PLM is the Change Manager

Who owns the bill of materials?

This is a topic that has been debated for years. I have talked to many companies over the years and when I asked them where they go for the latest bill of materials, their overwhelming answer was always their ERP [enterprise resource planning] software.

There is no doubt that the latest released bill of materials should reside in the ERP software. If your company has both PLM [product lifecycle management] software and ERP software, then there needs to be a mechanism to copy the latest released bill of materials into the ERP software.

PLM is the change manager

PLM is engineering software – it manages engineering designs [generating a bill of materials] and it manages engineering changes to the bill of materials. When those changes are approved and released, that becomes the latest released bill of materials and it should be published to the ERP software.

I look at PLM software as the change manager. Require that all changes be routed through the PLM software [with its engineering change process rules]. Engineers and others in the process will perform all of the required tasks and when complete [released], the PLM software will publish the revised bill of materials to the ERP software.

This strategy works well if you make sure that all changes go through the PLM software and the related change process.

Following this strategy, PLM software can ensure that the right information gets to the right person at the right time. Contact me if you are interested in learning more…


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