Is Your Part Numbering Scheme Costing You Millions?

Best Practices for Part Numbering

Effective Part Number Creation

Effective Part Number Creation

To implement a part numbering scheme successfully, you must establish good processes for generating part numbers with a system designed for that purpose.

Whether you use an intelligent or non-intelligent part numbering scheme, it’s important to make sure you do not duplicate part numbers or create the same part with two unique and different part numbers. Using the exact same part number for two entirely different parts can cause serious problems such as delays on the manufacturing line, confusion over the bill of materials (BOM) record, and incorrect part ordering—all problems that ultimately impact your bottom line.

And, using the same manufacturer’s or supplier’s part number, identified by referencing two different company part numbers, creates issues with accurate part reuse in designing, planning, procuring, and manufacturing.

Creating Effective Part Numbers

To avoid duplication issues like this, manufacturers have found a variety of ways to manage their part numbering systems.

Paper log record. This approach is manual and doesn’t allow for easy access across multiple sites or distributed teams. With this method, one person (or department) is typically responsible for assigning part numbers to help prevent duplicate part number creation. However, this creates a bottleneck and a single point of failure that can slow down a company’s ability to move quickly and get part numbers to teams exactly when they need them.

Spreadsheets or programmable tools/databases. Using spreadsheets or homegrown tools and databases does reduce the opportunity for mistakes while keeping an online record of all part numbers. But these systems are disconnected from the rest of the product, quality, and manufacturing records and processes.

Purpose-built solutions. PLM and QMS software solutions were designed to help manufacturing companies manage the entire product record and development process from early concept through design and manufacturing. These solutions were created to ensure the entire product record is managed in a single system of truth (SSOT) to reduce confusion, manual data entry errors, and provide visibility and traceability with all impacted teams. These solutions were also designed to support intelligent or nonintelligent part numbering schemes. Best of all, today’s modern solutions are developed in the Cloud making it easy for distributed internal teams and supply chain partners to collaborate.