Before examining these five key requirements, it’s worth understanding how BOM management has evolved and what outdated options you might see in your search for a solution.
Over the past few decades, we have seen BOM management evolve from manual or unintelligent records to more structured and intelligent ones. As technological advances were introduced with software applications and relational databases, the ability to manage complex BOMs improved to yield these key benefits:
- Faster product release cycles with easier creation and changes (e.g., the ability to import from other systems, the ability to make bulk changes across all where-used assemblies, improved redlining tools)
- Greater accuracy with structured assembly relationships
- Better visibility with reporting for single, multilevel, whereused, and consolidated (flattened) BOMs
- Improved search to find components, subassemblies, and top assemblies
While each advancement introduced more effective ways to create, change, and release BOMs, most failed to deliver benefits to the entire product team from early design through production. Here are some key benefits and weaknesses to consider.