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What are Bills of Materials?

Whether you are a small, medium or large operation, a Bill of Material (BOM) is instrumental to your manufacturing. A BOM acts like a guide and shopping list for businesses to help them manufacture, maintain, schedule and purchase products.

What are Bills of Materials (BOM)?

A BOM is a list of materials, assemblies, sub-assemblies, formulations, mixes, or other components that go into each end product in a manufacturing process. It includes the quantity or volume of each item used, cost, lead time, waste factors and other vital information which helps in standardisation and provides quality control of the end product.

Who needs a Bills of Materials (BOM)?

Regardless of the size of operations, every business needs a BOM to function efficiently. Small or ‘simple’ manufacturing processes may assume they do not need a BOM however, not having a BOM or having an inaccurate BOM can lead to wastage, inefficiencies and errors. 

What are the different types of BOMs?

Different businesses need different functionalities from a BOM:

  1. Engineering Bill of Materials 

The engineering BOMs are used for the creation of new finished goods. It is the first step for a finished product that lists all parts, components, and materials for the end product as it was originally designed. 

  1. Manufacturing Bill of Materials

A manufacturing BOM is the most common and recognised form and consists of all materials, assemblies, sub-assemblies, formulas, or components required to produce a shippable product. This type of BOM is used by planners for scheduling purchasing, production-related operations, and deciding lead time, production time, raw materials and interim products. 

  1. Configurable Bills of Materials 

Like a manufacturing BOM, a configurable BOM (also called a Matrix BOM or a BOM with parameters) is a guide to producing an end product. While most manufacturing businesses produce a product in a variety of sizes, colours and other parameters, some manufacturers produce the same product for different brands under a ‘white label’ arrangement. 

This means that while the interim product and bulk of the manufacturing process is the same, the end product may vary depending on the customer and/or the brand. This could be due to differences in packaging, volume, unit count, branding or stamping, and other differences to make the product applicable to the customer’s use or brand. The interim product, however, is the same. 

Bill of Materials (BOM) for the food and drinks industry 

In the food and drinks industry, BOMs are often referred to as recipes within the context of food and drink production. The main difference between a BOM and a recipe is that, while BOM is a description of materials including assemblies and sub-assemblies, a recipe describes the steps within the production process. 

NotaZone, Agrantec’s inventory management and traceability platform uses the term recipes due to its focus on food and drink production.  The recipes within NotaZone contain additional information beyond the list of materials such as yield adjustment and shelf-life calculation. 

What to include in a recipe (BOM):

  1. The product being made
  2. Target quantity to make for these ingredients.
  3. Ingredients:- list of materials needed and the quantity required
  4. Actions: any additional actions that have taken place/need to take place on the raw materials
  5. Optional:  historic yield which can be used to modify future recipes or improve waste

Key Takeaway

A recipe (for the food and drink industry) or Bill of Materials (BOM) is an important, centralised source of information on ingredients (raw materials, assemblies, and subassemblies) to manufacture an end product.  

BOM enables food producers to efficiently control the manufacturing process such as the cost, purchasing of raw materials, and packaging. By using a cloud-based platform like NotaZone, food producers can effectively trace and manage their products from interim to final.  

If you would like to get started with your NotaZone journey, book a demo today!

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