Using BoMs for Your Startup Development Team

Does your startup development team use BoMs to track product data spreadsheets across networks of engineers?

Bills-of-Materials (BoMs) are a fundamental part of every engineering and manufacturing process.  “A bill of materials (BOM) is an important component to product manufacture and design. Without an effective BOM, your product will suffer through countless unnecessary revisions, build problems, and delays”, according to Optimum Staff.

The changing technological landscape has only exacerbated traditional challenges involved with BoM management such as, controlling product costs, Requests for Quotes (RFQs) processes, coordinating between engineers and other product stakeholders, and managing change orders with contract manufacturers (CMs) in distributed environments.


Manufacturing is changing and with it comes a need to change the way BoMs are managed. The change is brought about by several trends in the market, including:

  • Globalization of manufacturing and supply chain
  • Growing number of new hardware developers
  • Surge in the maker movement
  • Increased reliance on contract manufacturing
  • New manufacturing practices including adoption of internet and mobile tools and technologies

“Technology is dramatically changing the way manufacturing works,” said Oleg Shilovitsky, CEO and co-founder of Newman Cloud, Inc., developers of openBoM, a cloud data management tool

“Manufacturing companies that used to be under one roof are now building businesses around distributed global manufacturing networks. These new distributed manufacturing environments have created a demand for new types of cloud applications that help companies manage and support distributed working environments.”


About Newman Cloud, Inc. and openBoM.

Newman Cloud, Inc. was co-founded by Oleg Shilovitsky and Vic Sanchez, both experienced software industry veterans. openBoM, a wholly owned and branded product of Newman Cloud, Inc. is a cloud data management tool that removes the traditional pain of managing BoMs across organizational and geographic boundaries. Newman Cloud, Inc. is headquartered in the Boston, MA area.

Are Single Purpose or Multi-Purpose IoT Products Better?

Soon it will be possible to perform the most mundane of tasks through an internet-connected device.  Anticipation of how this trend will enhance consumers lifestyles is shaping much of the content on IoT.  However, smart startup’s are rapidly focused on product management that can capitalize on what it means for consumers living in an age of the Internet of Things.

internet of things

It could easily be assumed that consumers are looking for multipurpose devices to suit their many needs. However, recent research – cited by Francine Espinoza Petersen, Associate Professor of Marketing at European School of Management – has shown that, while a product or service with various functionalities may initially seem appealing, the product could equally become the very reason a consumer decides not to purchase.

This may be contrary to the belief by many that the ability to do more with a system is best.  Surprisingly, if a product is communicated as serving multiple purposes, it is possible that consumers may believe that the product cannot perform any of its functions well.


If you are a startup founder ready to plant your flag in the IoT ecosystem, you may want to re-evaluate your offering before going to market. Compared to larger company’s that have greater opportunity to put multiple IoT offerings in the market at once to see what sticks.  For example, Bosch, the German home appliances company, recently announced the launch of a cloud for the ‘Internet of Things’ to excel the development of their intelligent manufacturing and smart cars, amongst other products.

According to Wikipedia, “Experts estimate that the IoT will consist of almost 50 billion objects by 2020.”  “The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of physical objects—devices, vehicles, buildings and other items—embedded with electronics, software, sensors, and network connectivity that enables these objects to collect and exchange data.”


source: Francine Espinoza Petersen, Associate Professor of Marketing at European School of Management

3 Tips Startups Can Use To Stay Agile

Innovation and the idea of creating the next big thing is tantalizing in theory—but how easy is it to do for large companies with layers of product and idea vetting processes, regulatory and political constraints?

In a LinkedIn post, entrepreneur and investor Yann Girard, wrote that corporations are too riddled with red tape, regulations, protocol, politics, CYA and fear of risk for their employees to take on the unknowns associated with the practices of startups, where immense rewards loom on the distant seashore but the waters that must be traversed to get there are laden with sharks.

So, if you want to infuse more of a startup philosophy into your organization, what can you do?

sandbox IT

1. Give employees sandbox opportunities

When we talk about a sandbox, we’re usually talking about an IT area (like big data) where employees can experiment with different theories with the understanding that while a great idea might bubble to the top, more often than not, many experimental efforts will fail.

If employees know that their superiors understand this, it cures the fear that employees have of failure and allows them to create. There is also no reason why this sandbox concept can’t be extended to non-technology areas such as customer service, manufacturing, purchasing and even HR.

2. Reward Creative Work

If an employee comes up with a concept or an idea that brings something new and better into the organization, the organization should recognize it. Employees need to know that the company values creative innovation.


3. Invest In Creative Talent

Individuals who demonstrate remarkable creative talent should be cultivated and encouraged—and not stuck in line functions that bore them until they leave. Remember, your intellectual capital (in the form of people) is your most valuable asset.

Risk taking and mitigation, even in startups, should be a regular exercise. If you are in a leadership position, it is important to foster innovation, no matter the size of the organization.

Report – Digital Projects Investment is a Gamble

Just about every week consumers receive monotonous emails from various merchants boasting about a new mobile app or digital service – the ‘unsubscribe’ button hidden amongst the fine print.

Consumers demand digital front-end offerings. Because of this, we are beginning to see a trend where companies are hurriedly pumping investment into digitalization. However, some are not able to stay competitive, likely due to lack of preplanning and consideration for long-term gain.


For startups to truly thrive, there needs to be synergy between digitized front and back ends, innovative developments to satisfy actual consumer demand and scalable systems that act as foundation for any future endeavors. This entails thorough preplanning and strategizing to ensure IT budget is accurately spent.

Questions To Ask

As with any business decision, there are risks involved with taking the digitization. How complex is the shift? How costly is the endeavor? What preparation and maintenance does it require?


In a report by Fujitsu, 70% of businesses said digital projects were a gamble and 33% claimed they had overspent on digitalization. Without specialists, it comes as no surprise that many businesses have avoided the shift. Why change what has worked for years? Is a digital back-end even necessary? 33% of businesses feel too great a focus is placed on digital innovation; it appears companies may have a fear of moving on.

According to the report 56% of businesses have unified IT and digital departments. Joint departments account for a joint budget – leaving little room for development after day-to-day IT management and support. These developments are associated with an opportunity cost too and unfortunately only one-in-three businesses surveyed agree that priorities are fully aligned with that of their organization. Scared by the rate at which technology is developing, companies are continuing to defer investment.

data server

Uber Benefited by ‘Digital First’

Uber is covering all bases – offering customers the most up to date digital services, with fresh IT infrastructure. Benefiting from starting with a blank canvas, start-ups like Uber can design their businesses based on a ‘digital first’ foundation. In contrast heritage companies fear that a digital front-end is simply ‘lipstick on a pig’ and see a refresh to both the front and back ends a slow, costly and inefficient process.

Indeed, there are a handful of companies who have made digitization work thus far. In fact, the Financial Services industry has excelled in supplying to consumers’ digital demands. According to Fujitsu research, investment in digital has catapulted Financial Services as the people’s hero in digital offerings.



Despite the management qualms surrounding digitization, if done correctly, it can be a profitable investment. Not only does keeping up-to-date with consumer demand attract and retain customers, it also creates opportunity – allowing for future marketing developments such as personalized and intelligent advertising.

Before businesses begin to take the leap of faith however, they should stop to plan and build a strategy to ensure their budget is spent correctly. Alignment with business goals should always be at the forefront of any initiative.


source: Simon Carter, Executive Director of Marketing in UK & Ireland at Fujitsu.

Developer Trouble for Open-Source Community GitHub

GitHub acknowledged that its been slow to respond to frustrated developers who wrote an open letter to the open-source community.

Open-Source Community Growth

According to the open letter from GitHub users, while GitHub has done a lot to grow the open-source community, there are still areas where the repository can improve. Those areas included problems dealing with Issues and Pull Requests.

GitHub Addresses Issues

GitHub writes that it is working on improvements to Issues, and many of them will specifically address the developers’ concerns. “But we’re not going to stop there. We’ll continue to focus on Issues moving forward by adding new features, responding to feedback, and iterating on the core experience. We’ve also got a few surprises in store,” GitHub wrote.

source code

The company added that while it hasn’t given a lot of attention to Issues over the past few years, it is always looking for more ways to improve its features and developer communities.

“So in addition to improving Issues, we’re also going to kick off a few initiatives that will help give you more insight into what’s on our radar. We want to make sharing feedback with GitHub less of a black box experience and we want to hear your ideas and concerns regularly,” according to the post.


source: Christina Mulligan, SDTimes


Report: The Future of High-Capacity Drones

High-capacity drones, underwater cities, flights into space and super skyscrapers are just some of the things we can expect to see in 100 years according to a new report by Samsung SmartThings.

One prediction for the future includes the use of drones in ways the average consumer would not envision today. However, it is our hope that the predictions below may start to inspire product management and innovative product development, in the near-term.

Drone-Delivered Holiday Homes

Yep, imagine 100 years from now traveling around the world and having your own personal drone, strong enough to carry and transport your holiday home.  Just remember your friends at eLuminate Network, after moving that vacation spot to the Caribbean, and you’re ready to go to market with that high-powered drone.

drone holiday homes


Super Skyscrapers

Carbon nanotubes and diamond nanothreads will shape architectural landscapes with towering megastructures, well beyond today’s skyscrapers.

Super Skyscrapers

Underwater Cities

According to the report, there will be underwater cities with breathable atmospheres, generated by hydrogen fuel.

underwater city

source: Samsung SmartThings