bill of materials
A bill of materials (BOM) is an extensive list of raw materials, components, and instructions required to construct, manufacture, or repair a product or service. A bill of materials usually appears in a hierarchical format, with the highest level displaying the finished product and the bottom level showing individual components and materials.
There are different types of bills of materials specific to engineering used in the design process; they're also specific to the manufacturing used in the assembly process.
A bill of materials (BOM) is a centralised source of information used to manufacture a product. It is a list of the items needed to create a product as well as the instructions on how to assemble that product. Manufacturers that build products start the assembly process by creating a BOM.
Creating an accurate bill of materials (BOM) is vital because it ensures that parts are available when needed as well as ensuring that the assembly process is as efficient as possible. If the BOM is not accurate it can cause production to halt, which increases operating costs, as time is needed to locate missing parts, start another production order, or until the correct process of assembly is determined.
The different types of bills of materials (BOMs) depend on the type of project and the business needs. Common areas that utilise BOMs are engineering, design, operations, manufacturing, and more. A manufacturing BOM is essential in designing enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems and materials requirement planning (MRP).
Items included in a BOM are the part number, part name, quantity, unit of measurement, assembly references, method of parts construction, and additional notes.
Depending on your product and business, the tabs will appear as per your business requirements, but in this instance as we have worked on a jacket for the demonstrations, we’ll stick with the apparel layout for bill of materials.
As mentioned before in previous tutorials, a PLM is for any physical product, it is not just for fashion. PLM actually originated from the automobile industry, and is used today for the design, development and manufacturing of many products such as furniture, food, appliances, technology, pharmaceuticals, etc.
The tabs in the bill of materials we’ll be working on today for the jacket will be a common one for a piece of apparel, they will hold the components for the materials, artwork applications, trims, labels, and packaging.
Material is the largest covering area, so we’re going to start there.
I’m going to tap the materials tab, and add my first component. Now, there are two ways of doing this, you can either import from the library, or create a brand new component. I’ll show you both methods, but to find out more about the Bill of Materials Library, you will need to navigate to that tutorial as this one only covers the BOM components within a product.
Next to the search bar in the bill of materials, there is a dropdown with 3 options, library, groups, and product.
Import is the first, and the default selection. To import from the library all you have to do is to start typing the component code/description in the search bar, and Bombyx will start to filter through the components within the library for you. Once you see the component you want to import, all you have to do is tap that item.
Most items in the libraries groups and templates have not only a library, but also a group that allows users to group components that are commonly used together, so that when it gets to the product stage you can import all of those items together at once as opposed to individually.
If you select ‘group’ from the drop down, and start searching, Bombyx will then filter through your group names/descriptions. It’s exactly the same as what you did with the library selection, but it stops you having to add them all in one after the other, and saves you a chunk of time.
Similar to groups, selecting a product from the dropdown will drop in multiple components from another product. Maybe it’s a very similar product and you want to add in the same components and then edit or delete anything you don’t need, and add the final pieces that the previous product maybe doesn’t have. Once you’ve selected Product from the dropdown, another dropdown will appear in which you can then search for a product number/description, and as you type Bombyx will start to filter out the results based on your search.
Once you’ve found the product components you want to bring into that specific tab, tap the selection and all the items from that product will appear. Note that you can’t bring in items from one BOM type to another. For example, if the product has a BOM type called ‘External’, and you want those items in your ‘Materials’ tab, this product will not come up in the search filter, because the search function will only look through the library for the tab you’re wanting to bring a component into.
Tap the + icon and a popup will appear, in the popup you’ll be able to enter the following information:
- Additional Information.
These are an array of dropdowns and text boxes, if it’s a dropdown these are predefined values which can be added in the system masters section, or if a plus icon is next to the field, you can add it from the popup itself, and that will automatically feed that option for reuse to the system masters section.
You’ll notice a red * along the first three fields. In order to create a component card, these fields will need to be filled before you’re able to tap on add/update.
In the component supplier field you’ll notice all of your component suppliers are listed along with an option at the top that states ‘Locally Sourced’. This is where the supplier will source the requirement instead of the company providing a source that they have nominated themselves.
The quantity field is where you add the quantity of the item. For example, if you were referring to the buttons of a jacket and there were 5 in total, you’d put the quantity as 5. The quantity is only taking into consideration one unit.
Unit of Measure (UoM) is a second field for quantity/volume and weight to identify how they will be measured. For example it could be the weight of the material which could be in GSM, or Ounces, or it could be the quantity of buttons per jacket which would be in units/pieces.
If the component has more than one composition, next to the composition fields there is a + icon as well as a trash icon. If you tap the + icon, more fields will appear for you to enter the other compositions. If you’ve made a mistake and added too many fields, you can tap the trash can and will remove the most recently added set of fields.
The final area in the quality section of the component is the supporting document. The supporting document is just that, it supports the information you’re entering in the component card. A supporting document could be a test report, or a certificate to confirm that it’s organic. It can be absolutely anything that helps support that component and be of useful reference to companies and their suppliers.
To upload an item all you have to do is tap the upload icon next to the ‘Supporting Documents’ subheading and a popup will appear. There’s two ways of uploading a file, you can either drag and drop the file into the grey box, or tap the upload icon at the bottom right of the grey box. Once you’ve uploaded the file, give the document a title and tap ‘Add’.
The supporting document has 4 actions which can be seen in the action panel; edit, preview, information, and bin.
The edit icon allows you to rename the document. The preview icon allows the user to preview the document, the information icon will show when the item was uploaded, and when it was last modified with a user's name, a date, and a time. The final icon is the bin, where if you no longer need this supporting document, you can tap the bin icon and remove it from that BOM component.
The colour section comprises; colourway, colour ref, confirmation ref, as well as product and component supplier.
The colourway selection is a dropdown of colours attributed to the product when you first create the product in product information, if the colour you require isn’t available in the drop down it’s because it hasn’t been added to the core product information, and will need adding in order for it to appear in the dropdown listing.
Select the colourway and then select the colour reference for the component. The colour reference is the colour you would like that component to be for that specific colourway.
The confirmation ref is if your supplier has sent several colour options for you to pick from. It identifies the confirmation. In the apparel industry this is called a lab dip. A lab dip is a dyed fabric sample made to meet the colour standards of a designer. It is generally developed by a dye house or a colour lab. The purpose of a lab dip is to give a designer an idea of what the fabric colour will look like for manufacturing. More often than not a supplier will provide several options that are as close as they could get to the requested colour and they will be labelled as A, B, C, D, or 1, 2, 3, etc. If you pick C, in the confirmation ref field you would potentially put ‘Option C, or ‘Lab Dip C’.
If you’ve added more than 1 product supplier to this product, it will provide a dropdown of the suppliers for you to select from. You may be manufacturing this in two different sites, or even two different countries, and by stating this, it allows Bombyx to identify information which is unique to that supplier. If you’ve only added one supplier to the product, this will be automatically assigned as the selected supplier.
Similar to product supplier, the component supplier acts in the same way, and is dependent on if you have 1 or more component suppliers. If you have 1 it’ll be automatically assigned from the component supplier field in the quality information above the colour section, and if you have more than this, you’ll need to select which supplier this colour information is for.
The colour confirmation reference is unique to your component supplier, in order for you to be able to re-purchase this component in the same colour without having to see a set of options again.
To add a second colour you can tap the plus icon to the right hand side of the colour section, and a blank field will appear for you to enter your next colourway and its information.
If you add too many, remember, you can just tap the trash can icon of the one you’re wanting to remove.
To edit information you’ve previously entered on a component, tap the ‘Edit’ icon on the bar of the component card.
To rearrange the order of the BOM components, tap the rearrange button, and on the right hand side a panel will appear with a list of all the components for that BOM type. Simple drag and drop the items into the order that you’d like.
adding/editing to library
If you want to reuse this component, as you’ve added this inside of a product, it won’t be readily available in the library, or in a group. To add it to the library tap the ‘add to library’ icon, and confirm the component number in the popup. If you change the number, it will stay the same inside the product you’re in, but the component will be copied to the library with the newly entered code.
adding/updating to other products
approving and rejecting components and colours
quality approvals/rejections (manually)
On the BOM page, throughout all of the BOM types you’ll see a sticky footer bar where you’ll be able to approve and reject the quality components. All you need to do is check the checkbox of the components, and then select either approve or reject from the footer bar.
You can select more than one item to approve/reject at once, however if you do have multiple suppliers attached to this product, you’ll only be able to approve multiple items for 1 supplier at any one time. Select the supplier you wish to apply the status to, and the date in which the status was confirmed.
Today’s date is the auto default, but should any communication go on offline, this can be backdated to give a true representation of the date the status was confirmed. Finally, there is an optional field in which you can put comments should you wish to elaborate on your status confirmation.
Once you have filled in these options, tap the update icon to the right hand side of the footer bar, and watch how your component card status bars change colour to indicate the new status.
quality approvals/rejections (automated)
colour approvals/rejections (manually)
To approve a colour, you need to tap the component card you wish to update, which will reveal a panel down the right hand side of the page.
This will reveal all the colourways and combinations. Next to each Colour Name and Reference, is a checkbox on the left hand side of it.
Check the checkbox of the colour, and then select either approve or reject from the footer bar. You can select more than one item to approve/reject at once, and if you do have multiple suppliers attached to this product, unlike the quality status confirmation, you can approve multiple colours for multiple suppliers at any one time. Select the date in which the status was confirmed. Like the quality status confirmation, today’s date is the auto default, but should any communication go on offline, this can be backdated to give a true representation of the date the status was confirmed.
Finally, there is an optional field in which you can put comments should you wish to elaborate on your status confirmation. Once you have filled in these options, tap the update icon to the right hand side of the footer bar, and watch how a status is applied to that colour, including the user's name, and date. If you have made a mistake you can clear this by tapping the clear button to the right hand side of the colour status information.
colour approvals/rejections (automated)
Deleting a component from the BOM will not delete it from the library. By tapping the bin icon you’re able to remove the item you no longer need.