Students, not to worry if you have no PLM software for now. You have Excel.
Oleg Shilovitsky says on this post of his PLM blog, “Of course, Excel cannot be compared to PLM. Nevertheless, I guess, MS Excel is successfully outperforming PLM systems from the simplicity, implementation cost and data openness. So, even if you will never see PLM vendors comparing their product portfolios with Excel, they are struggling with Excel competition.”
Mr. Shilovitshy shares this as well:
How To Make Excel In a Right Way?
Despite the fact Excel cannot replace broad set of PLM system functionality, I can see PLM companies are thinking more and more into “Excel-friendship” direction. To confirm this you can see multiple expanded MS Office and Microsoft SharePoint offerings coming from TeamCenter and Windchill. However, current proposal by Arena make it even more interesting. You can take a look on the full article here. In short, what Arena proposes – 4 recommendations how to use Excel if you decided NOT to purchase PLM system, for the moment:
- Be consistent. Use the same columns in the same order in every Excel bill of materials. Use a standard format for part numbers, manufacturer names, file titles and other types of data.
- Use standard templates. Get in the habit of hiding (not deleting) columns that aren’t needed in a particular BOM and creating separate spreadsheets for doing analyses that require additional columns. Give each column a single purpose, and label every piece of data in your Excel BOM spreadsheet.
- Have part numbering and part naming conventions – and a single location to store them. Develop and document a standard way to number and name ALL parts, and then manage those part numbers and names in a single location, like an item master or master parts list.
- Minimize repeated data. Include only as much data as is needed for each BOM to perform its core function of capturing the relationships between parts and assemblies. Store additional part data in the item master instead of multiple Excel BOMs, so updates only need to be made in one place.
In addition to that, Arena proposed free Excel templates to manage Bill of Materials.”