Menu Close

How to Create a Bill of Materials in Excel

A bill of materials is a key document for product design, engineering, and manufacturing teams. It provides essential information on the raw material requirements and assemblies needed to create a final product.

However, as companies release more products and scale their operations with distributed teams and supply chain partners, managing BOMs in spreadsheets can quickly become a major problem.

Parts List

The parts list in a bill of materials is a key component of any product assembly process. Whether you’re working in manufacturing, engineering, or hardware development, a well-made BOM template will help you make your products more efficiently. The list contains all the components, raw materials, and sub-assemblies that go into a finished product. It also helps you plan out your production processes and reduce waste. The best part about using a BOM template is that it’s flexible and can be adjusted to meet your specific needs.

A bill of materials is a spreadsheet that lists the individual components, raw materials, and sub-assemblies needed to create a product. It also includes a cost estimate for each component. The goal of a BOM is to provide a clear and concise summary of the components needed to produce a product, including quantity, cost, and delivery time. It can be used by internal departments, project stakeholders, suppliers, and vendors.

There are several different types of bills of materials (BOMs) that you can use. For example, a modular BOM lists the components hierarchically to describe all of the sub-assemblies within a complete product. This is a useful tool when you need to quickly identify the exact location of a component in the overall product structure. Another type of BOM is a top-level only BOM, which displays only the parts that make up a part or assembly.


A bill of materials (BOM) is a vital tool for anyone involved in product development or manufacturing. It lists the parts, descriptions and prices required for an entire assembly or finished product. It can also include procurement details to track how the materials will be obtained. A well-implemented BOM template will improve communication between those collaborating on the project and help control inventory levels to prevent delays in production.

Most small to mid-sized companies start out managing their BOMs with spreadsheets. This works for a while, but it quickly becomes difficult to manage when a company releases multiple products or experiences rapid growth.

To address this problem, many businesses invest in dedicated software to manage their product BOMs. This software allows users to organize and structure their data, which makes it easier to access. It also provides features that simplify the process of updating and navigating multiple versions of a BOM.

The software is typically used by companies that work in the construction, engineering, hardware development and electronics industries. It is also useful for contractors who are bidding on a project, as it can help them calculate the costs of each task. It can also help them avoid overestimating or underestimating the costs of each task, which can lead to overpaying for the work.

Units of Measurement

A bill of materials is a document that includes all components and raw materials needed to make a product. It is a vital tool for manufacturing businesses and can help streamline the engineering process and improve quality. It also helps you control costs and reduce production delays. It can be used for both engineering and manufacturing projects to create physical products like machines or software. It can also be used for intangible creative products such as graphic design or written work.

A good BOM template will include all the information needed for the project, including part number, name, description and quantity. It should be clear and concise, making it easy for anyone to understand. It should also incorporate a list of suppliers and vendors and their contact details, which will make it easier for the engineering team to source all the necessary materials.

In addition to the parts list, a BOM should also contain a unit of measurement for each item. This will ensure that you are purchasing the correct amount of each item, and will make it easier to manage your inventory. It should also incorporate a reference designator, which will help you keep track of the parts that are used on printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs).

A well-written BOM can save time and money by eliminating mistakes during production. This will prevent production delays caused by missing or incorrect components and raw materials. It can also help you communicate your needs to suppliers more effectively, which can be helpful for negotiating prices and delivery lead times.


When multiple teams are working on the same project or product, it’s important to have an accurate bill of materials (BOM). This document contains all the raw materials and components that will be used to make a finished product. It helps reduce production errors, shipping delays, and waste. A BOM also provides valuable information for estimates, manufacturing planning, and inventory control.

BOMs are typically arranged in a table with columns for part number, description, quantity, unit of measurement, and cost. The table is often organized in a modular format to describe all sub-assemblies within a completed product. For example, a modular BOM may be indented to show parent-child relationships between different levels of a sub-assembly.

A BOM also includes a unique part number that can be used to identify the correct material or component to order from suppliers. It can include other useful data such as revision history, photos, and supplementary characteristics. In addition to providing a detailed list of the materials needed, a BOM can also help reduce production costs by tracking recurring items.

A BOM should be a primary source of product data, and all team members should use it. This ensures that all engineers are using the same version of the document, which reduces communication issues and production mistakes. Having a central BOM database also makes it easier for engineers to find the right parts and avoid duplicates. It also allows for faster and more accurate estimates.