Bill of Materials (BOM) – FREE Template Available for Download
Supposed that you were going to make lasagna for your friends tonight, and you need to go pick up some groceries after work. You could just rush into a grocery store after work and spend hours doing your research on the ingredients you need and searching for them in the store. Or you could do your research before you go and prepare a shopping list with the detailed information of each ingredient.
Shoppers without shopping lists spend their time wandering around malls and stores as if they are lost kids to be found.
Product makers without BOMs are looking to get into one of the biggest chaos in the product development process. That’s why we decided to write this article and talk about things you should know concerning Bill of Materials. So, what are you waiting for?
1. What is BOM?
BOM stands for Bill of Materials. It is a complete list of all the components, assemblies and other materials required to build a product. Also, this list should include instructions on gathering and using the materials.
2. Why do you need a BOM?
In short, it is a shopping list for you to create a final product. With that bearing in mind, it also serves the purposes as a shopping list does.
It helps you price your product
A comprehensive and informative BOM allows you to have a better understanding of how much you will be spending on purchasing parts and assemblies. Furthermore, it will help you to price your product more properly.
It helps to save your time
A shopping list can guide you through all the varieties of products in a store and lead you to what you really need, so does a BOM! It saves your time on swimming across a sea of components, materials, and suppliers. Your BOM should already tell you all the things you need and where to get them.
It reduces errors and minimize wastage
A bill of materials is like a guiding light in the dark. For example, a manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM) will let you know much inventory you need, the process involved in manufacturing and potentially, how many end products you could expect. With a better understanding of the process and results in mind, it will be much easier for you to foresee errors and decrease wastage.
3. When do you need a Bill of Materials?
There are multiple stages of the product development process where you will need BOMs to sort things out. In most cases, you might need bills of materials during the engineering stage and before the manufacturing process.
4. Are there different types of BOMs?
Typically, there are three types of bills of materials you probably will (or already have) use in the future, Engineering Bill of Materials (EBOM), Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOM) and Configurable Bill of Materials (CBOM).
EBOM includes the parts, components, and assemblies used in the finished product as how it was designed by engineering. Usually, it is defined and organized by engineers using a CAD (Computer-Aided Design) drawing.
MBOM has a similar structure as EBOM. However, the former is manufacturing-oriented. It should list not only all the components and assemblies required to build a complete and shippable product but also all the packaging materials that you need to ship the finished product to customers.
CBOM is more like a master list where you include all the components, but it’s more than just an aggregation of parts. Instead, it should be possible to be configured to a specific product.
5. How do I create my BOM?
One of the most important objectives for having a bill of materials is to make sure that your product is built correctly. Therefore, it necessitates a thorough record of specific pieces of a product in a bill of materials. Despite various types of BOMs we have talked about, the main elements that an effective BOM consists of remain the same.
- Part Number. To reference and identify parts or assemblies easily and quickly, you could assign a part number to each of them.
- Part Name. Record the unique name of each part or assembly. Part names will help you identify them more easily.
- Description. You might need multiple similar parts for one product. Detailed descriptions of each these parts, for instance, the specs of it will help you differentiate and identify them more easily.
- Quantity. How many of the parts or assemblies will you need? Include the number in the BOM which will help guide purchasing and manufacturing decisions and activities.
- Manufacturer. Where are you going to purchase these parts from? You can be sure to find at least five manufacturers who provide the same part you need in Shenzhen, China. That’s why clarifying the manufacturer for a specific part is vital. It will significantly help your purchasing team by pointing the direction as clearly as you can.
- BOM Notes. This section is for all the other relevant notes and messages. Don’t be hesitant to leave notes if you want to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Besides all the essentials to include in your bills of materials, there are some other items that other resources suggested use in a BOM. You can use them to modify your BOMs accordingly.
For example, use BOM Level to define where each part fits in the hierarchy of the BOM and add Reference Designators to clarify where the part located on the PCB board in your BOM if your product needs PCBAs (Printed Circuit Board Assemblies).
Do you have any questions regarding building your BOMs? Leave a comment below and let us know! Or just download the FREE BOM template we prepared for you!