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By Tom Gordon, (MSc., CFPIM), Missouri Enterprise Project Manager

The best way to start a fight among engineers is to bring up the subject of Bill of Material (BOM) structuring. Disagreement amongst engineers aside, BOM structuring is a subject worth exploration because a correctly structured BOM will add real value to a company’s marketing and sales activities as well as accuracy to its ERP system and will lead to increased customer satisfaction.

Most manufacturing is not straightforward. And in an era where everything is customized, customers have virtually an infinite number of end products due to the complexity of design and the wide choice of optional features.

The solution?

A configurator will allow relatively inexperienced sales order takers to enter a complex customer order correctly – if the BOM is structured correctly so that inconsistent components cannot be grouped together. Click here to read the full whitepaper and to see an example of how this works. 

This takes decision making out of the hands of order takers and puts it into the hands of the manufacturing professionals, where they really belong! For the sales department to effectively use a configurator, the BOM is modularized, to create a non‐buildable product at the top level. Instead of maintaining a BOM for each individual end-product, the BOM is restated in terms of the building blocks, or modules, from which the final customer product is created.   

So, let the engineers fight. A thorough and thoughtful Bill of Material system will help keep the products flowing smoothly out of the plant and keep customers coming back.

Engage resources like Missouri Enterprise to take a closer look at your BOM system. One of our Area Business Managers would love to help!