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4 Steps to Master BOM Management

Stakeholders across multiple departments use a bill of materials (BOM) to track part numbers, information about suppliers and vendors, costs, and even lead times. The document is so ubiquitous it can be easy to take for granted — but that’s also what makes BOM so important. If material information is improperly or inefficiently managed, it will impact productivity throughout the company.

As products and manufacturing environments become more complex to meet customization demands, properly managing BOM data can be just as time-consuming and labor-intensive as sales, production, and other core business processes — especially when done manually. Improving your BOM management strategy can streamline all of the documentation and recordkeeping involved in these
processes, increasing accuracy, maximizing efficiency, and ultimately saving money and freeing up resources. Here’s what you need to know to master BOM management processes — as well as the software solutions that can make the job easier.

How BOM Management Works

A BOM isn’t just a list of parts — it helps manufacturers plan inventory, manage production schedules, and estimate costs. This one document keeps engineering, procurement, production, sales, and other departments aligned throughout the product lifecycle.

Managing BOM properly ensures products are manufactured on time, meet customers’ specifications, adhere to quality standards, and minimize time and material waste during production. Poor BOM management can result in missed deadlines, incorrect product builds, and other problems that undermine profitability.

Here’s what’s involved in proper BOM management:

BOM initiation

When a product design is finalized, engineers generate a list of parts and components required to manufacture it.

BOM update

As product designs, suppliers, vendors, procurement lead times, and other attributes of a product change, stakeholders update the BOM to reflect the latest reality.

BOM version control

Stakeholders in each department may store BOMs in their own databases and file management systems, creating confusion about which parts and components are needed to manufacture a specific product. Labeling each BOM properly and creating a centralized database is critical to avoiding miscommunications and errors.

Supplier and inventory alignment

Procurement teams need to carefully monitor BOMs and upcoming orders to ensure their suppliers and vendors provide the necessary parts and components on time and at the appropriate cost. They also need to track internal inventory to ensure sufficient stock to manufacture products and avoid over- and under-ordering materials.

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How to Automate BOM Management

Manually tracking this information requires a lot of data entry and file management, leaving operations open to human error. Data silos create additional barriers, potentially causing team members to refer to outdated versions of BOMs. Not only do manufacturers risk paying for costly production errors, but they also suffer from inefficient and labor-intensive processes that cut into profitability and revenue potential.

PRO.FILE a Revalize brand is an industry-leading product lifecycle management (PLM) platform that automates most of the busy work that goes into BOM management. The software creates a “digital thread,” connecting teams to the documents they need from a convenient, centralized database that lives on the cloud and is always up to date. Key features include:

Talk with one of our experts and discover how PRO.FILE empower and support the digital future of your business.

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