What are Bill of materials?

Jun 14, 21
Neelanjit Das
Product advocate

It is not unusual for someone new in the industry, to get lost in the world of tech jargon. Bill of materials or simply BOM may sound like a lot to grasp, but it is pretty simple and highly recommended to use. BOM is a list which includes the list of raw materials, sub-assemblies, or parts and all the quantities of these parts needed to make a product.

● So for example, if you’re producing a thousand parts this week and that part uses 4 Hex Bolts then you need four thousand Hex Bolts. BOM of that part will have this information, so BOM may not be a technical specification of a part but it is very useful and it is like an add-on to the part.

● Think of BOM as a grocery list to make your favorite recipe. Bill of materials is by nature hierarchical, so they generally start with the finished product on top and work their way down to screws, nuts, and bolts, all the required stuff to make the product.

An detailed example!

Here is an example of a bill of materials for a burger. You can see in the diagram below where you have a list of ingredients to make a burger. To make a burger all these ingredients are needed but you also need to know their quantities and how much of each unit is also very important.

This is because when we are dealing with direct parts its unit would just be a piece of it but when you’re dealing with parts like meat or spices it could be in grams or lbs in this example. BOM also includes unit cost, so the table on the right side would probably a bill of materials to make a burger.

There are different types of BOMs like engineering BOM or EBOM, used mainly by the design engineers to add technical specifications for each part, as this EBOM heads over to sales, a Sales-BOM would be used for purchasing the part(s) and raw materials from outside vendors. Finally, manufacturing BOM will contain the list of the part(s) that are produced & assembled in the factory.

What’s next?

Now that you know what exactly is a BOM, you might have some doubts or curiosity. We are here to help you. Simply drop a mail over at sales@glabbr.tech and someone will surely assist you further.
For more information, as to why a good Material Requirements Planning(MRP) system and BOM can improve your production line read here.