In my previous post “Search for the right BOM – I’m feeling lucky? “, I started to discover possible ways to handle Bill of Materials in the organization and extended enterprise. Thank you all for your comments. I think we had a good conversation, so I’d like to continue now in slightly different direction. Before I speak about the diversity of Bill of Materials I’d like to say that the core of this approach is to have multiple Bill of Materials for various aspects of product development (such as Design, Engineering. Manufacturing, Maintenance etc.). So, we have multiple Bill of Materials. These multiple Bill of Materials are managed normally by different systems. By using of this approach we have several possible combinations of BOM within an organization.
But there is opposite approach: There are NO multiple Bill of Materials. Instead we have systems that define a single BOM for the organization where all relevant pieces of information are connected and synchronized. According to the type of information you are looking for, you can extract a subset of this information from the overall Bill of Materials system. This overall BOM structures managed and synchronized among all groups within an organization. Therefore, this approach can simplify the way different pieces of product-related information are managed in an organization.
How can you organize this synchronized Bill of Material overall? There are many technological approaches that can be mentioned here – PLM with federated Bill of Material capabilities, data warehousing, business intelligence, PIM, and enterprise search. Even if these approaches are sensitive from the standpoint of synchronizing information between different enterprise systems, all of these technologies have the potential to be used for this purpose.
I would be interested to know if you see the practice of a synchronized Bill of Materials applicable in your organization.
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.