BOM: how the business influences the content of the BOM?

There are lots of discussions on the net about BOM, what it has to include, single BOM or multiple BOM,… On the vendor side, it is always the same story: assemblies with components. Is there only one way to structure a BOM?
First, I feel that the BOM word, originated from manufacturing purpose, should be changed to something else. First because the same word is used by several departments but usually people have different concepts and needs in mind. Second, because the reason to build a BOM is often much more than the components of a (sub)assembly.
Then, the BOM purpose is usually meant as the product definition core, meaning it fully describes the product structure, how the product is built.

Classical BOM – In order to differentiate different BOM concepts, I will define a classical BOM as a structure of physical parts, components being added to each other to build an assembly. It is often thought that if you sum the weight of components, you get the weight of the product.

Where the classical BOM concept is failing – In my view, the classical BOM is well adapted to companies assembling components. Where it becomes difficult to use, is when the manufacturing process includes separation or removal of material. How a classical BOM can represent a milling operation to get a hole in a part or a part cut into pieces to build several products, or a preparation that you heat to remove the water? It cannot. What are the industries having such processes? A lot, at diverse level! It means that the classical BOM is not appropriate to represent the product alone, by far or not.
In the good old days, such information was put in the ERP routings, leading to the list of operations to manufacturing a part, the operator time for each step, and so the famous added value or direct labor. It means maintaining synchronized BOM and routings upfront, which is difficult to master in case of an important number of design changes. In my view, the classical BOM cannot support manufacturing processes where an important number of operations occurs.

Conclusion – The classical BOM cannot support the manufacturing process for some industries where material transformation is dominant. A new product structure concept need to be defined. The additional benefit is a natural transfer to ERP, as the BOM is by nature respecting the manufacturing process.
What do you think?

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