Maximising Production Efficiency with Bill Of Materials

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What manufacturer doesn’t want to maximise production efficiency? This leads to the question of how stock control processes which have often been used for decades could possibly be improved upon any further.

A Bill of Materials (BOM) takes complicated parts and raw material information and presents it in a meaningful way for producers to review with the aim of understanding their inventory manufacturing cycle inputs and improving upon them. However, it can leave some manufacturers with headaches due to the time consuming, costly and labour-intensive process of creating what is essentially a recipe and blueprint of the production process and inputs.

Many businesses have put BOM documents in the ‘too hard’ basket continuing to operate without for years. This is where online inventory management software saves the day and the producer’s bottom line!

How do BOMs work?

A Bill of Material is a detailed list of raw materials, components and inputs required to produce a product or service. Often Bills of Material are displayed as diagrams showing the hierarchy of the product’s inputs with the completed product at the top, and all of the individual components nested below. A product may have hundreds or thousands of parts and a BOM shows the breakdown of how these parts make up the product along with specific part information such as part number, description, quantities used and other input specific information; these documents simplify production inputs.

BOMs benefits producers in a variety of ways. They make it easy to track changes to product recipes or inputs and understand the reasons for holding stock. This could include changes made by suppliers which can be input into BOMs to see the effect of the production cycle and end products.

An effective BOM also is a collaborative document which can be stored centrally via an inventory management software. Gone are the days of different departments having their own version with varying data and a lack of information sharing. The company also moves away from using decentralised software, such as Excel, which is prone to unauthorised changes and modification that may cost businesses both time and money if the production cycle is impacted.

Brewing the recipe for success with inventory management software

Take a brewery as an example of how BOMs can benefit producers in varied production fields. Brewers have recipes for their products and understand the raw ingredients that they need to add for a production run. However, when it comes to brewery inventory management they are left scratching their heads. They didn’t get into brewing to stare at a spreadsheet, tracking inventory stock.

Online inventory management software allows these craftsmen to dedicate more time to their passion while increasing their productivity and profits. The software can take data from a variety of inputs such as stock ordering data, production process data and warehousing information to create BOMs for the variety of beers that the brewery makes.

The BOMs created are collaborative evolving documents bringing together information from the staff in various departments who all have inputs or influences during the production cycle. Inventory management software creates BOMs that are blueprints of products created, whether that is a cool beer or a cardboard box. BOMs contain practical data for producers which can include tracked changes in production processes, traceability of inputs and a holistic view of the production process.

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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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