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BOM Best Practices - What is your company's process

Question asked by Daen Hendrickson on Mar 18, 2010
Latest reply on Dec 12, 2013 by Andrew Schutte

With this discussion I am mostly interested in the processes other companies use to capture their BOM information.


When I drug our company design process from the stone ages many of the decisions I made were based on no past experience. Those processes have been in place for about four years and through a lengthly large scale project. The many short-comings have become apparent and am now looking to improve things. Just not quite sure how so I thought I would see how others are doing it.


Our BOM process currently uses the SW BOM table. The table is placed on one of the drawing pages. Each part has its custom properties populating the table. We adopted using Toolbox parts. We added custom properties to toolbox to capture the actual part numbers from our usual vendor (McMaster-Carr). The addition of the custom data is tedious. In our recent upgrade to SW2010 our toolbox broke. SW says it is a known issue and should be fixed in the next SP release. But if it can't be fixed, the thought of rebuilding our custom information in toolbox is an unpleasant one.


When the assembly drawing is complete, we order the vendor-supplied parts. When they arrive we create a kit and pass it and the drawings to our fabricators. The fabricators build the internal parts and then assemble them with the kit parts to create the assembly.


When ordering, I create an entry in our ordering software for each item in the drawing BOM. These entries contain most of the same information captured in the SW part custom properties. Once entered, that items is retained for future recall on other orders so in time this part of the workload should decrease. But still it is a manual data entry process and screams 'duplication of effort.'


I like having the BOM imbedded in the drawing because is doesn't get lost. But I have seen some drawings from other vendors that place the BOM on a seperate letter-sized page. So I was thinking perhaps this has some appeal. I could still create the imbedded drawing BOM but without as much custom property information. I could use generic toolbox parts and therefore any toolbox database crashes would be of little concequence. Then I would create the seperate detailed BOM from our ordering system - same manual process (something else to fix) but the details would only need to be kept in one system instead of two. The fabricator could look at ballon #7, look at the SW BOM and determine it is a #10 x 3/4 Pan Head and grab one from the kit. Or he could look at ballon #7, look at the external detailed BOM and determine the part number, material, finsish, vendor, cost, etc.


Now it is your turn to tell me the pitfalls of this suggestion. I would really like to hear the processes and commercial software choices people have adopted. What are the likes and dislikes.


Thanks, Daen