Good, clean BOMs

Two supply chain folks meet in the airport.  One says, “Hi Jack, did you bring the BOM?”

OK, so humor isn’t our forte.  But BOMs are.  A good, clean Bill of Materials (BOM, pronounced just like bomb) is necessary for manufacturing any product.  Seems like a no brainer, but it’s amazing the number of small businesses that build products without a good BOM (or drawings, but that’s a whole ‘nother matter).  Often the excuse is that it’s outsourced; often it’s time to market; sometimes it’s just about those round toits (I’ll get around to it…).

A good, clean  BOM is not tough to build.  Oftentimes the basics can be automatically generated as the outputs of a CAD program.  While this is a start, it’s not enough.  A BOM, at a minimum should include:

  • General
    • A tiered structure–so that subassemblies can be identified and rolled up
    • Specify the volumes for which it is costed
    • A date and revision designator
  • Fields
    • Line item numbers–seems trivial but makes it much easier to ID issues and socialize changes
    • Manufacturer (although sometimes this is part of a separate document, the AVL (Approved Vendor List)
    • A unique part number and also the Manufacturer’s Part Number
    • Quantity
    • Unit cost
    • Extended cost–unit cost multiplied by quantity
    • Lead time
    • MOQ (minimum order quantity)

Just be careful discussing the subject in airports.


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