Accuracy of production and consistency characterize strong manufacturing operations. Like a good recipe, each item on a bill of materials needs to be exactly right to produce high-quality end products while maintaining equipment effectiveness and production rates.
Bill of materials (BOM) management is a critical functionality for modern manufacturing operations, and is often included as part of a manufacturing resource planning (MRP) system or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system.
With hundreds of options for manufacturing systems, it can be challenging to identify the capabilities you need and find the vendors that best meet your requirements. This Buyer's Guide is designed to give you the information you need to make the best decision for your business quickly.
Here's what we'll cover:
Bill of materials (BOM) software automates the process of listing the individual components that make up a product in the manufacturing setting. Users can create item profiles for every part that goes into a specific product, then use these to create multiple lists for a single product to show subassemblies.
For years, this process was performed manually on paper. Spreadsheets helped businesses track more information about each part than was possible on paper, but the manual entry of data is tedious and error-prone.
Many still rely on Excel, but manufacturing systems and ERPs with BOM functionality help companies manage and automate this important task. This becomes crucial when working with multiple teams, sites and service providers on the same project.
The BOM view in Fishbowl Manufacturing, with fields to create a new item profile
BOM software is also necessary for growth. Optimizing accuracy and quality from the beginning of the process allows manufacturers to increase production volume and scale the business.
The features included in a BOM system support data entry, workflow management and data analysis functions. These may include:
|Multilevel BOM||Create profiles for items in the system that can then be combined to create a completed project. BOM software ensures that all subassemblies and component parts are listed in the system for accuracy.|
|Routing management||Determine the best machines and equipment to use for a specific project. Takes into account the characteristics of each production asset to automatically distribute the work in the most efficient way possible.|
|Cost maintenance||Calculate costs for each item in a bill of materials. This tool can multiply the cost by quantities needed and factor in any other costs, such as tooling or overhead operational costs.|
|Change history||Track fluctuations in the availability and cost of materials and parts. By tracking all of these changes, software helps companies remain in compliance and maintain a paper trail for potential audits.|
|Document management||Keep important documents accessible to every organization involved in the supply chain.|
|Reporting||Generate reports to see how each item is utilized, which can be useful for identifying problems and streamlining production processes. Reports can also be exported to external systems, such as an ERP.|
Spreadsheets have been a popular tracking method for many years, but thousands of companies reached out to Software Advice in the past year alone to upgrade to dedicated manufacturing systems.
Any organization with plans to scale the business and take on a larger volume of orders needs true automation to manage the increased complexity of a modern manufacturing operation.
Here are the main benefits BOM offers over spreadsheets:
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