Offering custom components and assemblies to customers can be a great way to drive engagement and sales. Whether you’re in a B2C or B2B industry, customization and configuration are invaluable strategies. At the same time, you might wonder how you can ensure customization capabilities don’t negatively impact the processes and staff you currently have. To prevent potential errors and misunderstandings in order fulfillment, manufacturers should ensure their online order forms use the kind of language and formatting that staff can easily understand, effectively translating customer orders based on each custom option.
One of the best ways to do so is to optimize online order forms with a comprehensive bill of materials.
Optimizing Your Online Order Forms With a Good Bill of Materials
If you want to ensure all orders go through and your engineers and other staff can fulfill your customers’ custom orders, you must have a bill of materials (BOM) that includes all necessary details in a format your staff can understand.
This should include an in-depth list of all components, parts, assemblies, and materials needed to complete the manufacturing process. If you implement a reliable BOM, customers can order custom configurations that your teams can put together without the risk of errors and overwhelming staff.
The key is to know how to approach your BOM for customization and configuration.
The Benefits of an In-Depth BOM
Manufacturers producing custom products will benefit from online order forms that effectively translate customer orders in a way that manufacturers can understand. Whenever customers choose different design elements and put the end product design together, a BOM can convert the information submitted into in-depth instructions on your end.
Some of the specific benefits of BOMs include:
- A streamlined manufacturing process. Based on the information that customers provide, you’ll be able to generate an organized BOM that provides detailed production guidelines that are easy to comprehend and follow.
- More insight into the final product. Design and production teams will be able to more clearly see how the final product will look based on each step of the production process. This helps ensure your teams align their vision with the customers.
- Segmented production. Reliable BOMs only require each team to focus on what they know at each phase of production. This eliminates any need for them to go beyond their level of expertise throughout the production process.
What to Include in a BOM for Customizable Products
Whenever customers place an order through a product configurator or customization software, you should ensure the order is easy to complete based on the customer’s specifications. In online order forms, each part of the customer’s order should have a corresponding name or code that manufacturers can understand. This maximizes efficiency and accuracy as the order travels down the supply chain.
The following are some of the specific elements to include in the online order form fields for bills of materials:
The first item to consider is the BOM level. This will determine the order of each step of the entire manufacturing process to produce the end product. The level will appear in the form of a number indicating where each component or assembly fits within the process.
Every part, assembly, and material used for custom products should have a unique name that your teams can recognize. This will mitigate confusion and ensure team members won’t need additional help identifying the correct part.
In addition to part names, part numbers that are unique to each component can facilitate identification. As with names, ensure all numbers only apply to the individual part to avoid confusion. If there are different variations of a particular part, these iterations should also have their own original numbers.
To further ensure manufacturing staff knows each part, it’s important to have detailed descriptions of part features and functions. This will make it even easier to identify parts as a supplement to names and numbers.
Indicate the specific stage that each part falls under during the manufacturing process. For example, some parts might be involved in the design process. Meanwhile, others with official approval will be implemented in production. Additionally, these phases will indicate the overall progress of the entire product, giving employees a better idea of the production timeframe.
Specify the measurements for each material and component required. This will ensure you purchase a sufficient amount of resources to complete the product. For instance, you might measure liquid materials in drops or ounces, while measuring solid materials in inches or pounds.
Based on each product’s specifications, you’ll also need varying quantities of parts. If a product requires multiple parts or manufacture, include this information in another field within the BOM.
Once you’ve determined which parts you need to create your end product, you’ll need to determine the method of procuring all necessary resources. As an example, a product may require a combination of materials you can buy off the shelf, plus other materials manufactured to custom specifications.
Custom products may require more information during the production process. If you need to include this information, a notes section on the form could give ample space for additional details. For example, you might use the notes section to list alternative material specifications or suppliers if manufacturers cannot source or otherwise use the original options.
Create Helpful BOMs and Other Mobile Forms With GoCanvas
Do you want to put together bills of materials using simplified mobile forms? GoCanvas offers a bill of materials app that staff can easily access using their mobile devices. You can easily generate your BOM and save it electronically. This enables efficient production tracking of all components when manufacturing custom products. Using this app, you can track all parts, quantities, sales order entry details, and more to keep your teams consistently on track and on time. For more information about this app as well as other templates for online order forms that your business can use, request a GoCanvas demo today or try our platform for free.