How to make BOM data import painless

One of the things I discovered during many years of involvement with PLM projects and related implementations is that “data import” is painful. In many implementations, the problem is called “legacy data” and is never simple to deal with. You can catch up on some of my BeyondPLM articles addressing this problem:

1 — The importance of product data cleanup

2 — Legacy data can torpedo your PLM implementation

3 — Five reasons why it’s hard to replace Excel with PLM

There are many reasons why data import is painful. Among the main reasons is the complexity involved with organizing the import process. Data in most PLM systems have many dependencies and constraints which are hard to manage.

From the earliest inception of openBoM’s design, we’ve thought hard and long how to provide pain relief to the problem of BOM data import. There’s a large variety of data residing in Excel spreadsheets. Moreover, data in PLM legacy system(s) is usually exported to Excel. Ensuring data from spreadsheets is easily captured in openBoM was something we wanted to solve.

One of the first things we did towards solving the problem of data import is to make it easy to copy/paste data from spreadsheet to openBoM. Copy/paste makes it possible to bring in data step-by-step.

Another way to bring data to openBoM is to import data from spreadsheets. Because of openBoM’s flexible data modeling, you don’t need to “map” data making the import process easier. Remember, you should place the row with property (column) names into row #6 in the spreadsheet and it has to contain one column name “Part Number”.

Conclusion. We’re not fooling ourselves. We’re are not done by any means solving the problem of data import. There are many use cases that will require further programming to import data. However, by initially providing simplicity, openBoM’s data import is almost good enough for most day-to-day use cases you’re likely to encounter. I want to learn more about your BOM data import challenges. It will help us develop openBoM to better support your BOM management tasks.

Let’s talk and work together to solve the BOM data import problem.

Best, Oleg @