Supply Chain and Logistics

Bill of Materials Overview 110

This class introduces users to a crucial document known as the bill of materials (BOM). BOMs are lists of the raw materials, assemblies, and parts needed to manufacture an end product. Manufacturers use them to plan materials procurement, production, maintenance, and scheduling, among other processes. There are several different types and displays of BOMs, but they all include similar elements.

The ability to read, interpret, accurately follow, and create a BOM is a key skill for many manufacturing personnel. After completing this course, users will understand how to interpret and create a bill of materials and the benefits of doing so.

  • Difficulty Beginner

  • Format Online

  • Number of Lessons 9

  • Language English


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Course Outline
  • Introduction to Bills of Materials
  • Types of BOMs
  • BOM Displays
  • Elements of a BOM
  • Review: BOM Types, Displays, and Elements
  • BOM Structures
  • Creating and Maintaining BOMs
  • Benefits of BOMs
  • Review: Creating and Benefiting from BOMs
  • Define bills of materials.
  • Distinguish between three different types of BOMs.
  • Identify the two main types of BOM displays.
  • Identify the different elements of a BOM.
  • Identify the three most common BOM structures.
  • Describe how software can create and maintain BOMs.
  • Identify the benefits of working with BOMs.
Vocabulary Term


A manufacturing process in which two or more components are joined together to create a finished part. Assembly may include the use of fasteners, adhesives, or welding to attach parts to one another.

bill of materials

BOM. A list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, components, and parts needed to manufacture an end product and the quantities of each. A bill of materials includes all project materials, including any accessories, fasteners, and even necessary packaging.

Bill of Materials Level

BOM Level. The number assigned to each part or material to indicate its place within the hierarchy of a bill of materials (BOM). Bill of Materials Level is usually the first itemized detail on a BOM.


Bill of materials. A list of the raw materials, sub-assemblies, components, and parts needed to manufacture an end product and the quantities of each. A bill of materials includes all project materials, including any accessories, fasteners, and even necessary packaging.


A part or assembly that is a component of an associated parent part or assembly of greater complexity. Parent-child relationships are indicated in multi-level bills of materials.

computer-aided design

CAD. Computer software used to create a digital model of a part before it goes into prototyping or production. Computer-aided design models specify the design and desired dimensions of the final part.

end product

A product designed to be used directly by a consumer or in another product. End products include everything from medical implants to personal computers and vehicles.

engineering bill of materials

EBOM. A document that explains the material specifications of an end product as engineers envision it. An engineering bill of materials is developed during the design phase of a product's lifecycle.

explosion display

A method of presenting a bill of materials (BOM) that begins with the most complete version of the product at the top. In an explosion display, the elements of the BOM become increasingly specific.


A device that holds two or more objects together. Fasteners include bolts and screws, and even buttons and zippers.


A structure for a bill of materials (BOM) that allows the user to view a multi-level BOM in a simpler format. Flattened BOMs help managers make high-level decisions.

implosion display

A method of presenting a bill of materials (BOM) that begins with individual parts. In an implosion display, the elements of the BOM link together into increasingly large components.


Spacing between text and the margin of a document. Indentation often indicates the parent and child relationships in a bill of materials.


Manufactured products that are stored prior to being shipped to customers for end-use. Maintaining inventory allows manufacturers to have parts available to sell, but it also requires additional storage costs.


A customizable, modular workholding device that supports, locates, and clamps a workpiece and also directs the cutting tool. Assembly jigs are often used to hold irregular parts and generally decrease machine tool setup time as they provide guidance for tools.

lean manufacturing

A methodology that focuses on minimizing waste within manufacturing systems while also maximizing productivity. Lean manufacturing exploits all opportunities to safely eliminate waste.


The series of stages a product goes through from conception to the end of its useful life. The manufacturing lifecycle includes part design, machine setup, production, quality assurance, and end of life.

manufacturing bill of materials

MBOM. A document that itemizes all materials needed to create an end product, including production materials such as assembly jigs, fasteners, paint, glue, packing boxes, and labels. A manufacturing bill of materials is created during the production planning stage.

Material Requirements Planning

MRP. A standard supply-planning strategy that helps manufacturers understand the inventory needed to balance supply and demand. Material Requirements Planning responds to supply chain variabilities and schedules production to deliver end products on time and at an ideal cost.


A structure for a bill of materials (BOM) that represents the relationships between components, sub-assemblies, and assemblies. Multi-level BOMs are preferred for more complex products.


Forming a hierarchy, series, or sequence of which each element is contained in and/or contains the next. The child materials used in a higher-level assembly are nested below the parent assembly’s listing in a bill of materials.


A part or assembly that is more complex than an associated child part or assembly. Parent-child relationships are indicated in multi-level bills of materials.


Any finishing process used to clean, grind, or otherwise prepare a manufactured part for shipping to a manufacturer or other consumer. Common post-processing steps include removing support structures, improving surface finish, and bringing the part into tolerance.


A document containing all the instructions necessary to manufacture and inspect a part. The key sections of a print are the drawing, dimensions, and notes.

purchase orders

POs. A formal document that is used by an employee to request that something be bought by a company. Purchase orders can be generated efficiently using bills of materials.

sales bill of materials

SBOM. A document that lists the components required to develop a product as ordered by a customer. A sales bill of materials is developed from a custom sales order.


Unusable material produced during a manufacturing process. Scrap is a waste product of manufacturing that can increase overall production costs.


A structure for a bill of materials (BOM) that lists each part or material needed to make a final product only once. Single-level BOMs do not represent relationships between parts or materials in the overall manufacturing process.


The coded instructions, formulas, and operations that structure the actions of a computer. Software includes any program added to the physical computer, or hardware, to enable it to perform specific tasks, such as creating and maintaining bills of materials.


Any person or group that has an interest in an organization. A manufacturer's stakeholders include employees, investors, suppliers, and customers.


A part that consists of smaller parts or sub-components and is used in the assembly of larger parts. Sub-assemblies, like hydraulic pumps and electrical systems, are joined with other components to create larger assemblies.

supply chain management

The process of planning, implementing, and controlling supply chain activities to achieve maximum customer value and sustain competitive advantage. Supply chain management oversees each area of the supply chain, including development, sourcing, production, and delivery.


Assorted tools, such as drill bits or cutting inserts, used with various manufacturing machines and processes. Tooling is used in many machine operations such as milling, turning, and additive manufacturing among other processes.