A Bill of Materials (BOM) is a list of the raw materials, parts, assemblies, and quantities you will need to manufacture your new product. A BOM is a powerful and essential tool for complete and effective engineering documentation. Since BOMs are such vital tools in manufacturing and product development, GrabCAD is providing a free BOM Excel template to get you started with managing your bill of materials, but read on for some important tips.
BOMs are especially useful in understanding the manufacturing and supply chain challenges involved with building any product, which include estimating costs, controlling inventory, and accounting for changes in material availability.
Thanks to its universal accessibility, Microsoft Excel is often the first choice software for BOM documentation. However, a generic spreadsheet is certainly not an ideal BOM tool, and consistently managing BOM information in Excel requires some dedicated planning and organization. A solid BOM template can definitely ease the pain, at least to a point. As designs become more complex, it's easy to quickly outgrow the limitations of Excel as a BOM tool regardless of template quality. As such, it's best to prepare for the future, and understand that once design reaches a certain level of complexity, circumstances will demand moving to a dedicated BOM system. That usually requires migrating data from existing Excel BOMs.
Important usage tips for any Excel BOM template
- Review the template with the whole team, and ensure the format will be sufficient for the full range of design at your company.
- Mandate consistent use of the template for all designs within your engineering process.
- Customizing the BOM format for specific designs will only create a colossal data import headache in the future.
- Use Excel data validation wherever possible as input protection to reduce data entry error.
- Assign internal part numbers to supplier numbers that are not well-accepted industry or international standards. This precaution insulates the design from supplier variability.
- Approve and vault your BOM documents with the same rigor as your CAD drawings.
For small or young companies especially, it may be difficult to understand exactly how to organize an effective BOM template. To that end, we've designed and built a robust BOM template built on engineering experience to save you time.
You'll find the BOM template here, for you to use as you like, at the unbeatable price of free.
Interested in other cost saving materials? Check out our Cost Saving Whitepaper!
A well-structured bill of materials (BOM) will help you keep track of materials, components and quantities - avoiding confusion and costly errors. To help you stay organized, GrabCAD is providing a free BOM Excel template so you don't have to start from scratch.