openBoM: from sequential process to simultaneous BOM changes and data sharing

The engineering and manufacturing process requires the coordination of multiple organizations and people often located in multiple places and time zones. Design, engineering and manufacturing also require the creation and transfer of significant amounts of document and information between people. Organizing and orchestrating this information management and process in an efficient manner is not a simple task when you consider data management, collaboration, process workflows, and so on. Those are just samples of some of the most important things when selecting the right tool set for modern distributed manufacturing scenarios.

Jos Voskuil, a well known blogger and change management consultant provide us very interesting advice in his blog post, PLM and blockers, about what are the most important concepts and techniques. According to Jos, it is all about people sharing data. Check out the following passage:

The main concept behind PLM is that people share data. It can be around a project, a product, a plant through the whole lifecycle. In particular during the early lifecycle phases, there is a lot of information that is not yet 100 percent mature. You could decide to wait till everything is mature before sharing it with others (the classical sequential manner), however the chance of doing it right the first time is low. Several iterations between disciplines will be required before the data is approved. The more and more a company works sequential, the higher costs of changes are and the longer the time to market. Due to this rigidness of this sequential approach, it becomes difficult to respond rapidly to customer or market demands. Therefore in theory, (and it is not a PLM theory), concurrent engineering should reduce the amount of iterations and the total time to market by working in parallel in not approved data yet.

These concepts resonated with me. Especially with everything that’s related to moving from sequential processes to concurrent applications. In yesterday’s blog, I explained how openBoM allows you to manage concurrent changes between engineers using CAD system and people focusing on supply chain and procurement processes.

I have more to say about it. The openBoM global data model allows you to organize data and processes in a very flexible way by sharing data and activities between people, allowing data to be updated simultaneously and coordinate people as they work in parallel.

At openBoM we are thinking of how to simplify data collaboration and communication between organizations and individual engineers, contractors and suppliers by establishing cloud data management systems capable of managing data on a very granular level defining properties, Bill of Materials, items and inventories. And integrating with CAD systems which help engineers create and maintain a consistent Bill of Materials across distributed environments.

Moreover, openBoM is not replacing existing systems of record in a company. It captures data from where it resides and allows you to communicate, collaborate and engage with the Bill of Material process. Your engagement as a team becomes more effectively focused on tasks such as knowing the history of activities made by users from different teams, companies and organizations. All together, openBoM features gives your company a productive future of BOM collaboration and engagement.

Sharing a BOM with others and collaborating with them in real-time is one of the reasons openBoM is a key enabler for moving from sequential process to concurrent processes.

Multiple people across teams and organizations can work on a BOM at the same time:

openBoM supports simultaneous changes to be made by multiple users and applications

And how about organizing processes? openBOM allows you to model data in a flexible way to reflect communication between people. Read more about it here. openBoM gives you the flexibility to create properties and use them in a BOM. When you create a new property in openBoM, the property is available not only to you, but to other users as well. This usually is a very good thing because it allows you and others to reuse properties and leverage the knowledge of everyone using openBoM.

Conclusion. openBoM is an enabler that helps people communicate more effectively and work productively. We are working with our users such as individual contractors and in small and larger companies learning how best openBOM can help you manage your BOMs. Would you like to explore openBoM technologies? Please register with openBOM or reach out to me to talk about how to transform communication and collaboration.

Best, Oleg @