The BOM Rap

Why bother with a yawn-inducing topic like bills of materials (BOMs)? Bring it up with manufacturing professionals and their eyes glaze over instantly. And the Lean literature is mute on the subject. I even asked Michael Ballé for his input on the subject and he responded that he had none to offer.

Yet everyone involved with assembly agrees that BOMs are at the core of their activity, that BOMs have chronic accuracy issues, that the workarounds to these inaccuracies impair the companies’ ability to update and customize products, and that BOM maintenance hogs resources. Perhaps it’s worth giving the subject some thought and having a conversation about it.

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