Do your BOMs drive you crazy sometimes?

Michael Hering08/14/2020

What does your process look like from construction to production? Do you work with two different BOMs? And are they consistent with one another? ERP software should be capable of generating multiple types of BOMs, as well as deriving new BOMs from existing ones.

How important are harmonized BOMs in machinery and plant construction? Well, according to the Gartner market research firm, 90% of all inquiries from the industry are related to the interface between Development and Production.

Harmonizing BOMs – a practical example

When an assembly is designed, it comes with a drawing and a corresponding BOM. Pretty straightforward, really, since hard data speaks for itself. Yet in practice, it’s not quite that simple. Things look different from a design perspective than they do from a manufacturing perspective. Let me give you an example:

In vehicle construction, we have an assembly called “pallet box.” It consists of the support bracket, plus the actual box itself. To the construction department, these two parts constitute one logical unit – an assembly.

It depends how you look at it

Production sees the assembly differently, though. In Production, the support bracket was already welded onto the undercarriage at an earlier stage, and the fully assembled pallet box is not needed until final assembly.

Many ERP systems stop there

Most ERP solutions fail to factor in these different points of view – with disastrous consequences:

  • inaccurate work specs and information
  • incomplete, inconclusive material requirements planning
  • backorders due to missing materials.

The reasons for this are obvious. ERP systems calculate material requirement times based on scheduling along the product hierarchy. If that pallet box is needed in the final assembly shop, all the components for this assembly group are scheduled for this date. The same applies if the box was planned at the beginning. It’s a lose-lose situation, because either way, one of the two components is either going to be delivered too early or too late.

Manual interventions are not a solution

In cases like this, seasoned production planners step in with manual interventions or use buffer and preliminary lead times to save the schedule. But workarounds like these do nothing to fix the underlying problem. On the contrary, they make the situation even more complicated, contribute to a lack of transparency and lead to potential errors down the line.

Modern ERP systems have the advantage

The COSMO CONSULT industry solution lets you derive two different structures from a BOM, reproducing the different perspectives of Design Engineering and Production. This function has proven itself in practice. In many projects, harmonized BOMs resulted in a significant reduction in missing parts and stocks.

How much expense do BOMs cause for you?
Give us a call or write us an email.

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We’ll help you streamline the way your Product Development and Production work together.

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Michael Hering
Industry Manager Discrete | COSMO CONSULT