Variant Configuration – OEWB – Order Engineering Workbench

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Lately, my life has been heavily involved with VC.  For those of you reading me for a while, or my friends that humor me by reading my ramblings J, you know that my loves are VC, SM & development.  I know, a weird combo, but it’s served me well, and I hope that JaveLLin Solutions will soon become my primary source of income…  Anyway, on a recent gig I was trying to “sell” VC to a company.  They have SAP, and do configuration, but all using excel, Access and other outside tools.  They are heavy on the ETO (engineer to order) side of the house, so naturally, I love VC and encouraged them it was the way to go.  They were very heavy into engineering change management, and often had many changes for a single order (even after production may have started).  So this brought up the good old Order Engineering Workbench (OEWB) again.  For those of you unfamiliar with this tool, it’s a much nicer tool for dealing with order BOM’s than the standard CU51 (which is just as ugly as CU50.  Ha ha ha).  It’s designed by SAP, but of course, you have to pay for it if you want to use it…

I am a fan of OEWB since I helped implement it a couple years back.  So I know it works and tends to make life much easier, especially if you have a lot of changes to make.  I’m currently working to try to get a copy of it in my dev system, but SAP in their infinite wisdom is making it difficult for me to try to help them sell (smart business right there, who wants a free sales force anyway).  Ok…  enough my whining…  I like the OEWB because it comes in a nice tree format, gives you clear visibility to what you have changed, allows you to do side by side comparisons of different order BOM’s.  It even gives you versioning ability, so in the case of the client I was at, would be a big bonus to quickly show what version or how many changes had occurred.  I’d love to show you some screenshots, but alas, I can’t add it to my system.  If I can get it eventually (without paying for it of course, I’ll post more about the functionality along with screen shots).

Now, one of the things I’ve been looking for (and If any of you have seen this, let me know) is an easy way to copy an order BOM.  In some of my recent contracts, I’ve seen a reoccurring theme of a customer wanting the exact same product that they ordered 2 week, 2 months, or 2 years ago.  Since it was an ETO product, there wasn’t a permanent part number.  The easiest way would be to copy from that order BOM to the new order BOM.  It’s easy to get the configuration copied… but not the BOM.   I’m toying around with the idea of adding some Order BOM tools to Velocity, and this would be one of them… if it doesn’t already exist.  Anyway…  that’s all for today.  Happy Configuring!


As always, thanks for reading and don't forget to check out our SAP Service Management Products at my other company JaveLLin Solutions,

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