IAV Flexmore: Intelligent Data Reconciliation at the Push of a Button

Constant updating of bills of materials and reconciliation of the datasets is the be-all and end-all in logistics and management when developing and manufacturing a product. The new software solution IAV Flexmore permits quick and easy comparison of a company’s lists, regardless of format and even using differing sources. The tool is unique thanks to its flexible possible applications.

Today an average passenger car consists of up to 10,000 individual parts and components documented in the bill of materials (BOM). The engine, which is the heart of the vehicle, also has many components, depending on the specific type. For the engine to run properly at the end of the day, every part has to be in the right place. The development and production processes generate huge quantities of data. All the information about the individual items, such as quantity, configuration, manufacturer or serial number, is collected in an engineering BOM system and a production BOM system.

Ongoing updating of the bills of material

The bills of material, usually produced as Excel spreadsheets, change all the time because they undergo continuous simultaneous and independent processing and development. Old components are deleted, new ones are added. A production BOM changes when a new vendor offers better terms and conditions, among others. Or the engineering BOM has to be brought in line with new statutory requirements and industry standards. Statutory and safety-relevant requirements in particular often differ from one country to the next as there may be different emission standards. Market-specific bills of material therefore have to be reconciled at regular intervals so that obsolete information cannot cause mistakes in engineering or production. If this does not happen, it is possible that purchase orders will include the wrong parts or an insufficient number of screws. The engine then cannot be built and tested as planned, with the company facing additional costs as a result.

»IAV Flexmore offers practically unlimited uses. And it undergoes continuous further development all the time. After all, progressive digital transformation in all areas is also changing the demands of our customers.«

Claudia Schellenberger — Product owner for IAV Flexmore

Time-consuming manual reconciliation of lists

Until recently, keeping the BOMs constantly up to date was a laborious task. “One of our automotive customers approached us in the search for a software solution to optimize and accelerate this process of reconciling bills of material. Previously, employees spent hours comparing the engineering BOMs and production BOMs line by line in a painstaking manual process using two different monitors. This was very tedious”, explains Claudia Schellenberger, product owner for IAV Flexmore. The Excel spreadsheet for a small engine BOM will have about 400 rows, and up to 10,000 rows for a large engine. The manual method is not only time-consuming and tiresome but also prone to mistakes.

Wanted: flexible tool for automated data reconciliation

“On behalf of the customer, we started looking for a suitable software solution. However, commercially available tools for automated data reconciliation couldn’t compare lists from different sources. And so our IT specialists worked with the customer to produce a software solution that meets all the demands”, says Schellenberger. The problem: BOM columns often have differing headings, are not always in the same sequence or the source systems generate different input. For example, some BOMs use a decimal point (e.g. height 1.2 cm) while others use a decimal comma (1,2 cm).

IAV Flexmore: quick and easy, regardless of format

Thanks to IAV Flexmore, manual data reconciliation is at long last a thing of the past. The tool makes it quick and easy for companies to compare lists, regardless of format and even using different sources. Automation makes the time-consuming process faster and more precise. Instead of taking several hours, as is the case with manual reconciliation, results are available from the tool after just a few clicks. Furthermore, the software solution can be configured for automated recurrent data comparison, for example at weekly intervals.

»At the moment, no other software solution on the market offers this flexibility: that's what makes it so unique." «

Claudia Schellenberger — Product owner for IAV Flexmore

Flexible use in all sectors of industry

The special thing about the software solution is that it can be used flexibly in more than one respect. For example, it effortlessly compares BOMs even in Excel spreadsheets with differing columns and rows. It has no problem with differing sequences of columns and rows or even differing headings. The solution automatically allocates content that belongs together and easily processes lists with more than two million rows and more than a thousand columns, with an error rate of practically zero. Furthermore, the software solution is ideal for comparing not just BOMs but for all kinds of Excel spreadsheets and in a wide range of different sectors. For instance, IAV Flexmore can be used for managing personnel data and comparing production data. Moreover, it is suitable for optimizing logistics processes in the pharmaceuticals industry or in manufacturing.