A Manufacturing Bill of Materials (MBOM) is like a recipe that provides all of the parts and assembly details of a product. Like a recipe, the more accurate and definitive the details, the better the finished product.
Every type and quantity of part and raw material will be listed, as well as every process, assembly and sub-assembly direction. The MBOM includes details on which parts are Off-the-Shelf (OTS) or Made-to Specification (MTS) and even lists what items or processes are needed for packaging and what equipment is used for assembly. If it is used in or for the manufacturing of the product, it will be included somewhere in the MBOM.
Getting what is needed, when it’s needed
When it comes time to manufacture a product, the MBOM plays a big part in knowing what and when to order. It includes all parts and assembly instructions needed for manufacture and helps to estimate when they should be ordered or begun, often by the use of a Material Requirements Planning (MRP) system. This is hugely important for businesses looking to match the production time of a product to customer orders.
Accurate assembly information
The accuracy of assembly information and detail is crucial to the manufacturing process. A definitive MBOM will show every relevant quantity, item type and sub-assembly required for product completion. The details of equipment and tools used as well as locations and build-kits are included. When compared to other bills of material, the MBOM is the most thorough and complete and should ideally enable the most efficient and cost-effective assembly possible.
Cost and process efficiency
For businesses using thorough MBOM’s and some kind of Material Requirements Planning, there is a much greater chance of across-the-board efficiency. More detail should generally equate to more control, and control is an essential ingredient in manufacturing. From the timely and correct ordering of items and parts, to the efficient assembly and sub-assembly processes right through to the packaging and shipping of final product. A thorough MBOM for every product is essential for streamlined operations.
MBOM influences the business and production planning
Most successful manufacturers will be using a variety of business and production planning systems and methods, depending on their needs and level of operations. Developing thorough MBOM’s for each product greatly influences the effectiveness of what systems you use. MBOM’s help to optimize the use of scheduling (production processes), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Manufacturing Process Management (MPM), Manufacturing Operations Management (MOM), Manufacturing Execution System (MES) and Materials Resource Planning (MRP)
Accurate product costing and process management
With effective manufacturing management software , MBOM’s are used to help provide accurate product costing and analysis. This can enable businesses to monitor the whole production process of a product and to make adjustments where needed.
Handling complex parent and component relationships
The importance of thorough MBOM’s is highlighted when it comes to building products with complex parent and component relationships. With products that contain a variety of raw materials, sub-assemblies, transient, substitute and non-stock parts, the greater the detail in the MBOM the more controlled and efficient the process.


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