You have Bills of Materials (BOM), and then you have Bills of Materials for the manufacturing industry. Often in this industry you will deal with more complex things than a couch or other furniture, and iwn turn the bill of materials will be much more complex. More often than not you will have to deal with coherence between moving parts, electronics, and software. And then there is the exact configuration a customer has chosen, which you will have to measure up to. To deliver high quality, your bills of materials should be of high quality as well. In this blog you will read all you need to know about bills of materials for the manufacturing industry. Good to know in advance is that they are often referred to with the abbreviation BoM.
When talking about BoMs, we mean an overview of all required parts and materials to realize a customer’s configuration. And when we say all of them, we mean all of them. This means physical items that have to be produced or bought. When a part needs to be created, an underlying BoM will be necessary to determine the materials required to make this part. Further adjustments of parts will also be present on the BoM, for instance when a piece of steel should- or should not have coating. And even for this coating a separate bill of materials may be needed. The same principle counts for electronic components and associated software.
The short answer: with a good bill of materials every department in your company knows exactly what work should be carried out.
Because all departments know exactly what is expected from them, fewer mistakes will be made and both time and money will be saved. Less frustration will occur and management will be able to make better informed choices. On top of that a good BoM process creates clarity for the customer and ensures an exact translation of the customer’s wishes for production.
Now that you know why creating a good BoM is essential, you naturally want to know how to actually create one. This is very dependent on the amount of modularity within your product range. It works as follows.
The most important part is that with your bill of materials, you constantly serve the next stage in your production process. So a salesperson should know which options they can sell at all.
That has to be presented in a way that is clear for them and the customer. Next, engineering should be able to see what applies to them on the basis of the BoM. The same goes for production. The function of all these steps is to translate the customer’s wishes to a technical product.
To optimize this process it is important to make all possible modules and configurations insightful, and to know how one module cooperates with another. With this insight the creation of bills of materials nearly becomes the most complicated step.
Simply put, you need to ensure that every department gets a bill of materials with the level and content that suits their job. For instance, a salesperson sells an option of which they do not need to know how exactly said option works with the rest of the product. That is the engineers’ job. Just like a production employee does not have to think about the price of a certain configuration.
Each department works at their best with a BoM configuration that is as specific as possible. When you work with a product configurator, you already make a big step here. As it ensures a direct translation from the customer configuration to parameters and BoMs for all other departments further in the process. The logic and coherence between the different modules is already secured in the sales process, so that your salespeople can directly indicate a correct price.
Elfsquad removes all worries from your pre-production process. With Elfsquad as backbone, we realize the digital factory that smart industries have been trying to find for so long. We do this through a product configurator, with integrated solutions for marketing, sales, and operations.