In Makersite Costing, parts in a BOM are linked to production chains with existing cost-models. As a resuThe plugin enables you to enrich your product data directly within Excel. Simply start with a bill of materials (BOM) or a recipe and enrich it with Makersite Product Intelligence with a few simple clicks. We have designed the plugin to stay out of your way, giving you complete flexibility provided by spreadsheets, with all the power of an integrated cloud repository of networked product data. lt, cost estimates are taken down to minutes vs. offline calculations, that typically take weeks to complete.

Key features

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    Up-to-date product data. Live access to the Makersite platform.
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    Native spreadsheet integration. No more clumsy upload/map/export/download workflows.
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    Easy scenario analysis. Change material options, product compositions or supply chains and see results instantly.
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    100% safe. All your data stays on your computer until you decide to share it.
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    Supports all data formats. BOM/recipe exports from ERP or PLM systems or just hand-crafted recipes.
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    Intelligent algorithms. We’ve integrated algorithms that learn to recognize your product data over time saving you time when mapping materials to the Makersite database.


Installation and updates

Close all Excel files. Unzip the Makersite package into a temporary folder e.g. your desktop, and click on setup.exe. Follow instructions to complete the installation.

Makersite Ribbon

Once the installation is completed, start Excel. A new menu option will appear as shown below.

Figure 1: Makersite ribbon

The ribbon is separated into 4 main sections:

  1. Authentication: Login/Logout to the Makersite platform with your credentials. If you don’t have them already, please go here to register for a free account.
  2. BOM Tools:
      1. Setup: This option configures the worksheet for use by the Makersite plugin. Using it is simple. Its structure follows what you would normally see in a Bill of Materials. Only some of the fields are mandatory as defined below.

    Figure 2: Setup window.

    • Level: (optional): For BOMs, this provides the structure for the product. It starts from 0. The level definition enables the Autogroup and Normalization features described below.

    Any one or more of the following:

    • Part ID: is a unique identifier for a BOM line item. This is used by the learning algorithms to automatically identify parts later on.
    • Part name: part name
    • Material: is the material or processing step for a given part

    And all of the following:

    • Mappings: should be an empty column where the plugin can store mappings.
    • Amount: is the quantity of the part or material required. For BOMs where the level is provided, the plugin can automatically recognize if a row is a leaf or a branch. In Figure 3, row 2 (Coffee grinder) is a branch of level 1. Below it are its leaves or subparts with level 2. The Amount in row 2 is understood as the number of pieces of that assembly that are required for the entire product. See 2c for information about normalization of a BOM.

    Figure 3: BOM structure

      • Units: Units corresponding to the amount. The plugin recognizes most standard units and will take care of necessary conversions.
    1. Autogroup: is a simple utility to create foldable sections for your BOM. It needs levels to be defined
    2. Normalize Weights: A BOM needs to be normalized for aggregations to be correct. BOMs are stored differently in different systems so this function is provided in case your BOM management system stores non-normalized BOMs.

Referring to Figure 3, in a non-normalized BOM, the Coffee Grinder subassembly (rows 3 and below) is defined for 1 unit of a coffee grinder, even if the entire product requires 2 grinders. If that was in fact the case, then we would need to scale the amounts for each of the subassemblies to know how many Springs are required for the entire product. This option calculates that for you. It will create a new column called “Net Weights” and use that in subsequent calculations.

  1. Mapping Tools

The bulk of the work is in mapping a line item in your spreadsheet to a dataset on Makersite. You can do this easily by right clicking on the part name or material cell and selecting the “Map material” option as shown below.

Figure 4: Material mapping

Search for the appropriate dataset and select it. A reference will be placed in the Mapping column of your spreadsheet.

When you perform a mapping, you link a process, material or component to a makersite product. For simplicity we call this a dataset, but it is much more than that. All kinds of information about the industrial process network can ultimately be traced back to these objects – environmental impacts, processing options, companies that make them, etc. For instance, an object could have multiple environmental profiles depending on the process technology, country of origin etc. These can be filtered during the discovery process and enable a higher resolution analysis.

  1. Save Mapping: To teach the plugin to recognize parts/materials across spreadsheets, save the mapping using the option in the ribbon. This information is stored in files in your Documents/Makersite folder.
  2. Automap: Once you saved a mapping, you can re-use it for other projects with this function.
  3. Delete mapping: Mappings are stored separately from your spreadsheet. If you made a mistake in a mapping that was saved, use this option to delete it from the database. Simply select the row you want to “un-map” and click the button from the ribbon.

Modelling process steps:
Add rows to your spreadsheet to easily model process steps like transportation, finishing etc. You can include these within your BOM, or create a new section at the bottom. These can be treated just like materials or parts. The amount column defines how much of the activity is required. Then simply map that row to a dataset as described in Section 3.

  1. Discovery

Once all or part of your BOM or recipe is mapped, you can use this option to discover information about your product.


Figure 5: Layers

Simply choose a layer and the Makersite will deliver results right into your spreadsheet.

Figure 6: Results

Data access

The plugin allows you to map to all datasets that exist on makersite. However, results will only be displayed based on your subscription. Users of the free service have access to all open data. We actively invest in and develop this repository together with the community. However, to access all our proprietary or licensed datasets, you need a premium subscription.

Dataset documentation

If multiple supply chain options are found for a given row, this is indicated with a comment. A hyperlink is provided which will take you to the documentation of the dataset on the Makersite platform.

Alternative supply chains

To view alternative supply/production routes, right click on the corresponding cell and select the “Alternatives” option. A window will pop-up showing you alternative datasets representing different supply chains. Upon selecting an alternative, results will be updated.

Easy Scenario analysis

The flexibility of Excel allows for the most intuitive scenario analysis. E.g. if you would like to see the impact of switching a material, simply perform a mapping again, and click discover. The plugin will display results in a new column alongside the old results allowing for easy, iterative comparisons.


The plugin can be uninstalled just like any other application. Use the “add/remove software” application and search for “Makersite”.

Terms and guidelines

Please note our community guidelines and terms. You would have already accepted these when creating your account.

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