Why You Need to Optimize Your BOM Before Manufacturing
You know your product is going to be a hit, but without the proper preparation, even the best ideas fall short.
If you’re ready to move from the idea stage to the manufacturing stage with your design, it’s vital you make a bill of materials. The effort put into it will save you many headaches and a lot of cash later down the line.
Do you have a product in mind? Are you ready to get it created? Then read this to understand what that BOM can do for you before you send your idea to the manufacturers.
What Is a Bill of Materials?
A bill of materials (BOM) lists everything required to make your product. It’s similar to a recipe for a dish.
It sounds easy, yet it’s anything but. Creating an effective BOM requires listing every minute detail about your product you can think of. The idea is to leave absolutely nothing to chance because the BOM is the document manufacturers refer to when questions arise.
There are several types of BOMs, but here we’ll focus exclusively on manufacturing BOMs. These documents contain the data on every part and assembly that is necessary to go into a shippable item.
It includes at least the following elements:
- Validity date range
- Part importance and relevance
- Part numbers and names
- Part phases (for example, if a part is in design or being approved)
- Quantities and units
- Necessary ways to procure items
If this seems a bit overwhelming, don’t worry. We have a template you can download and use for yourself right here.
Ensuring your BOM is optimized is the best thing you can do for your product. We’ll show you why.
How Will It Make My Life Easier?
Creating a successful BOM takes a lot of work and effort, so it’s important to understand why you need to invest yourself so fully in the document.
Accuracy of Product
Nothing is quite as appreciated by manufacturers more than a fully thought out BOM. It tells them exactly what they need to do to create the product you’ve been dreaming about, and a good manufacturing company wants to do everything in its power to help that dream come true.
The BOM lists every part required to do the job and even walks companies through the process of creating it. It’s an invaluable how-to guide.
You’ll Save Money
Each year in North Carolina, over 9 million tons of waste is disposed of. Much of that waste derives from businesses and manufacturers.
By thoroughly planning out everything in advance, your bill of materials helps you reduce waste and avoid errors. You’ll spend less on waste disposal costs and supplies. Further, the minimized errors from unclear directions lead to fewer inferior products, keeping your money safely in the bank.
You’ll Have Timelines
In providing specifics for each part and discussing any required pre-assemblage, manufacturers have a clear timeframe. They know how long it will take to order certain parts and when they should purchase them. They can undergo any pre-assembly requirements at appropriate times.
Finally, a BOM lets them make your product right the first time. All of this expedites the entire manufacturing process.
You Can Determine Costs
An efficient BOM lets entrepreneurs estimate costs with accuracy. The list of materials allows accountants or business owners to estimate the unit variable cost, the total material costs for the product. This expense takes into account the price of every piece.
However, that BOM isn’t just handy for the materials listed; it also is a good indicator of labor costs.
A fully-developed BOM lays out the entire manufacturing process from start to finish. Therefore, payroll records or hourly estimates can be employed to find how much money will be required to pay the people actually making your product.
You Can Anticipate Variabilities
What’s available in one country or state may not be in another. Due to the geographical locations, some materials can’t be received in the time required.
In instances like these, the BOM is a lifesaver. It explains the exact functionality of every part and any specs it or substitute parts must have for the end product to work correctly.
In these scenarios, all a company should have to do is refer to the BOM and find a part that fits the specifications. Professional companies run the part by the creator before implementing it.
This information saves you from long delays and a dissatisfying end product.
You’ll Understand Changes and Upgrades
Like revising a book, perfecting a product takes time and small changes. Inevitably as production continues, upgrades or alterations occur.
For these times, the BOM provides relevant documentation of what was changed, when it was changed and why. If businesses need to revise the product in the future, they will know exactly what was altered in the past and the effect it had on the product.
Therefore, the BOM is integral not only in initial manufacturing but also in future creation.
It’ll Help With Future Investments
The success of adding a particular part or upgrading a certain model impacts future investments. Did a company make money after adding a cool new feature or did sales decrease? By tracking this information, the BOM is a useful tool in understanding what consumers desire and having the ability to provide it.
How Do I Optimize?
Now that you comprehend the integral role a bill of materials plays in the creation of your product, you’re probably wondering how you optimize the document.
Start with the basics we listed earlier. Next, ask yourself the following questions:
- What materials do I need and why do I need each part?
- What features must every part have and why?
- Does my product require consumables, such as glue, fasteners, etc.?
- Who will reference my BOM and is the document catered to each group?
- How do I plan to track any revisions to my BOM?
If you do everything we’ve listed and address these questions in your BOM, you’ve created a successful, efficient document.
Ready for the Next Step?
You have your awesome idea. You’ve worked hard to create a solid bill of materials. What comes next?
Speaking to a manufacturing company!
Contact us for a free quote on your design and take the next steps toward creation.
Your dream product is waiting . . .