Getting Started

First Things First

Start by downloading BOMER: currently only BETA version is available (see limits & pricing).
If you don't want to start from scratch or you just want to take a look on how it works, you can also download some sample data and import it on BOMER.

Workflow

BOMER was created with a specific workflow in mind and the text bellow tries to clarify it. However, most time workflows are really just a personal thing. Always feel free to adapt it to your needs and/or let us know if you'd like to see it improved in some way.

Importing/Exporting Data

BOMER allows you to import/export the complete database. You can also import/export almost every table to/from a CSV file. When exporting/importing data through CSV files links between BOMER Entries (see below) are not preserved though.

Entries

An Entry is an element that can be added/edited/removed from your BOMER database. Available entries are: Parts, Files, Orders, Projects and History. We give it a name because they have several properties in common and so we can avoid writing "Parts, Files, Orders, Projects or History" when refering to them. We would simply write Entries or Entry instead.

Parts

A Part describes a single Manufacturer Part Number in your inventory along with relevant information about it.

Available fields:

  • Manufacturer Part Number: the reference the manufacturer assigns to this part
  • Manufacturer: manufacturer's name
  • Value: Part's value (e.g. 1.0uF ± 10%)
  • Package: Part's package (e.g. SOIC, TQFP, SMD-0805)
  • Storage: a name indicating where you store this part (you need to add it first through the Settings dialog)
  • Seller: your preffered seller, to be used next time you want to order this part. You can choose one from a list (the most used online distributors, such as Mouser or DigiKey) or define a custom one along with a custom price.
  • Labels: labels will help you find Parts easier and faster
  • Stock: the Part's current stock. The Low Value defines a value from which this Part is considered to have low stock. BOMER highlights low stock and out of stock parts (if that option is enabled on Settings). You can also ignore the stock for current Part.
  • Documents: Documents associated to this Part (e.g. Datasheet, Reference Manual)
  • Additional Notes: additional information you might want to write about the Part

Autocompleter & Online Data Fetching

Because writing and specially looking for all this data for each part would be a daunting task, BOMER tries to make it easier for you through an autocompleter and by fetching data from the web. This is made possible through Octopart integration. As soon as you start typing a Part's name, BOMER will give you suggestions and once you select one BOMER will fill in the appropriate fields with the data it found on the web.

Updating Stock While Avoiding Errors

You can manually adjust each part's stock either by setting the exact amount of units you have available or by adding/removing a given amount at a time. But humans do mistakes and managing stock manually can go wrong for this same reason. To avoid that BOMER encourages you to either add or remove stock through Orders and Projects, respectively, and only doing it manually on specific situations. By letting the computer do most of stock updates you avoid errors on managing your inventory.

Documents

A Document is any file you normally want to associate to a Part, Project or Order, such as datasheets, reference manuals, application notes, CAD drawings, invoices and images. A Document can also have an attachment file (e.g., if an application note comes along with sample code, then the code zipped into a file would be the attachment file).

Available fields:

  • Title: the Document's title
  • File: the Document's main file
  • Attachment: the file attached to the Document (hint: if you need to attach multiple files, zip/archive&compress them first)
  • Category: the Document's category (e.g. Datasheet, User Manual, CAD Drawing). Categories can be managed in the Settings dialog.
  • Notes: additional information you want to write about the Document

Sources: Workspace, File System and Web

When assigning a Document to an entry you can select where it comes from. If a Document is already available on your BOMER database, then you can find it on your Workspace. Otherwise, you may create a new one from a file you have on your File System or by finding one on the Web. This means you can create Documents while creating or editing other Entries if that option is available.

Similarly, when creating a new Document from scratch, you can create one from a file on your File System or by finding one on the Web.

Projects

A Project may have several revisions and each revision will have its own Bill Of Materials (BOM). When you assemble a project, the right amount of stock, listed on the BOM, will be removed from your inventory. Projects consume Parts when you assemble them.

Available fields:

  • Name: the Project's name
  • Revisions: Project's revisions, each one containing a BOM (more on this bellow)
  • Documents: Documents associated to this Project (e.g. Schematic, CAD drawings)
  • Notes: additional information you might want to write about the Project

Bill Of Materials (BOM)

Once you finish a Schematic using your favourite Electronics CAD software (e.g. EagleCAD, Kicad, Altium, etc) you are ready to generate a BOM. Usually you can export that BOM to a CSV file which you'll then import into BOMER. You can also manually create a BOM in BOMER but that would be less efficient.

A BOM is complete when you assign a real Part for each reference listed on it.

Fields available on BOMs:

  • Refs: BOM/schematic part references (e.g. C1, C2, R1, IC3)
  • Value: the value of the real part that's to be assigned (e.g. "1.0uF ± 10%")
  • Package: the package of the real part that's to be assigned (e.g. "TQFP", "SMD-0804", "PDIP")
  • Part Number: the Manufacturer Part Number of the assigned Part
  • Description: the assigned Part's description
  • Manufacturer: the assigned Part's manufacturer
  • Quantity: the number of units to order (this is automatically calculated from Refs)
  • Seller: the preferred seller from which the Part should be ordered (more on this bellow)
  • SKU: the Seller's part number
  • Price*: the assigned Part's unit cost, according to selected Seller (or a custom price, if custom seller)
  • Extended Price*: the assigned Part's total cost according to Quantity
  • Lead Time: the assigned Part's factory lead time (in days)
  • Comment: additional information (e.g. "may use alternative part")
  • *just an estimate, always cross-check with seller's most up-to-date data

Once you have a complete BOM you can then export it to a CSV file and share it with a collegue, or open it with a spreadsheets software (e.g. LibreOffice, Microsoft Excel) and further edit to meet your needs.

Real-time Pricing Information

BOMER provides you with real-time pricing information. This data includes current stock on a given seller, price breaks, Minimum Order Quantities (MOQ) and factory lead times and whenever BOMER presents you with a price, all this data is taken into account. This makes it easier for you to decide from which Seller to order Parts, whether you prefer to make a decision solely based on price or also based on availability and/or lead times, for example.

Just select a Seller and it will be automatically set as the preferred seller for the current Part in the table.

Quoting & Assembling

BOMER provides you with an extremely useful tool for quoting purposes. Whenever a customer asks you a quote for a given amount of units to be produced, an estimate of BOM cost is just a few clicks away. The prices shown on BOMER take into account MOQ and price breaks so, as you may expect, the more you buy the cheaper it gets. Be sure to always cross-check prices with seller's most up-to-date data though, since this is just an estimate.

When you are ready to assemble a Project, BOMER will tell you if you have enough stock or if you need to order some (or all) of the Parts you'll need. In case you don't have enough stock BOMER can create a new Order automatically. Also, since during the assembling process a few parts may be wasted, you can also specify an extra margin to order.

Orders

An Order is a list of Parts you need or want to order.

Available fields:

  • Description: a description about this Order (sometimes it's automatically generated by BOMER)
  • State: current state (see bellow)
  • Parts To Order: parts to be ordered/already ordered/delivered (depending on State)
  • Seller: the Seller where the order should be placed on (defined only if current state is not DRAFT)
  • Documents: documents associated to this Order
  • Notes: additional information you might want to write about the Order (e.g. tracking number)

States

  • DRAFT just created; quantities to order may change and maybe you haven't decided yet from which sellers to buy each part
  • PENDING you've decided which seller to use for this Order but you didn't place the order yet (on the actual seller's website/shop)
  • PROCESSED the order has been placed (but it wasn't delivered yet)
  • DELIVERED the order has been delivered and the ordered quantities were added to stock

Placing an Order

BOMER provides a list of parts to order, but how do you take it to your Seller? Major online distributors provide a way to import BOM tools through a CSV file. All you have to do is to export your Order to an CSV file and then import it on your preffered Seller's website. If, instead, you use a local shop to order your parts, you can always print that CSV file and take it there.

Once the order is placed, do not forget to change the Order's state to Processed (or Delivered, if you get the parts at the same time).

Cost Estimation

Similarly to Projects, BOMER provides you with a total cost estimate for each Order you create. Be sure to always cross-check prices with the most up-to-date data the Seller you choose provides though.

History

History keeps a log of changes for every Entry (except for History itself). This makes it easier to undertand what happened to your iventory by answering questions like "hey, I though we still had stock on this, where has it been spent?", "we shoud, maybe you forgot to order more or it wasn't delivered yet?".

Participate

BOMER is being actively developed.
Join the conversation. Help make it even better.