Bill of Materials Educational Webinars

Bill of Materials Educational Webinars

Education and information sharing about engineering and manufacturing software are one of the things that don’t let me sleep at night. When I started my Beyond PLM blog a decade ago, the information gap was huge. Unfortunately, even today I have to say that education and information is heavily missed. And when I say that, it doesn’t mean that CAD and PLM companies aren’t using social platforms to share information, the balance between marketing and education is the thing that needs to be changed. When it comes to the variety of topics in PLM such as BOM and change management and many others, the basic information about the organization of data and processes is heavily missed, etc.

Earlier this year, I started my video blog. After a few dozens of videos, I’m currently doing some experiments and planning. Hope video stream will back soon. Stay tuned.

Meantime, I want to share one more initiative I started (part of my openbom.comdisclosure: I’m co-founder and CEO) and it is related to BOM management educational webinars. At OpenBOM we see many people and companies experience difficulties with knowledge how better organize and manage information. This is why we decided to help by organizing these weekly educational webinars.

Here are few webinars we recorded earlier this month.

BOM vs Product Structure:

Creating well-organized Bill of Materials

and… Bill of Materials – formulas, totals, and rollups

Blending Design and Business data into a single BOM

This week webinar is about Blending Design and Business data into a single BOM.

Usually, Bill of Materials starts in engineering and originated from design systems such as CAD. Later one, purchasing and manufacturing planning can use BOM for their purposes. The compartmental organization logic made BOM separation very natural. When it is done, you feel pain relief, since you think it removes cross-department conflicts about BOM structure.

However, it is not true. It hits you back immediately when you start planning your cross-functional processes. Think about purchasing planning and change management process. BOM needs to be organized to support both functions. And it is important to include business view by structuring BOM around end items that imply some business view on a product you are creating.

To blend engineering and business data in Bill of Materials can solve many problems of people with different roles (eg. manufacturing, purchasing, etc.). Applying different business views can help to isolate data access, but at the same time, keep data synchronized and eliminate repeated data entries.

You can learn how to blend engineering and business data in Bill of Materials later this week during our webinar.

Our next webinar – Blending Design and Business data into a single BOMDate, on Wednesday, September 17 PM 2 PM Eastern U.S. Click here to register.

Teaser: Start making sense of the properties and data which your company needs in the Bill of Materials. Join OpenBOM Director of User Experience Steve Hess as he examines the challenges of uniting CAD/Product structure, Costs and Vendors, and final assembly requirements into a single sensible BOM.

What is my conclusion? The educational gaps in engineering, manufacturing software is huge in my view. Digital transformation of the industry is bringing new challenges and opportunities to learn more and improve the way information is managed in manufacturing companies and across the value chain. Using business tools and especially online tools can help to organize information better. I shared by thoughts about it earlier in my PLM Data Commoditization article. Time is everything. You can crush your competitors by using business tools today. Just my thoughts…

Best, Oleg

Disclaimer: I’m co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM developing cloud-based bill of materials and inventory management tool for manufacturing companies, hardware startups, and supply chain. My opinion can be unintentionally biased.


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  • Robert Ferrone

    Hi Oleg.

    I like your sentiments and admire the work you do to put honest learning opportunities out there. You mention wanting to help customers, I just wonder to what extent articles can help them. I can imagine that more questions could be raised than answered because of the breadth and depth of the subject matter, it’s like working your way down the roots of a tree. Are the articles too theoretical/abstract/general to be useful to customers? It’s a bit like looking at perfect bodies in magazines. The reality is different and unique, and to be fair you are good for pointing that out. Not saying that you should stop because your articles are a fantastic library for anyone starting out in the profession, you’ve certainly educated me on topics. I’d be interested to know if customers have overcome challenges based on lessons learned from articles.

    I definitely agree on the pseudo education (marketing in education’s clothing) comments. We’ve not yet done a lot of marketing but we’re about to start and have to ask ourselves whether we want to add to the noise simply to attract attention, or whether we can find a voice that doesn’t harm the environment. We admire you and the things you do. You are a good example to us all.

    You talk of doing more videos. How about videos of you walking in a field or through an airport like Andrew Sparrow? There is a rumour going around that one his next videos is going to be a PLM rap…..beat him to it?

  • beyondplm

    Hi Robert, thanks for questions! There is no single answer. Because there is a high level of diversity in this space. Also, the complexity of topic such as PLM and related engineering and manufacturing environment.

    I can see a growing amount of social media noise and it makes life of people wanting to learn more difficult. So, there is an importance of resources like Beyond PLM. It also related to comments moderating and blocking, which happens a lot these days. It is hard to get feedback about learning, but when I talk to people they usually positive.

    I started video channel, but slowed it down. I’m recording videos every day, but I’m not publishing them because I don’t feel that I found a right voice and tone. And I’m not sure if I want to see PLM learning videos made in airports or conference walking videos. It can be nice to have “reporting videos”, but not learning. Chad Jackson does a good work in his video sharing information about products.

    Best, Oleg