Recently, users have asked how openBoM works with ERP applications. It’s no surprise many of our users started off with a design and engineering BOM and now are discovering how to connect things to production systems such as MRP, ERP, procurement, among others.
Communication between engineering and manufacturing isn’t simple. There are two important aspects relating to BOM and change management I’d like to discuss in this post. You usually send an entire BOM to ERP or other software you use for manufacturing and procurement; usually, it’s sent once. Then, changes need to be communicated. This is done in more or less in a formal fashion. However, this process usually requires the management of change records.
openBoM gives you many unique advantages because it records every single change done in the BOM. Nothing will be lost and all changes will be recorded. In addition to this, you can create revisions (snapshots or baselines) that will be preserved to track what was in the BOM at a specific moment of time. You can track back to these revisions and create change reports between revisions.
So how can you export a BOM to ERP/MRP?
1. Using a simple Export. This is a simplest way. You can export data to Excel, PDF or CSV format directly from within openBoM. In particular, the CSV format is very useful. Most manufacturing companies we’ve been working with have some scripts that can send a BOM to an ERP system using CSV files. This is a good starting point for most.
2. Creating a change report. Change reports are available in the openBoM history panel. You can manage revisions in your BOM; they will be used to create change reports. The video below gives you an idea of how change management works along with illustrating how a change report is created. Change reports are helpful when integrated into a company’s change process. There is no formal ECO process management in openBoM, however, we are exploring how to offer them — your feedback would be very much welcomed!
3. REST API. openBoM is flexible providing an API to extract data and changes. There are a number of online tools that can help you orchestrate processes using REST API. It is one of the mainstream ways to integrate different services online. If you want to work with our API, please reach out and talk to us.
openBoM can be integrated with ERP and other related enterprise systems. We understand we’re just at the beginning and certain features are missing. Please talk to us about your requirements and needs. We would love to discuss these with you.
Oleg, July 2017