Designing an Access bill of materials database? Watch out...

Developing your own Microsoft Access bill of materials management software is certainly attractive. After all, you just want a list of parts and quantities, right? And isn't this a perfect use of Microsoft Access or other inexpensive desktop database?

Microsoft Access bill of material database schema
Internally-developed BOM databases can become enormously expensive. Your users will demand more features, and you'll be spending your time developing and managing your system. Compare the cost of your time with an affordable PLM system: you'll discover that our professionally-developed software is far more cost-efficient.

Probably not.

Because you'll also want to:

  • Search for items across various data properties, regardless of what bill of material they appear on
  • Auto-generate a part number according to its assigned item category
  • Identify and exclude unreleased or obsolete parts from released bills of material
  • Approve changes to your current bills of materials
  • Maintain a version history of your bills of materials
  • Attach electronic files to items on your BOM, including CAD files, procedures, specifications, quotes and website links
  • Create multi-level bill of materials reports, consolidated parts lists, and cost/materials rollups
  • Export bills of materials for your supply chain partners
  • Manage material content to meet evolving recycling and disposal regulations
  • Work within a modern user interface that lets you drag-and-drop parts and enjoy "nice to haves" like spellchecking
  • Offer context-sensitive online user documentation and BOM best practice guidelines
  • Add more users as your company grows, despite the very real limitations that Access imposes on simultaneous users

Creating a useful bill of materials database application is difficult and time-consuming, and requires the complete understanding of subtle business rules for revision control and change processing. How will you ensure the preceding revision is canceled when the new revision is released? Will new item revisions automatically replace canceled revisions? How are units of measure converted? Do your users want to attach design files and assembly instructions to items on the BOM? What's the best recursion routine for printing indented product structures? What performance can you expect from your Access bill of materials database as your company grows? Do you really want that phone call every time someone has a question?

What starts out as a "fun little project" quickly becomes a major distraction.

Fortunately, there's an easier way... Let our BOM database experts do it for you!

Simple, flexible bill of materials software: PDXpert PLM

PLM software review

PDXpert product lifecycle management (PLM) has been specifically designed to provide the following BOM management capabilities:

Leverage our man-years of professional software development at a substantially lower cost than an in-house BOM software development project. We'll let you focus on your company's product priorities.

PDXpert PLM software can increase sales revenue through faster product releases; lower product costs by using more accurate BOMs; and reduce administrative overhead by providing important supporting information (like cost and material roll-ups) automatically.

See for yourself how PDXpert PLM is better than an Access BOM database

PDXpert PLM has been specifically designed for small and mid-sized companies moving up to automated bill of material management. It's easy for users to find their items using free-form text search, then create complex products by simple drag-and-drop BOM construction.

We invite you to:

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