As the manufacturing process for products becomes increasingly complex – both in quantities of parts and the specification of those parts – so too does the process of keeping track of the part information. To keep track of all the necessary components and parts needed for a product, manufacturers rely on Bills of Materials (BOMs).
The simplest definition of a BOM is a master list of all of the items that are required to build a product. This includes both raw materials and finished components. Bills of materials typically contain item descriptions, parts numbers, quantities, and other related data. This information helps manufacturers ensure they have the right materials on hand when assembling a product. BOMs can be created for a single product or for an entire product line. In addition, bills of materials can help manufacturers track costs associated with production, allowing them to make adjustments if needed.
Bills of materials are relied upon by several departments within a firm. For instance, BOMs play a vital role in inventory management. By referencing a BOM, manufacturers can easily see what parts are needed and when they need to be replenished. This helps to avoid production delays due to a lack of materials. BOMs are also essential for specifying parts in the purchasing process. When manufacturers outsource components, they need to provide buyers with a BOM to make sure the correct parts are ordered. In addition, BOMs play a role in product lifecycle management. As products go through changes during their lifecycle, BOMs need to be updated to reflect these changes. Quality departments help manage those changes through their ECM processes.
BOMs can be created and maintained manually or with the help of purpose-built software. When it comes to managing BOMs for complex product manufacturing, BOM software like Materials Resource Planning (MRP) and PLM systems like Aligni can be a valuable asset. BOM software systems can automate many of the tasks associated with BOM management, such as creating, updating, and sharing BOMs. The software is also more adept at maintaining larger, more complex build lists with greater efficiency than relying on spreadsheets. This can ultimately lead to better quality products and shorter production times – all with much less investment in time and effort.
Want to get a handle on bills of materials for your product builds? It’s time to start using Aligni. Sign up today!
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