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Smooth handlers for Bill of Materials or BoM users

November 17, 2010 3 comments

Bill Of Material or BoM is often assumed to be a very complicated and integral aspect of a PLM system. Its a challenge to solution providers to keep BoM Management solution simple and at the same time provide a very comprehensive representation of the product structure.Its very important to simplify a BoM user’s life by providing easy to use BoM Managment solution.

In my quest to find out what are the features that a BoM customer would love to have in a BOM Management solution, I have listed down a few key capabilities that will add value to the BoM users.

Car Assembly Structure - A Complex BoM

Car Assembly Structure - A Complex BoM

BoM Markup
It is one unique feature that allows BoM users to save the changes or modifications to the structure.The modification refers to the adding or removing or replacing of the parts. This feature lets the user save the modifications and resume back.The changes are marked using some color codes which enables the BoM users easily identify the previous changes applied to the structure.This way the BoM users reduce rework and also save a great amount of time.

Compare Tools
This feature for surely makes the BoM users life a cake walk.On a higher level any user would like to make two kinds of comparisons 1-Object Comparison and 2-comparing the BoM structures itself. Object compare lets the user compare the basic attributes of the objects and allow the users to make dependent decisions and the structure compare would help the user compare two different assemblies and to some extent allow the users to even synchronize the structures after comparing the structures.This really makes life very easy by letting you avoid the complexity of traversing the structures repeatedly to do the necessary structural modifications.

Where Used/ Where Referenced
Imagine you have traversed to a very complex structure and now you really need to know the roots, where used /where referenced is one such utility that makes you breathe some fresh air. With the increasing amount of product complexity in today’s world Where Used/Where referenced plays an angels role in letting you find the roots regardless of the complexities involved.

Specifications/Reference Documents
Of course BoM would just be a skeleton without the appropriate specifications or reference documents.The specifications are basically the CAD files or the 2D or most recently the 3D files. This lets the engineering team to check in the appropriate(manual justification) CAD files into the part object representation in the BoM.

Enterprise Search
The current generation can’t imagine a life without google. Applying the same principles, a BoM user would require to quickly search the parts in the system and kind of assign the parts and come up with a perfect assembly. Enterprise search is another very dependable capability in the eyes of a BoM user.

Variant Configuration & Effectivity Filters
Mass Customization is the order of the day. The user must be able to generate a BoM based on Product Configuration and same time should be able to filter the BoM based on different Product Configurations.

Subscriptions
Subscriptions could be email based or even RSS feeds based. Its one of the quickest way to inform end users about the modifications and enable a faster approval process. Subscriptions are preference based and its mandatory for the user to subscribe to the events to avail the subscription features.

These are some of them I could quickly think of….

What are your thoughts and what other functionalities could add value to a BoM user?

Best Regards, Ajit

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Categories: BoM Management