Manufacturing BOM (MBOM) is an interesting topic. After all design and engineering operation, MBOM defines how product is going to be actually manufactured. While most of PLM / ERP debates about MBOM are going around “who owns what”, the most fascinating part that I found in MBOM is related to the nature of manufacturing planning. The root problem is related to the way we can optimize MBOM or actually optimize the production, which is usually done by material planners using so-called planning BOM. It made me think about some black magic that needs to happen between engineering and manufacturing. Let speak a bit more about it.
Navigate back to my BOM 101 articles from the last year – How to modularize the Bill of Materials and How Many Levels Do You Need in BOM? One of the fundamental problems BOM layering and structuring needs to optimize production schedule. It can be only done by the team of people – including engineers together, manufacturing process and material planning people. Interesting enough, often you need to have sales and business people in the room – only these people can give you some data to predict manufacturing capacity, scheduling and potential optimization.
It made me think about a potential for PLM to play a role of collaboration platform between all these people to come with the solution around product configurations, engineering options, manufacturing optimization and what is most important product cost. I can see this is one of the fundamental problems PLM can solve as a collaborative platform connecting engineers and manufacturing.
PLM can provide an information structure to keep variety of product families, engineering BOMs, planning variants, supplier information and manufacturing planning together in order to optimize product and manufacturing production schedule and cost. All together is a real benefit of PLM implementation that can pay off very fast.
What is my conclusion? Manufacturing is getting more and more complex these days. People wants to have more personalized and configurable products. At the same time, companies need to slash cost. What was possible to solve by throwing engineering BOM or even CAD drawings over the wall of manufacturing is nearly impossible in 21st century. Old way to go from engineering to production planning will make your manufacturing obsolete, product cost skyrocketing and your company out of business very quick. Modern collaborative tools including PLM holding multiple bill of materials are needed to solve it. Just my thoughts…