How to Import Production Bills of Materials (BOM)
When dealing with Bill of Materials (BOM) within your operations, there can be a number of different elements that can be confusing. Firstly, the way a BOM is connected to an inventory item, the BOM structure (what actually makes up the BOM) and how you import a BOM.
Understanding Bill of Materials (BOM)
We’re going to guide you through some of these queries in this blog. When in your DEAR system, go into Inventory and then Products.
When you’re in the DEAR system, you can view and edit your current BOM by going into Inventory and select any of your listed products. This will show the listed attributes for that individual product. Under the field for Bill of Materials, you have the option to create the BOM product choosing from Assembly, Production or Made to Order.
Of these options, Assembly BOM is the easiest to create as all this requires is a main item and components. This option is typically used if you’re shipping 3-4 items, but you want this to show on an invoice as one item. An example of this is a bundle, like a book with a drink and sweets which are all sent within one box – this will be shipped as a single assembled item so it will need its own SKU. When you enable Assembly BOM as your option, you can then enter the different items on a new screen which will be used within the shipping.
Production BOM is a more complicated version of an Assembly BOM as it is typically used for manufactured goods. Within this option you can decide things like cycle times, wastage amounts, different operation types such as co-manufacturing/manufacturing or quality control. We can also add different sequences – these are multi-step BOMs that allow us to add resources including labour costs, machine costs, etc. There’s a lot of benefits of using the Production option, namely in that it will track a lot more data. The downside, however, is that it’s a lot harder to process and set up a product.
Our final option is Made to Order BOM. As the name implies, the BOM is decided by the order – you cannot create these as stock, these are created on the order line. As a result, they will also have different options available for the customer; this could be colour options, size options, etc. On the sales line you’ll be able configure this to be customised for the specific sale – once selected, you will then need to do the production run to create the item for the unique order.
How to import a Production BOM
Simply selecting Production BOM for a product won’t automatically create the BOM on your DEAR system. Once you have made this change, you will need to go into the Production BOM setting and apply the components and steps that are needed to create the product.
When adding the required components, they must already be in your inventory – they can’t be made up products, they need to come from existing stock in your inventory system. The same can be said for your BOM import sheet; you can’t add items within this and import into your inventory for them to appear within your DEAR system.
This is probably one of the hardest elements of DEAR for some of our customers to understand. The easiest way to remember how this works is that the BOM itself is just a reference to current stock that already exists – you aren’t creating hypothetical products or components.
Creating your BOM import sheet
Let’s take a look at how your BOM import sheet should look and what each header within this sheet means.
- Starting from the left, we have the Product SKU and Product Name – these are the reference to the main item that your BOM will link to – this is the product that will be created within your Production BOM.
- Buffer Percentage: This is a time-based element for example, if it takes you 24 hours to build a bike which is part of your Production BOM, the percentage that you add is the additional time that you will allow for the completion of the build.
- Quantity to Product is how many you’ll be manufacturing. Based on our example above, we have this set as one, so when we complete one of these manufacturing runs, only one product will be created.
- Production Instruction URL allows you to enter any helpful/informational URLS for employees if they don’t know how to build the product.
- Ignore Cumulative Lead Time can be listed as TRUE or FLASE – if left as false, this means it will use the lead times of all your different products that will be used to create this one product and will use this to calculate your overall lead time for the finished item. If you select this as TRUE, it won’t use any of the assigned lead times and you can manually set a lead time.
- Version and Version Name – We don’t have different versions in our example above but if we did, we could have as many versions as we needed – but for each you will need to assign a version number and name. This can be helpful for products that have different colours, or components as an example.
- Version Default here you can mark if this version if the main version. If TRUE, this will automatically populate when we load our BOM. If FALSE, it won’t auto populate but if it is the only version available, it will populate by default.
- Min and Max Quantities – this will determine at what stock volume the system will warn you when creating your run. For example, if your workshop only had enough space to build 2 bikes at a time, you would set the max quantity to 2 and the minimum you would make at one time is 1 unit. This won’t stop you from completing your production run, it will just ensure you are aware that production will not be efficient due to lack of space.
- Deviation Percentage: This defines how far you can stray from the deviation on your left, which in our example is Max Quantity. If you have no number here you can deviate as much as you want but if you have 0, you must stick to the deviation value entered.
- Runsize: How many products you’re going to produce in a run – this will default to one.
- Operation Sequence: This is for multi-step BOMs, for example the steps of building a bike and then a safety check step to ensure everything is properly secured. This would be a two-step BOM – this would give you an Operation Sequence of 1 and 2.
- Operation Type: This is linked to Operation Sequence where we’re going to pick the type of Sequence that connects to the Operation Sequence.
- Operation Name: This is where we will name the sequences that we’ve developed, as listed above. This will be your internal reference, so you know what that stage is.
- Cycle Time: This is how long the stage is going to take which will help with your capacity planning, collating the time for each build where staff will be required and support with production planning.
- Unit Per Cycle: This is the total number of units that will be produced in that cycle. So, in our example, it’s going to calculate how many units can be completed in your run for the aligning Operation Type, such as only 1 bike may be manufactured, but in that same time, 4 bikes could be safety checked.
- Work Centre Code: This is like an SKU for a location where production will take place. This will need to be set up on the backend of DEAR which will again allow you to allocate resources, such as labour and your overall capacity within that specific location.
- Item Type: This is our components/resources being used for the BOM such as inputs, outputs, components, resources, etc but the main ones you are likely to use are components (a physical item) and resource (labour cost) – a resource will be anything that is not a physical item that has been used to make the product.
- Quantity: This is the number of items per product that will be needed to create your BOM.
- Cost Allocation Type: This is how the cost will be calculated for the overall BOM or sellable product. There are two options for this: NRV (Net Retainable Value) and Sales Value.
- Delivery to: This is the location that your goods will be moved to after production has finished. This could be a specific bin within your warehouse, as an example.
- Co Manufacturing Price Tier: If you ever use this option, this field will refer to the service cost of our actual co-manufacturing charge. This will allow you to assign a different cost to each price tier per co manufacturing service, so Tier 1 may be £50, Tier £75 and so on. You can use one service for multiple BOMs.
- Product Traceability: This will allow you to trace your products throughout the system.
- Issue Method Component: There are two options here: manual and backflush. When selecting manual, you are manually determining your issues, backflushing will revert your stock back to where it was prior to the issue.
- Resource Cost Type: This is how we are going to charge for our labour costs – this can be either cost per unit time, cost per unit hour or cost per finished product.
That’s most of the fields that you will need to complete when developing your import sheet. Once you’re happy with all the data you’ve inputted, you’ll need to go back into your DEAR system backend to Inventory and then Products.
Importing your BOM
When in Products, select Import and, from the drop-down option, select Import Production BOM.
Within the new window, select Field Specification option this will be provide you with a full list of all the fields and their purpose as we’ve described above – it will also highlight which fields are mandatory. More information can also be found on DEAR’s website and within their blogs and guides.
Be aware that some Optional fields may create other Optional fields to be Mandatory as you collate your data. Once you’ve completed your import you can simply drag your file into the DEAR backend and this will import your Bill of Materials – it will also display any errors you have so you can troubleshoot and edit them.
Getting support with DEAR
We’re one of the leading DEAR partners so if you are struggling with your set up of DEAR, or you’re looking to integrate DEAR into your current operation; we can help. Take a look at some of our other blogs here or, to see full step-by-step guides on navigating DEAR, visit our YouTube channel here.