OpenBOM is a SaaS network-based global collaborative platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers with their customers, contractors, and suppliers. In this article, which is a part of our series on After Sales, Oleg Shilovitsky, Co-Founder and Emmanuel Benoit, CEO Agoragroup,  share their perspectives about product life management.

Could we have a short presentation of you and OpenBOM?

Open Boom data management aftersales

OpenBOM is a digital network platform that manages product data and connects manufacturers with supply chain networks. We connect people and companies through data like Airbnb, Uber etc. The idea is to provide the community with a network platform with a very specific solution. We believe in data! The uniqueness of our product is the data management on demand, no need to install or register to start using it, we have built a SaaS platform available globally. We started OpenBOM in 2016 and since then OpenBOM helped thousands of users and customers to manage bill of materials, parts, vendors, and suppliers’ purchases.

How can team collaborate on OpenBOM ?

Our goal is to enhance creativity with the agile and collaborative method. Multiple parts can manage data, capture design, share product structure, estimate cost, buy some components. The key is that we provide a complete set of information with an access control panel. Your team will no longer be lost in a jungle of excel files, all the information they need is online, updated, secured, and can be shared in real-time.

What is your view on the Printed Circuit Board and software impact on Product Life management?

Great question! We see the BOM as a multidisciplinary set of information that includes 3 main categories: the traditionally mechanical part, the electronic with the PCB, and the software. Our customers are more and more requesting a global approach. This is new in the field, but we strongly believe that the future is a flexible model that connects all the pieces of the BOM specially the PCB and the software.

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In our field, domestic appliance, the product’s useful life often outlasts the life cycle of its components. This leads to a spare part replacement program. How does OpenBom deal with this type of parts management (PM)?

It’s a very important point because the life cycle of a product is extended so we need to track the information for products in the field. In the old days of PM, as soon as the date goes out, it disappears. We can no longer think that way. We need to create a BOM of every physical product that you have on the field. What OpenBOM gives you is a unique way to create product representation not only for engineering BOM but also for physical instances which allows the technician to know exactly what the product is. The maintenance program is connected the BOM to each physical product in the field.

Do you think at some point, the consumer will have access to the BOM of a product?

I’ve seen that more and more manufacturers are sharing a BOM with the customer. The customer will be able to use the BOM to order a maintenance spare part. This is a good way to simplify communication and information between brand and consumer. But there are still great challenges to branch out the data management to the consumer because some vendors are protective about the maintenance spare part.

How do you see the evolution of the supply chain and the impact on spare parts management?

Information will transform the way the industry communicates. There will be more selection of components, more business cases through communication. The company becomes more intelligent. The connectivity between suppliers and manufacturing will be grown based on the need for information and transparency. The market has a lot of opportunities, and we are just at the beginning of a new and exciting era.