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What is a Bill of Materials and How Do You Manage It?

A bill of materials is a list of materials, assemblies, parts, and quantities needed to manufacture a product. It is very important for a company to have a bill of materials set up, and especially if they have a large array of products that they offer because it can be hard to keep track of everything.

Some people refer to the BOM as the blueprint. If you look at just about any successful company that is large, they will probably have a bill of materials if they are in the manufacturing space or something that is related.

Set Up Your BOM’s

There are a few steps involved with effectively managing a bill of materials. I will lay them out very briefly, and hopefully, it will paint a clear picture in your head.

First, you need to have an effective bill of materials in the first place before anything also. If you start off with a bad foundation, then you can’t expect to manage a bill of materials smoothly. Setting it up perfectly at the start is the first and maybe the most important step.

Automate the BOM

After it is set up correctly, then it is time to look at automating your bill of materials. An automated platform will create a process and eventually will lead to accountability from all parties that are involved with your bill of materials.

Automation is also going to make you more effective because it is automated and there are not nearly as many labour hours and attention needed to keep the process going smoothly after it is set up correctly.

Changes to the BOM

After the BOM is automated, you are likely still going to need to analyze it and make the necessary changes for the better. It is best to only have a few people doing this to limit the number of variables involved in the process.

You will be able to identify any discrepancies with all of the information available, and that will make you able to make the correct changes to the automation.

Changes to Management

In time, there will be changes in who is managing the systems and information. When there are changes, the biggest key to success is communication between all parties so that the operation goes smoothly.

Communication is the biggest key to all of the points in this post, but it is especially true in the changes to the BOM section and in this one. It really is vital for the success of the BOM and the company as a whole.

The blueprint is something that should be taken very seriously, and it should be managed very precisely over the long run. The biggest keys are to set up a great foundation, automate it, and then make the proper changes to the system.

If you found this post helpful about the bill of materials, then please share it with someone else that would find it useful or interesting.

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