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What Is a Bill of Materials?

bill of materials

A bill of materials is a record of the raw material, components and assemblies required to manufacture a product. It helps minimize inventory inaccuracies, production delays and overall expense.

BOMs are often saved in inefficient spreadsheets, which can cause errors. This can result in costly mistakes such as wrong purchasing or reordering.

Product Description

A product description is a critical piece of writing that provides important information about a product. A good description can help customers understand the features of a product and decide whether it meets their needs. It can also increase sales and revenue for a business. The most effective product descriptions are targeted to a specific audience and are clearly written. To write an effective product description, businesses should first research their target market. This is usually done through creating a buyer persona, which is a representation of the ideal customer. A good buyer persona contains information like demographics, interests, and goals.

A bill of materials (BOM) is a list of all the raw materials, components, assemblies, and parts that are required to manufacture a particular product. The BOM is often used by manufacturers to make decisions about purchasing, inventory, scheduling, and production. It can also be used to track the cost of a product during its manufacturing cycle.

BOMs can be used for any type of manufactured product. They can be used for products that are regularly in stock, or they can be used to order custom-made products that require special specifications. In addition to standard BOMs, companies can also create a service bill of materials (SBOM), which only includes the parts needed for servicing a product. There are also a number of different types of BOMs, each with its own purpose.

For example, engineering teams may use an engineering bill of materials (EBOMS) to create a new product. In contrast, manufacturing teams may use a manufacturing bill of materials (MBOMS). A manufacturing BOM is essentially an industrial recipe that lists all the components and assembly parts for making an end product. It also specifies the quantities of each component and the quantity that is needed for a single unit of each finished product.

For companies with distributed teams and supply chain partners, a centralized source of truth is essential for reducing production errors and shipping delays. The best way to accomplish this is by using a unified PLM platform, such as Arena. This allows all teams, including design and engineering, document management, operations, manufacturing, procurement, contract manufacturers, and more to collaborate on the latest product information.

Part Numbers

A bill of materials (BOM) is a list of all the raw materials, components, and parts needed to make a product. It is usually structured in a hierarchical format with the finished product at the top level and all of the sub-assemblies and components below it. It can also include other information such as the number of units needed for each assembly and any notes or comments. BOMs can be used for engineering purposes during the design process, manufacturing use in production and sales use for estimating and ordering parts. There are two main types of BOMs, single-level and multi-level.

Single-level BOMs are used for products that are not complex in construction and do not have any sub assemblies. These documents display the complete assembly or sub-assembly and then display the individual parts and components that are required to create it. Multi-level BOMs are used for more complex constructions and often break apart the components and sub-assemblies into further levels of sub-assemblies. This type of document uses indentation to show the relationship between component pieces, called children, and the parent piece that they are connected to.

Every part and material in a BOM must have a unique identifier. This identifier must be easily readable to the people who are using it, and it should be recorded at the time the product is created. This helps to avoid confusion or cross-referencing of parts that could delay production and potentially cause errors.

Many companies use a standard part numbering scheme, which allows anyone on the team to reference a part quickly. This can be done without requiring any special training or knowledge. Some companies also choose to use vendor-assigned part numbers, which reduces the number of renumbering processes when new parts are added or old ones replaced.

A well-made BOM can help manufacturers plan purchases, estimate costs, and control inventory. It can also help them minimize the amount of wasted materials and resources during production, which is a critical factor in product success. However, a BOM is not a standalone document and needs to be managed with other applications and tools, like workflow management systems. These systems help to ensure that the BOM is revision controlled, allowing staff to track changes and make updates. They can also be used to manage other important product information, such as drawings and technical specifications.


A BOM lists all the components, ingredients and materials required to make a product. It includes the quantity needed for each item and also provides instructions on how it should be used in the final product. This allows manufacturers to create a precise and consistent product that can be shipped on time. BOMs are typically created by teams within a company across several departments, including engineering and design, document management, purchasing, and manufacturing. They can be prepared manually or with the help of software.

The main purpose of a BOM is to provide an accurate blueprint for manufacturing a product. Without it, there are many errors that can occur during the production process, from human mistakes to a lack of clear assembly instructions. Using a BOM reduces the likelihood of these errors and helps to streamline the production process.

BOMs also allow companies to optimize their inventory levels by ensuring that there is enough stock for production and forecasted sales. This saves money on carrying costs and improves supply chain efficiency. In addition, using a BOM can help manufacturers to make sure that they are purchasing the right quantities of each component.

There are two kinds of BOMs: an engineering bill of materials (EBOM) and a manufacturing bill of materials (MBOM). The EBOM is used by engineers to design a product, and it is often used in a CAD system. The MBOM is used by the manufacturing team to build a finished product, and it is often used in an ERP system.

Creating and managing a BOM can be complicated, especially when it is shared by multiple people. The BOM needs to be updated frequently, and it is important that the changes are reflected in all areas of the business. Using a spreadsheet for this purpose can be difficult, as it opens up the possibility of human error and makes it difficult to track which version of the BOM is being used by which team members. A software solution, like Katana, can help by making it easy to manage and update a BOM and ensure that it is up-to-date.


A bill of materials is a list of all the parts, components, assemblies and sub-assemblies needed to manufacture a finished product. It also includes the quantity of each item. Often, a BOM is hierarchical, with the final product at the top of the list and sub-items below it. Moreover, the BOM contains crucial information about each item such as unique code, description, lifecycle status, approval status, pricing, minimum order quantity, vendor information, manufacturing process and more.

Creating an accurate bill of materials can save time, money and resources. It will ensure that the right quantity of each part is ordered, which in turn prevents errors such as shortages or overages in inventory stock. It will also help to determine the most efficient assembly process for the end product. Furthermore, a well-documented BOM will prevent costly mistakes like misunderstandings and inefficiencies that may lead to a delay in production.

As the number of parts and pieces that go into a single product grows, it becomes increasingly important to document them in a BOM. This can reduce rework and improve quality. For example, it will allow you to track the number of parts that are used in a specific product, which can be helpful if you need to make a revision or fix a defect. Additionally, it can be used to calculate the cost of each piece and its assembly.

BOMs are used by different areas of the business. For instance, engineering and design uses an engineer’s bill of materials (EBOM), while the manufacturing department uses a manufacturing BOM. Each type of BOM is tailored to a specific project and will contain the relevant information for that phase.

It is vital to verify the accuracy of the information in a BOM before uploading it or forwarding it to another party. Even small mistakes can be expensive and should be avoided at all costs. For this reason, it is a good idea to limit editing access for the BOM to only those who need it. This will reduce the risk of errors and reduce the amount of paperwork that is required to make changes.