SMTA International Conference Proceedings


Author: Jim Arnold
Company: Motorola
Date Published: 9/21/2003   Conference: SMTA International

Abstract: OEMs turn to outsourcing to gain manufacturing efficiencies, but the efficiencies (and accompanying cost savings) they hope to achieve can be elusive. Some of the greatest obstacles are problems associated with bills of materials (BoMs). Supply chain interactions are seriously hindered by the lack of a standard data format for BoMs, unacceptably high error rates, and a lack of technology and tools to validate BoMs. The problems are pervasive, and the consequences, far-reaching. The cycles required to clarify or correct data can directly affect time to market and time to volume. In 2001, the National Electronics Manufacturing Initiative (NEMI) organized a team of industry leaders to investigate and define the issues surrounding BoMs.

This team is recommending a solution that calls for industry to adopt a common format with standardized contents - the "Perfect BoM" - to ensure that data is consistent, correct and complete, and that errors are resolved before exchanges are made among business partners. The team has identified the Product Data eXchange (PDX) specifications, developed by NEMI’s Virtual Factory Information Interchange Project, as the foundation for the Perfect BoM. These specifications provide an industry-standard approach to exchanging BoM and change order information and will be used to define data structure. In addition, the team has developed a recommended list of data to define standard BoM content.

This paper discusses the problems and challenges that exist with today’s BoMs, and outlines NEMI’s recommended solutions for creating and implementing the Perfect BoM.

Key words: bill of materials, BoM, supply chain communication.

Members download articles for free:

Not a member yet?

What else do you get when you join SMTA? Read about all of the benefits that go along with membership.

Notice: Sharing of articles is restricted to just your immediate work group. Downloaded papers should not be stored on an external network or shared on the internet.


SMTA Headquarters
6600 City West Parkway, Suite 300
Eden Prairie, MN 55344 USA

Phone +1 952.920.7682
Fax +1 952.926.1819