The Bill Of Materials – more important than you may think!
The Bill Of Materials is an incredibly important document which spans the product development process and evolves as you get closer to mass production. It provides all of the product’s key information, from both the supply chain side and also design and technical side, too. Think of it as a kind of list of components, suppliers, costs, quality and compliance test results, designs (showing the relationship between components and materials) and much more. This would be shared with your manufacturer in order for them to produce your products or, if you’re working with an OEM or ODM in particular, they will be creating their own BOM for your product which you will hopefully have access to, otherwise you’re blind to how they make it.
So, in this episode, we examine the BOM, how it’s used, and what is typically included.
Due to the incredibly confidential nature of the BOM, it’s a document that it’s worth taking great pains to protect as it gives competitors or suppliers the ‘blueprints’ to duplicate your product, or at least its unique features, as well as an inside track into who suppliers components and the real production cost. Since you wouldn’t want this to leak, we’ll discuss how to protect it legally, too.
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Here’s a summary of key sections of this episode:
✅ What is the BOM?
✅ Problems you’ll face if you don’t have access to it.
✅ How it evolves throughout the production process.
✅ What’s included in the BOM.
✅ The review process for this document.
✅ Formatting the BOM.
✅ Why to keep it confidential and tips to do so.
✅ How to get access to the BOM from a reluctant supplier.
✅ Why the BOM is useful for driving sub-suppliers to improve quality.
✅ How the BOM can be used to manage the sourcing team and control spending.
Keep reading about the BOM
We’ve also written about the BOM in these blog posts and pages:
- Bill of Materials (BoM) – summary
- What is the Bill of Materials and why is it important?
- How To Manage the Bill of Materials, from Initial Design to Mass Production
You should also watch this video to take a look at a real example of a BOM and hear Renaud talk you through its sections:
How do you manage the creation, updating, and protection of your BOM? Any thoughts or questions about using the Bill Of Materials with suppliers aborad to share?
Let us know your experiences by leaving a comment, please.
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