VarTech Systems Optimizes Efficiency by Saving Two Hours of Engineering Time Daily with OpenBOM


VarTech Systems’ rugged computers and monitors are entirely engineered, manufactured, and assembled in their US-based facility in North Carolina. A leader in performance and reliability, their systems and components are designed specifically for demanding, diverse environments and used by industrial leaders worldwide; NASA, General Motors, Caterpillar, and Disney, to name a few.

OpenBOM is proud to be an approved technology provider to VarTech Systems since 2020.

Recently, I met with VarTech Systems’ Chief Operations Officer Max Witham to learn more about how OpenBOM improves the products and services VarTech provides their customers.

“What we love most about OpenBOM”, Max says, “is the ability to change one thing in our BOM and it shows up everywhere the item or component is used!”
“That may seem a simple claim, but the ability to know that what we build and deliver to our customers has current pricing and components is very important to our business.”

Max explains that as the BOM travels through the company there are at least three important stops along the way, In-House (Engineering), SLM (purchasing), and finally a proprietary in-house bonding procedure that gives VarTech products the ruggedness that customers demand.

As Max described the VarTech process, it became obvious how the BOM drives the product.

“The inventory team [VarTech keeps all items in OpenBOM inventory] collects all items into a kit to stage the manufacturing, they check off the BOM to prepare for assembly, it goes to QC where they validate the build against the BOM, and we ship it.”

VarTech customers have many options when ordering a product, including the type of display, special anti-glare and reflection coatings, types of glass, waterproofing, and much more.  All these features and options are captured in the BOM and drive the build.

The team also uses OpenBOM to manage inventory, BOM revisions, end-of-life, and replacement parts as well.

“The Where used button is priceless.  Literally.  The ability to understand and quickly analyze the impact of a price change, or part replacement is very important”, Max explains. “If I need to know how many of our products are impacted by a component or lead-time change, the answer is in the OpenBOM Where Used dialog.”

VarTech also relies on OpenBOM to calculate product-level costing for complex multi-level bills of material.

“We use OpenBOM to roll up pricing up to top-level SKU/product level so the sales team always has up-to-date pricing for quotes, this capability is extremely important in today’s supply-side limited world where price and availability may change on a daily basis.”
“Even though our senior salespeople have become very good at this activity over the years, visualizing “live” pricing saves us a lot of money.”

Max goes on to say how OpenBOM saves the company valuable engineering time.

“Before OpenBOM, all inquiries about component usage or product information went straight to our Engineering team.  Researching specs or item information caused bottlenecks in the engineering process and took valuable man-hours.”

“OpenBOM easily saves us 2 hours a day in engineering time.”

“I remember we caught a $1000 mistake the first month we had OpenBOM.  Our Excel had not been updated.  OpenBOM literally paid for itself that month.”

I asked Max if he had any more thoughts about how OpenBOM has helped VarTech Systems, and his reply:

“It’s all about the mistake WE DON’T make.”

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