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34 SMT007 MAGAZINE I SEPTEMBER 2021 Feature Interview by the I-Connect007 Editorial Team Kevin Decker-Weiss of CircuitByte and Mark Laing of Siemens explain how a tool called BOM Connector can improve quoting and manufacturing flow. Mark and Kevin are openly enthusiastic about this topic; this con- versation launched immediately into a techni- cal discussion. Nolan Johnson: When companies tell you that they are building their own BOM spreadsheet, what do you say to them? Kevin Decker-Weiss: We say building is exactly what you shouldn't be doing, yet we see a lot of companies trying to build their own pric- ing engines with Excel, Access, or SQL. Aer putting a lot of money into it and not getting it done, then they start looking for ready-built solutions. Johnson: You've set up exactly the problem. One of the things about bill of materials issues and parts, procurement, supply chain infor- mation, and getting the components together for builds, is that it's a tool that we need, especially now. Rolling your own tool is a com- plex process. Is that why you developed BOM Connector? Decker-Weiss: We've been a Mentor partner for a long time selling Valor; before that we sold the predecessor called CAMCAD Profession- al. We asked the customers: Where does it hurt and how can we help you? What processes do you most want to improve? Especially from EMS companies, 99 out of 100 would say to improve BOMs either in general or quoting. So, this is where we put our focus. We first developed it for a big customer. When we saw how happy they were with it, we realized we had to "productize" this. BOMs come in all shapes, sizes, and quality levels. ey are really a pain to scrub and maintain. en, the BOM is manufacturing-ready, and your customer calls and says, "Two things have changed." You know it's never two things, but more like four or five things.

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