Tips for Creating the Ultimate Bill of Materials

The Bill of Materials (BOM) is, perhaps, the most important document in manufacturing. Basically, it’s a list of all the materials you need to manufacture your products — and the quantities of each. 

Without a BOM you just won’t be able to complete your production processes properly. In the worst-case scenario, customers and clients might not receive their orders on time because you have used the wrong materials (or wrong quantities of these materials) during manufacturing. 

Here are some tips for creating the ultimate BOM that you can share with suppliers, supervisors, and shop floor staff. 


Include Just the Right Amount of Detail

A BOM isn’t a manual, it doesn’t need to be 100 pages long, it doesn’t have to include hundreds of diagrams or lots of complicated data. A BOM needs to include details about the raw materials you use during the manufacturing process. It needs to be clear, accurate, and relatively detailed.

The key to a successful BOM is including the right amount of information. If you include too much detail, it will confuse your team. Include too little detail, and it, too, will confuse your team! 


Use Software

Sure, you could create a BOM by hand, but this is a long and laborious process. Your BOM will likely change as you incorporate new materials and quantities into your production processes to meet supply and demand and other factors. Using software to create (and subsequently update) your BOM makes much more sense.

A manufacturing execution system (MES) like Prodsmart lets you create a BOM from scratch and edit it as you go. You can save everything in the cloud, which means you can access your BOM wherever you are in the world — even on your mobile device. 


Check Your Information 

One honest mistake in your BOM could cost your organization a great deal of money. Say you only need a certain quantity of a particular raw material, for example, but you enter double that amount on your BOM. This could have huge ramifications and disrupt your entire production process.

Make sure you check the information on your BOM — and then check again! 


Prodsmart lets you create a digital BOM with product tress so you can visualize raw data and make smarter decisions on the shop floor. Click here to learn more!