One BOM Tree for All Needs?June 30, 2015
Managing Bill of Materials (or simply BOM) is the central piece of any PLM discussion. No matter how old the topic is, there is always something new to it when we discuss. There are many types of BOMs with many fancy names. A designer has his own view of Bill of Materials, a sales representative has his own perspective, and an employee at a manufacturing plant can have a different BOM of the same product. While different BOMs provide additional flexibility to the users – it exposes the PLM process to many potential problems. A major portion of PLM research goes into minimizing these problems. An obvious question industry is asking from sometime is – Can we have one single BOM, a single source of truth for everyone?
The idea of Unified BOM is not new. It is in existence for quite some time now. But the industry is still craving for a sustainable solution. A Unified BOM should be able to do the following –
- Define a single source for viewing all BOM/Part related information – A designer should be able to view his BOM version, a Manufacturer should be able to view his own BOM version and a market representative should be able to view his version of the BOM
- Define a way to manage the BOM in one place, so that changes are done at a single location
- Define a process that is compliant and at the same time flexible enough to incorporate challenges in implementing Unified BOM.
While industry as a whole is still struggling to find a flexible unified BOM option, the idea it to make the current process stronger and error free.