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Managing Bill of Materials With Bill of Materials Software

Like a recipe, a bill of materials (BOM) helps teams acquire the pieces they need to complete a project. It encourages standardized communication and helps control inventory levels to reduce waste.

BOMs can be flat or indented, and can include engineering files, assembly instructions, and other documents. They can also support a modular design.


Creating a bill of materials (BOM) is a vital process for any manufacturing or design company. It provides a framework of project requirements for teams and suppliers to follow, helping avoid costly mistakes and improve efficiency. BOMs also document the product’s components, allowing for traceability and quality control. They are useful for documenting changes to raw material costs, which can have a significant impact on overall project cost.

While smaller businesses and entrepreneurs can get by using spreadsheets to manage their product bills of materials, the problem becomes more serious as companies grow and scale. When a company releases additional products, experiences rapid growth, or adds more manufacturing and outsourcing partners, the act of managing an Excel BOM becomes much bigger and more complex. The issues that result can be very costly in terms of lost time and unnecessary scrap and rework.

There are a few things that you can do to minimize the risks associated with managing your BOM in spreadsheets. For example, standardizing your spreadsheets and limiting who can make changes is essential. You should also limit the number of columns and keep them as simple as possible. This will make them easier to read and understand. When working on analysis that requires BOM information and structure, such as cost comparisons or prototype inventory, you should create separate spreadsheets instead of adding non-standard columns to your BOM.

If you want to use an Excel template for your bills of materials, it’s important to find one that’s easy to customize and fits your needs. You can also create a template that saves formulas for your specific product. This will help you avoid having to spend time re-creating formulas every time you use the template.

A BOM template should be used to document the parts, sub-assemblies, and assemblies required for a particular project or product. This will allow you to track the costs of the finished project, ensure that all required parts are available, and prevent miscommunication among team members. In addition, a BOM is helpful for tracking production status and monitoring material levels. It can also be used to track change orders and ensure that project deadlines are met.

Easy to use

A bill of materials (BOM) is a list that includes all the components, materials, parts and sub-assemblies required to create a final product. It’s similar to an ingredient list for a recipe, and it’s essential for project management. It also helps you control inventory levels, ensures that your teams have the correct components for each assembly step and prevents costly production errors. BOMs are usually used for product manufacturing, but they can also benefit software developers, engineers, and marketing and sales departments.

A BOM can include many different data points, including part numbers, descriptions, and costs. It can also contain engineering drawings and diagrams that describe how each component fits together. The information in a BOM can also help you determine the number of pieces you need to complete each assembly process. This can be helpful for determining how long it will take to complete each phase of the assembly process and whether you need to order more supplies.

While BOMs are usually used in manufacturing and engineering projects, they can be useful for any type of project that requires a certain amount of raw materials. A BOM is essential for a successful project, and it’s important to have consistent formatting throughout the document. You should also avoid adding non-standard columns to your BOM. If you’re performing analysis that requires BOM structure and information, such as cost comparisons or prototype inventory tracking, you should create separate spreadsheets for those tasks rather than using your BOM.

Creating and managing a BOM can be time-consuming and challenging, especially when there are multiple stakeholders involved in the project. Using an online management system can help you save time and reduce the risk of error by managing your BOM in one place. This free tool can also allow you to track changes, share documents with multiple parties, and customize permission levels.

While new companies often start their journey to product lifecycle management by relying on Excel spreadsheets, these simple tools can quickly become unmanageable as a company grows and adds suppliers and manufacturers. The best way to manage a BOM is with a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) software solution that will provide you with the flexibility, functionality, and integrations you need.

Easy to customize

If you’re a business that manufactures, assembles or sells products, you need to create and maintain a bill of materials (BOM). It contains the list of raw materials and components needed to make the finished product. It’s similar to a recipe, but it is much more detailed and precise. Most small to mid-sized companies start managing their BOMs with spreadsheets, because it is easy and flexible. However, as the company grows and releases additional products, or adds manufacturing and supply chain partners, Excel spreadsheets can become a big pain in the neck.

BOMs help project teams keep track of what they need to complete a task. They also serve as a framework for managing critical functions, such as calculating the total cost of deliverables. This can help avoid scope creep, which increases operating costs and delays project delivery. Additionally, a well-documented BOM can provide a record of all the parts used in a product, which is important for quality assurance purposes.

Creating a BOM from scratch is a time-consuming process. A template allows you to get started quickly and easily. It provides a standard format that everyone can understand, which helps you eliminate errors. It’s also easy to customize the template so that it fits your needs.

A good BOM template should contain the following information:

The template should include a column for categories that categorize each part based on its function or appearance. It should also have a field for the part number, the item name, and the quantity. In addition, it should have a column for the cost. This helps you manage your inventory levels and ensures that you have the right parts in stock.

Another important feature is that the template should be able to link each item to its manufacturer and supplier. This will help you streamline communication between departments and prevent errors. It will also help you monitor supplier performance and make better purchasing decisions.

The best BOM templates are easy to edit. They should be readable, and the data must be organized in a way that makes it easy to find. They should also be updated frequently. Otherwise, the data may become inaccurate or inconsistent.


A bill of materials (BOM) is a critical document used by manufacturers to optimize inventory management and planning. It provides an organized, clear view of the required raw materials and components needed to make a finished product. It also helps to improve team communication and collaboration. There are many different types of BOMs, each designed for a specific purpose. The best way to manage a BOM is by using a software solution that is both dynamic and flexible.

Several parties interact with or depend on a BOM, including internal departments, external vendors and suppliers, and project or product stakeholders. For this reason, it is important that the BOM is accurate and up-to-date. An accurate BOM can save time and money by reducing errors, increasing efficiency, and preventing scope creep.

When creating a BOM, it is important to think about the structure and how you will organize the data. The template you choose should provide enough space to include all of the information that is necessary for your business. It should also allow you to hide columns that are not required for your analysis. This will keep the spreadsheet organized and help avoid confusion.

In addition to the components and their quantities, a BOM must be updated with the prices of each component. This will allow you to determine the total cost of your product and make informed decisions about your pricing strategy. The final cost of a product is vital to determining profit levels and margins. It can also help prevent costly overruns and delay in delivery times.

You can use a variety of tools to create your BOM, from static templates to more comprehensive, dynamic tools such as PDXpert PLM’s product structure management. For example, you can sort your BOM by subassembly to see the quantity of each part in a particular assembly. Excel’s outlining buttons, which appear next to the worksheet, are helpful for this task. To enable them, right-click the worksheet and select “Custom Sort.” Click the “Sort By” button in the Data tab and choose “Subassembly1” from the Sort control.