A bill of materials (BOM) – sometimes referred to as a product structure or associated list – is an extensive, detailed list of core components and auxiliary parts required to manufacture a product. The BOM can be understood as the shopping list for creating a final product, and it’s a necessary step in the product development process, regardless of industry.
The time to get started on your BOM is after you have ideated your product and are starting to source your primary components. As your sourcing continues, you add additional core components to the BOM, and as your design is refined, you fill in auxiliary components. For optimization, BOMs should be created and delivered in spreadsheet format. Building your BOM is an evolutionary, iterative process.
Inaccurate BOMs cause production delays and increase costs
Having a complete, accurate and easy-to-understand BOM is important to making your operation production ready and is a critical step on your path to Arrow Certification and Indiegogo campaign success. It will provide manufacturing with the exact information they need to get competitive pricing, navigate longer lead times, verify quality before production fully ramps – and avoid having to make changes that will lead to extra revision cycles that could set back the manufacturing process.
According to the International Electronics Manufacturing Initiative, the most common BOM errors involve completeness, consistency and correctness.
- Completeness – The most common BOM problem is incomplete data. When any component or part is omitted, significant problems can arise down the road. Remember, if it’s not in your BOM, it might not make it into your product.
- Consistency – The information in your BOM needs to be fully consistent with the information provided in supplementary documents, including engineering drawings, schematics and design files.
- Correctness – Incorrect or outdated data can be a severe problem for BOMs. Parts may become unavailable, part numbers may change, and new conflicts can arise – and all this information must be kept current and correct.
Build a better BOM Faster with Arrow’s BOM Tool
Arrow provides a free, feature-rich BOM tool that you can use to simplify and accelerate the development, management and maintenance of your BOM. Start by uploading a spreadsheet, or simply input part numbers, and you’re on your way. A traditional challenge of maintaining an accurate BOM is that it’s hard to stay current on parts that change, go obsolete or become otherwise unavailable. With Arrow’s BOM Tool – which features automatic, live information updates – most of these problems are a thing of the past.
An accurate BOM guides efficient manufacturing processes and supports successful results, so it is important to create a BOM that is well organized, correct and up-to-date. Creating a bill of materials is not only a necessary step in the product development process, it is also what makes your product design a reality. Arrow’s BOM Tool, extensive expertise and other resources can help you put it all together, accelerating your path to a successful Indiegogo campaign.
Arrow and Indiegogo want to help you succeed
In partnership with Indiegogo, the Arrow Certification Program provides tools, services and resources to help entrepreneurs bring their product ideas to life and succeed. Certification eligibility is based on a review of the feasibility of your product’s design and the viability of your bill of materials. Arrow Certification is a sanity check on the manufacturability of your product, and, when earned, it’s Arrow’s trusted stamp-of-approval that your technology is feasible for manufacturing.
Arrow offers end-to-end resources and support
Arrow wants to support you even before the launch of your Indiegogo campaign. Take advantage of one-to-one engineering feedback, access to Arrow design tools, exclusive savings on components, and more. Arrow will review your initial designs, block diagrams and bill of materials. Arrow may be able to make recommendations to advance your development process in the right direction. From finalizing your design to building prototypes and setting up your supply chain to full production, Arrow offers resources to help at any stage of your product’s lifecycle.