Right after its emergence, Cloud Computing enabled a new approach in solving of IT setbacks and complexities. Instead of using local server or a personal computer, Cloud technology utilizes a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data. More specifically, this “network” is the key element responsible for transforming and shifting the IT paradigm. To top it all, continuous and enhanced connectivity and virtualization combined with sharing of computing power, storage, and other resources facilitated new user experience and business models in the otherwise conventional IT ecosystem. Therefore, meriting these Cloud Computing based changes, data management, processing, and analytics has created new value by potentially uplifting the overall scenario of IT business for good.
Working on these similar lines, Oleg Shilovitsky, the Co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM took upon the mission to bring new cloud-enabled innovation to manufacturing companies. The Co-founder and CEO of OpenBOM has been building software products for data management, engineering, and manufacturing for the last 25 years. Throughout his professional career, he has developed PDM & PLM software and worked for companies such as Dassault Systems and Autodesk. Moreover, it was his true passion and fascination towards manufacturing industry and new technologies along with previous experiences of working with startups as well as large companies that led him to launch OpenBOM.
Not only this, Oleg is also an accomplished author of Beyond PLM, a leading source of information and commentary about engineering and manufacturing software for the last 10 years. He also serves as a consultant and advisor to a number of startups and industrial companies.
Trip down the Memory Lane
Oleg was born in Soviet Union where he received academic schooling and started his professional experience in the early 1990s. It was his parents and family that truly helped him to form his belief that a combination of education and hard work can help to achieve everything one wants.
The Co-founder & CEO of OpenBOM is a trained construction engineer with specialization in math, computers and CAD systems. During his academia and first professional experience, Oleg was fortunate to get exposed to some CAD technologies. Later, after immigrating to Israel in 1990s, he continued to work in the software engineering industry, which inspired and influenced him about the practical applications and visible results. This was the reflective platform where one can see a car, an aeroplane, a refrigerator, and a building right from its process of creation to actually becoming the refined products.
Oleg was also fortunate as an engineer and a developer to get exposed to the end users and customers. Even today, many potential technologies are lost because people who created them cannot find a way to bring them to the end users. This was a crucial signpost that primarily helped Oleg to understand customer requirements and based on which he employed those insights to bridge the gaps between technologies and customers through his ventures.
Seeds of Innovation Begins with Identification of Existing Gaps & Technological Fascination
Oleg, being an intricate part of the software industry, noticed an untapped problem, which was unsolved for a long time. Indisputably, it is known that Bills of Materials (BOM) is the lifeblood of every product development and manufacturing business environment, which is highly distributed. Furthermore, engineers, manufacturing facilities, contractors, suppliers, and customers are located everywhere. At the same time, one of the most popular tools is Excel, which creates many problems such as errors, manual BOM creation, bad visualization, inability to create rollups and calculations, inability to centralize data about BOMs, and impossibility to track history and revisions. This is only a short list of problems that manufacturing companies experience when working with BOM using Excel and old legacy tools.
On top of this, communication between engineers, contractors, suppliers, customers, production is a big challenge. Emails with Excel attachments and separate databases and siloed information are not a good way to solve a problem of BOM management for modern manufacturing. Therefore, companies are looking for unified access to real-time information, sourcing, and production. The demand of every manufacturing company for accurate and up to date BOM, ease of BOM creation, and synchronizing of BOMs with engineering tools (eg. CAD systems).
Understanding the depth of Cloud Computing along with its multiple advantages, Oleg was waiting for the right time and right place to explore and leverage this technology for simplifying the issues faced by hardware startups, manufacturing, and supply chain sectors related to BOM.
OpenBOM: A Unique Online Tool to Create & Manage BOM & Part Catalogs
Established in 2015, OpenBOM offers platform and applications for manufacturing companies to help them to manage BOM, part catalogs and other related data about product, engineering and manufacturing processes. OpenBOM is located in Boston, MA while its engineering team is widely distributed from California to Eastern Europe.
Fascinatingly, simplicity and ease of use combined with a real-time collaboration and simultaneous editing paradigm (similar paradigm was pioneered by Google Docs and used by many cloud products these days) creates a unique user experience. Cloud technology allows simplified user adoption where it’s advanced data management and team collaboration features allows instant data sharing between teams located around the globe keeping everyone literally “on the same BOM” all in less than 15 mins.
Presently, OpenBOM has thousands of users and customers worldwide. The leading BOM solutions provider’s expert development team uses latest agile product development methods and furnishes timely versions of OpenBOM with customer driven improvements, new features and capabilities, and bug fixes every month. They also offer the most responsive customer support available via product embedded tools and 24/7 online support.
Rationalities for Becoming the Obvious Choice of Engineers and Manufacturers
OpenBOM contains following mentioned features that make users’ BOM workflow easy. Likewise, anyone who needs to create a BOM from the smallest one-person operation to a large enterprise with hundreds of members can find the right solution at OpenBOM.
- OpenBOM is easier to use than any PDM, PLM or ERP system and requires no special skills.
- Having great partnerships with leading manufacturing software vendors, the Cloud-enabled platform is integrated with CAD, PLM and ERP systems.
- Individuals & companies while working on a BOM in real-time with their respective teams can experience instant updates.
- Using OpenBOM, it is now possible to connect complete users’ data from different sources in a single BOM.
- Features such as thumbnail images of part catalogs and assemblies in the BOM can be generated.
- All changes and revisions to users’s BOM are stored in a history log if needed.
- Access to sharing of user data is allowed only after permission, and
- Management of standard and custom parts for products in centralized Part Catalogs can be done by easily maintaining “quantity on hand” for each part in the catalogs.
Taking the World One BOM at a Time
OpenBOM is at a very interesting period. Oleg and his expert team have created a technological foundation and are now focusing on adoption of their advanced tools. In future, the team of OpenBOM plans to take over the world “one BOM at the time”. They wish to develop a specialized, one-of-a-kind and customized triage for instance as Facebook is for photos, GitHub is for Software, similarly, OpenBOM will become for BOM and part catalogs.
Commenting on the role of Cloud-enabled OpenBOM and its assistance in the manufacturing companies, the Co-founder and CEO asserts, “In my view, OpenBOM will play a significant role in helping manufacturing companies to work in a very challenging modern manufacturing environment by connecting everyone in a network and providing access to reliable truthful information including analytic and data intelligence.”