To maintain and support defence equipment throughout a long-life span, engineers, manufacturers, and technicians rely on Bills of Materials (BOM) data which lists the raw materials, sub-components, parts, and the quantities of each that are needed to manufacture the end product.
Our client had been developing and manufacturing a wide range of products for the defence and aerospace industry for decades, and in some cases were still manufacturing equipment that had been designed over forty years ago.
This meant they needed to retain BOM data for many years. However, this historical data presented a problem for the company when they had to migrate to a new ERP system.
“Back in 2013 we had an ERP system that was also used as our configuration system. We transferred the ERP element of that to SAP, leaving just the configuration part in there. In 2021, we recognised that the ERP was becoming old and difficult to maintain so we migrated across to a new configuration tool. We ran into a few problems and were unable to migrate our historic Bills of Materials data across because the data sets didn’t match”
Engineering Services Manager
The company needed to be able to access the historical data and carry out some basic reporting in Microsoft Power BI for the configuration and manufacturing teams, so they got in touch with Climber BI.
We kicked-off the reporting project with a requirements capture day, where the company told us more about their challenges and gave us some examples of the reporting they wanted us to develop. They made it clear that, because this was reporting on historical data from an old tool, they didn’t need lots of Power BI dashboards. In fact, they wanted us to simplify the reporting as much as possible so they could access the data in a format that was easy to read. Our BI developer worked closely with the client for three days a week over six months to provide everything they required.
“Climber’s developer was able to create the databases and reporting. and we had fortnightly meetings where he would show us how it was going. We’d then be able to go away and answer any of his questions and do some testing on the work that he had done. And success! He was able to deliver everything that we asked for. He gave us the reporting in a format that is simple to use: it’s easy to do searches and export the data to Excel. lt’s exactly what we wanted. I’ve found Climber very easy to work with and very transparent.”
Engineering Services Manager
The reporting that we developed enables the client to access the history and improve the traceability of their products. This means that if any products are returned to them, they can use the data and reporting to understand the build and design standards of them.
At the end of the project, we provided the client with a document that explains how the reporting works in Power BI, so the engineering and quality teams can access and use it easily. The company used this to develop simple instructions for users in their common format.