I work for a large manufacturing company with an internal machine design group. We design several dozen unique machines per year, all with hundreds (or thousands) of parts and quite a few sub-assemblies. Our current BOM system is a 3rd party Access database. We use Solidworks for mechanical design and the electrical engineers use Autocad for schematics. We've done some rudimentary work to semi-automate exporting Solidworks BOMs to populate the database but it's clumsy and there's nothing for the Autocad guys. There's a LOT of manual data entry. The database is painfully slow and completely unusable over VPN when I'm working offsite. Our company is splitting and we'll be setting up a new machine design group from scratch so I want to use it as a chance to improve our tools and processes. I'll talk to the new electrical engineers to see if we can switch to Solidworks for schematics, but for right now let's assume it will still be Autocad. Is there a good BOM tool out there with built-in (or easily created) hooks to various CAD packages? I'd like something that seamlessly populates BOMs from, at the very least, Solidworks and preferably other CAD packages. I'd prefer web access to view the BOMs and for exporting to something like Excel to give our suppliers something to quote and order from. We also need to be able to manually enter parts into BOMs for stuff that isn't represented in CAD. The main users of our BOMs are Project Managers (non-CAD users) who do the quoting and ordering so it needs to be easy for them to deal with.
What are folks using for BOMs?