Should you manage your BOMs with an ERP system?

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Using an ERP system to manage constantly changing BOMs during product design is a common trap that many organizations fall into. Although ERP systems shine as transactional tools that manage inventory and provide control throughout production, they’re not built to manage the engineering change process or keep everyone on the same page—internal and external vendors alike—as product information is updated.

Simply put, ERP systems aren’t optimal for use during development because they’re not created with that phase of the product lifecycle in mind. Shaun Snapp of SCM Focus, a consulting firm that covers a variety of supply chain software areas from software details and capabilities to project management, believes that many companies still use ERP systems to manage their BOMs because of misinformation about the demands of BOM management and about the functionality available from the major ERP applications. In order to help close this information gap, Snapp sat down recently with Arena Chief Technology Officer Eric Larkin to discuss the issue.

Snapp posted the resulting videos on the SCM Focus website, so we wanted to share the link with our readers. Here’s a look at the video:

BOM management systems are often used alongside ERP systems to fill different needs in the product development process, and it is important to understand that they are complementary, rather than interchangeable systems. Although an ERP system can help you control the execution of your design during production, a focused BOM management tool is a much better fit during the early phases of your product lifecycle.

Do you have your own experience—positive or negative—managing BOMs with an ERP system? Feel free to post to the comments section of this article. Thanks!

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About the Author

Alex Gammelgard
Alex managed social media marketing and communications at Arena from 2011 to 2012. Although coming in fresh to the manufacturing industry, Alex is married to an engineer and is well ... Read More 

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