bom.com Adds New Controls for Managing Changing Data During Design and Production
Foster City, Calif., Feb 6 - bom.com, the first company to offer a web-native solution for collaborative product development around a bill-of-materials (BOM) framework, today introduced new functionality to create, track, manage and share changing product data throughout development. These features, which together form the tool
“The bom.com version control solution is built around a sophisticated understanding of the different requirements for managing product data as it moves through the development lifecycle,” said Michael Topolovac, chief executive officer and co-founder of bom.com. “The application allows different levels of data control during different phases of development. Companies can allow flexible access during design — and then impose greater restrictions during production to protect finalized data. And they can customize the level of control granted not only to their employees but also to their design partners and outsourced suppliers.”
“With version control in bom.com, I’m confident that I know the status of any product data I'm viewing or sharing — that’s especially useful for collaboration with the supply chain,” said Adam McGinty, director of hardware at IronPort Systems, a bom.com customer that has developed a family of Intelligent Messaging Gateways for Internet email infrastructure. “When I’m working on a design, I can change a specification or add new documentation — and I don’t have to go through the extra steps of manually notifying our suppliers or the rest of my team. Our machine shop knows never to start a new order for us without first checking bom.com to make sure they’ve got the latest information.”
The new version control functionality introduces two key innovations to the bom.com environment: versions and the lifecycle system. An item in bom.com can now have multiple versions: a non-editable “effective” version that represents the latest snapshot, or locked-down set of data; an editable “working” version to which users make revisions; and “superseded” versions, previous effective versions that accumulate as a historical record of an item’s development from the earliest stages of design. To ensure proper workflow during development, only authorized users have privileges to release changes or make new versions effective.
The second innovation, the lifecycle system, mirrors the actual process for developing a product. Users move items through a sequence of stages from preliminary to design to production, with phases within each stage to identify active and inactive items. A lifecycle diagram within the application shows a clear view of an item’s status. Reflecting real-world organizational workflow, user access roles offer three levels of permissions: privileges for releasing versions during design and production, during design only, or not at all.
Version control offers the following benefits:
- Higher level of data integrity: With version control, the most current data for every item is clearly identified, ensuring that all members of the design chain reference the correct set of information. When looking at an item’s working version, users see which views have changed since the effective version was released. As a product evolves, users have visibility into when and where changes occur and can adjust resources and deadlines accordingly. The BOM redlining feature offers an instant view of changes to product data — including reference designators and item quantities — from one version to another. In addition, inactive items are clearly identified as “abandoned”And “obsolete,” so users can trust the accuracy of product data.
- Enhanced communication about product changes: As a web-native solution, bom.com lets users share information instantly and globally, so all members of the design chain — even purchasing agents, production management and contract manufacturers — are working with complete and accurate information. By clearly identifying the effective version of any given item, bom.com eliminates the danger of using out-of-date supplier documentation or mistakenly referencing an older version. The Notifications feature lets users subscribe themselves and their suppliers to be automatically alerted when a new version of an item — or the “child” items in its bill of materials — is released. This guarantees that the appropriate people will always be informed about the latest changes.
- Greater control over a product’s definition: A range of different access roles for employees, component suppliers, contract manufacturers and other design chain partners ensures that all users are given the appropriate privileges to view, change and promote data through the product lifecycle. bom.com users can easily integrate a complex supply chain in the design process, while maintaining a high level of control over organizational workflow and data visibility.
- Historical record of product changes: With version control, a full record of current and superseded versions provides visibility into the evolution of an item from the earliest stages of design. Historical product data is persistent and easily accessible, providing important metrics for analyzing the development process. The data captured includes a full record of sent notifications, giving users a quick view of each person alerted every time a new version was released.
Pricing and Availability
The new version control functionality is offered as part of the bom.com application and is available immediately at no additional cost to bom.com customers. bom.com is available for an annual prepaid subscription of $1000 per user with no set-up or installation fees. Customers can access bom.com from any computer with a web browser; there is no traditional software to buy, install, maintain or upgrade. New customers can sign up by visiting the company's web site at www.arenasolutions.com or by calling the sales department toll-free at 866.937.1438.