sharing Part catalogs between OEMs and contractors (thanks to the amazing OpenBOM real time data share), and many others. Our vision is to provide Part Catalog as a tool to manage Part data for organizations. But at the same time, Part catalogs will provide an essential functionality to connect live information about components to engineers, procurement planners, and suppliers.
In the post internet and mobile era, connected tools such as OpenBOM will provide users with real time information about Bill of Materials and catalogs similar to how a navigation app in your mobile phone is helping you find an optimal route in morning rush hour traffic.
Conclusion. We are developing OpenBOM for the new era of manufacturing; an era when the information about Parts and Bill of Materials will provide essential data in real-time to optimize your manufacturing, procurement, and supply chain. As with a navigation device, it will help you decide what contractor to use and what parts to order among all the choices available online. The era of internet of manufacturing is coming. Stay tuned.
PS. Let’s get to know each other better. If you live in the Greater Boston area, I invite you for a coffee together (coffee is on me). If not nearby, let’s have a virtual coffee session — I will figure out how to send you a real coffee.