he Bill of Materials (BOM) plays an important role in any organization. It is a comprehensive list of components, labor, and equipment required to build a certain product.
The BOM is a recipe – a specific list of labor, operations (production throughput), materials (raw, OEM, or pre-fabricated), and required quantities. Similarly, the BOM lays out a schedule. It monitors the available stock of raw materials, provides estimated completion dates, keeps workers on track, and breaks down the manufacturing process into more specific steps and actions. A project can quickly go off-road without one!
Cutting Out the Fat with a Lean Bill of Materials
In some cases, a bill of materials process can be over-complicated—to the extent that those attempting to follow it end up wasting material or submitting an unseemly amount of change orders. And we all know that avoiding change orders is the first principle of Manufacturing 101.
Fibrebond team members, by comparison, rely on a Lean Bill of Materials to streamline, simplify, and fine-tune the production process, preventing such calamities from ever occurring. The result is better quality, better delivery, better price—just a better product, period, which translates in to greater consumer-confidence and increased growth.
But let’s take a moment and consider the theory behind the practice. Lean can be defined as minimizing losses while maximizing gains. That’s a model for doing business, sure. But at Fibrebond, Lean entails more than that. At Fibrebond, we like to think of the term Lean as the philosophy of continuous improvement.
How It Works
A Lean Bill of Materials encourages project managers and operational gurus to evaluate the specific requirements of the project at hand, and identify anything superfluous or unnecessary—in other words: improve the process. Take, for example, a few of the common entry points for waste and preventable expense in the typical manufacturing scenario: overproduction, unused inventory, excess motion, unwarranted transportation, and defective products, just to name a few. Or perhaps equipment that is needlessly sophisticated for the task it is being used for. A Lean Bill of Materials shines the spotlight on all these negative factors, and provides a means to avoid them. In addition, it integrates schedules and eliminates downtime between the various steps and stations along the production line.
When it’s all said and done, a Lean Bill of Materials is about reducing cost and accelerating delivery. The result is peace of mind for our customers—and more time (not to mention funds) to focus on growing, developing, and expanding their own businesses.