Perfect tool for BOM processing
BOMArchitect's functionality contributes to fast, efficient and error-free BOM processing, transforming the BOM validation and processing from tedious manual search work into an efficient and highly automated operation. The available functionality, tested with tens of thousands of production BOMs, is the perfect toolbox for BOM processing. The component research and self learning functions operate specialized tools to dramatically speed up the BOM clean-up and processing.
Clever functionality allows the system to extract all relevant component information from the MRP/ERP system without direct connectivity. The process automatically populates and optimizes the internal database (CIS) within seconds.
The CIS (Component Information Source) is at the heart of BOMArchitect, representing the key component information from your MRP/ERP system. The CIS information is automatically synchronized with the designated MRP/ERP system as well as with the embedded PACE database at any time.
The CIS architecture is highly optimized for use by our part search engine. Search parameters can range from searching on exact part numbers or internal part numbers to full parametric search on specifications.
Customer-generated BOMs often have issues, such as errors, incomplete or cryptic information, rudimentary part descriptions, not entirely correct manufacturer part numbers or old part manufacturer names, to name but a few. Mapping BOM parts with the internal part numbers in the ERP system is a lot of manual (often repetitive) work, which is difficult to automate. BOMArchitect offers two key solutions to this problem.
1. The "Approved Manufacturers List" (AML), unique per customer, auto-learns component information relationships.
Once a BOM has been processed, the associations between the customer part information and the internal part information are recorded in a customer specific Approved Manufacturers List (AML) for future reference. No matter how strange the part identification is. This capability allows for maximum automation and results in an incredible efficiency boost in BOM processing.
2. The "Manufacturer Alias Database" learns and manages part manufacturer names and aliases.
Only the combination of manufacturer part number (MPN) and manufacturer name (MFR Name) is truly unique. Mergers and acquisitions of manufacturers can lead to name changes, which in turn can lead to complications and errors in old and new BOMs. However, there is no standardization of the manufacturer names used in BOMs. Consequently, part manufacturers have dozens of different name variants (aliases) in the field, and this variation makes automation difficult. The Manufacturers Alias Database in BOMArchitect solves these problems.
It's simply that spreadsheet programs are so widely used, but spreadsheets are not a particularly efficient way of comparing bills of materials.
BOM Compare in BOMArchitect is just a matter of clicking the reference BOM of any revision level. The differences are then immediately shown, differentiated to additions, deletions and changes. A filter function can selectively show the different types of modifications, combined or in isolation.
BOM Compare works not only in the customer BOM section, but also in the AML, the PACE and the ERP sections of the BOM. So, even fully processed BOMs of different revision levels can be compared.
After receiving an RFQ one of the key questions is whether the parts are available to meet the supply deadline. Since 2017, EMS providers have been facing challenging times with successive waves of supply shortages, price hikes and lengthening lead times. A critical shortage of parts and materials provoke both materials buffering and price increases. This will continue until demand stabilizes and part manufacturing capacity is in balance with demand. No one knows when this will be again.
A possible approach for you as an EMS provider is to ask your customers to always suggest alternative components (alternates) in their BOMs and in their part code conversion list, if they send one. These approved alternates can be recorded in the customer AML. Another approach is to propose alternates and ask your customer to review your proposal.
Either way, BOMArchitect offers extensive functionality for alternates and replacement management.
Approved Manufacturers List (AML)
Not only are the selections that a customer can make from the globally available part codes endless, but supply chain partners (customers, service providers and part vendors) often allocate their own part numbers, manufacturer identifiers and descriptions when recording information about components in their respective business systems.
EMS providers are therefore forced to meticulously check and convert the incoming BOM content to comply with their internal identification conventions and to link it to available Internal Part Numbers (IPNs). This conversion (the "IPN mapping") must be performed before a quotation can be generated or a new product introduction (NPI) can take place.
It is unfortunately a fact that many OEMs do not accurately monitor their revisions. They may use revision control inconsistently or do not use revision control at all.
Failure to do so can result in catastrophic manufacturing issues, the worst possible outcomes being products already having been built, which must be modified manually at great expense and affecting product quality, or products that cannot be used at all.
These are good reasons for EMS providers to have an internal system which enables them to cross-check customer information, keep track of modifications (see also BOM compare) and to ensure that the information is complete and accurate prior to quoting and production. A system should also be in place to register undocumented last-minute modifications, which customers may request in an informal way ( e.g. verbally or by email).
BOMArchitect has an extensive BOM revision control system, eliminating the risk of BOM revision confusions. Not only for BOMs, but also for part code conversion lists sent by the customer (the formal AMLs).
BOM Views and Export
After processing, the BOM contains a wealth of information which selectively can be used for viewing or for export to other business systems.
BOMArchitect supports the definition of user definable "Views". This, in combination with special filter settings, allows for an exact definition of the visible BOM information, to show exactly what is needed for a particular operation, department, function or customer. The views can be exported in different formats and configurations. Export BOM to CAM, BOM to ERP, BOM to whatever...... Typing errors are a thing of the past!
The export function to a spreadsheet (.xls) or delimited text (.txt) in different configurations exactly reproduces the view and filter settings in the active BOM View. Additional settings allow seamless uploads to any ERP system, including XLM for deep integrations. Using an ODB++ file or a design database in .csv format, the top and bottom information can be added to the BOM. This makes a differentiated BOM export of top and/or bottom information hassle-free.
Free BOMArchitect Viewer: By exporting the processed BOM as a .cxb or a .cxbs (encrypted) file, the BOM information set will be available to be used in the free BOMArchitect viewer. The 128 bits encrypted .cxbs file and the password can be sent securely to customers by separate emails.