The Importance and Benefits of a Manufacturing Bill of Materials

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The Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOM) is vital to the correct manufacture and/or assembly of product. Perhaps it is easier to view this document as a recipe that states exactly what should components a manufacturer needs and in what quantities. What exactly is an MBOM and are there other types of bills of materials that can be useful to a manufacturer?

What is an MBOM?

This document details all the parts, sub-parts and individual assemblies that are essential to creating the final product. Other information present on the MBOM includes any packaging materials required such as the boxes, instruction sheets and even right down to the glue that is used to affix labels to containers. It is also prudent to include the supplier and lead times for individual components on the MBOM as the purpose of it is to ensure that the manufacturing process, from procurement to sale, can be followed to the letter with the same outcome every time.

What other BOMs are there?

The EBOM is the Engineering Bill of Materials and it exists to dig a little deeper than an MBOM. The EBOM denotes everything required for a product based on its design. For example, if the MBOM stipulates where the chipboard should go in a product, what it connects to and how many are required, the EBOM stipulates how the chipboard is designed and what tiny components comprise it. As such, just as there are often multiple parts to a finished product, there can be multiple EBOMs for each product.

There is also a Configurable Bill of Materials (CBOM) which is simply a BOM that can be altered based on a customer’s specifications. It therefore contains any specific documentation surrounding unique requirements from individual customers. As you can imagine, procurement for a company can be quite an involved process and difficult to get right when there are so many unique customer demands to be aware of. Therefore, it is useful to have a means of documenting this so that the same process is followed ever time.

What are some of the benefits of having an MBOM?

  • Saves time: You know how much of each component is required and that the individual components are in stock and waiting to be used
  • Reduces costs: The MBOM provides a basis for good inventory management so that stock can then be ordered only when it’s required, avoiding excessive inventory holding costs
  • Provides a framework: In the case of small businesses where often only one person is responsible for specific areas of production, an MBOM provides a framework for staff to follow to ensure consistency
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Melanie - Unleashed Software

Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.

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