So instead of taking the time to build and maintain the BOMs, they just go on without them. That means planners, maintenance and reliability engineers, mechanics, materials management and procurement personnel, and others have to go outside the system to do things like:

  • Determine material requirements for planned work
  • Query and locate parts for emergency and other unplanned work
  • Associate critical spares to specific assets
  • Evaluate part substitutions
  • Assess non-moving material for obsolescence
  • Identify opportunities for part standardization Somehow there's time for most of these workarounds, and although it's hard to calculate, it probably takes 2 to 10 times as much effort to deal with the lack of information as it would to just fix the problem in the first place. Unfortunately the focus is on the reactive aspects of what really needs to be done and not on the proactive aspects of getting the information into the system. If you don't keep up, it's hard to catch up. So what are the five critical success factors for establishing and maintaining effective BOMs?
  1. There's no question that the #1 thing you can do is get the information into the system as early as possible! As soon as you have made a commitment to buy a new piece of equipment, you should be on the phone with the manufacturer or supplier to get the BOM information. Unless there's a possibility that something could change, there's no reason not to have the BOM data in the system even BEFORE the equipment is installed.
  2. Don't kill yourself trying to get every last little item into the database. If your system supports an automatic upload of BOM data from an electronic file, then take advantage of it. But if you have to enter the data manually, make sure you enter the most important items first. Another rule of thumb is: anythingyou reasonably expect to repair and/or replace should go on the BOM, with the exception of consumables and free issue parts.
  3. Make sure you have a robust process in place to manage changes to the asset base. Whether you call it "Management of Change," "Configuration Management," or "Mikey," the important thing is that all equipment redesigns, material changes, part substitutions, or even significant modifications are assessed to determine the impact on the BOM.
  4. Don't forget about retired assets. How many times have you had someone look at an expensive or supposedly critical part that hasn't moved in the storeroom and heard them say, "oh, we stopped using those years ago when we took out the whatever." It's so much easier (not to mention cost effective) to deal with these situations as they occur.
  5. Make it part of the culture. This isn't something that can be done randomly or easily driven from the bottom up. It requires management commitment to make it a priority, with clearly defined responsibilities and expectations for each person involved in establishing and maintaining the integrity of the BOMs, and accountability for making sure it happens.

It's not easy! The easy thing is to do nothing and continue to live with the consequences. Even if you can't erase all the mistakes of the past, at least put something in place to keep the situation from getting worse. Once you can keep up, it's easier to catch up!

Doug Wallace Image

Doug Wallace, CPIM, has more than 30 years of combined experience in supply chain operations and management consulting, specializing in the areas of global enterprise planning, production and inventory control, and materials management. As a Materials Management Subject Matter Expert for Life Cycle Engineering, his primary focus is on implementing best practices in procurement, warehouse operations, inventory optimization, and utilization of associated business and information systems.

    Upcoming Events

    August 9 - August 11 2022

    MaximoWorld 2022

    View all Events
    80% of newsletter subscribers report finding something used to improve their jobs on a regular basis.
    Subscribers get exclusive content. Just released...MRO Best Practices Special Report - a $399 value!
    “Steel-ing” Reliability in Alabama

    A joint venture between two of the world’s largest steel companies inspired innovative approaches to maintenance reliability that incorporate the tools, technology and techniques of today. This article takes you on their journey.

    Three Things You Need to Know About Capital Project Prioritization

    “Why do you think these two projects rank so much higher in this method than the first method?” the facilitator asked the director of reliability.

    What Is Industrial Maintenance as a Service?

    Industrial maintenance as a service (#imaas) transfers the digital and/or manual management of maintenance and industrial operations from machine users to machine manufacturers (OEMs), while improving it considerably.

    Three Things You Need to Know About Criticality Analysis

    When it comes to criticality analysis, there are three key factors must be emphasized.

    Turning the Oil Tanker

    This article highlights the hidden trap of performance management systems.

    Optimizing Value From Physical Assets

    There are ever-increasing opportunities to create new and sustainable value in asset-intensive organizations through enhanced use of technology.

    Conducting Asset Criticality Assessment for Better Maintenance Strategy and Techniques

    Conducting an asset criticality assessment (ACA) is the first step in maintaining the assets properly. This article addresses the best maintenance strategy for assets by using ACA techniques.

    Harmonizing PMs

    Maintenance reliability is, of course, an essential part of any successful business that wants to remain successful. It includes the three PMs: predictive, preventive and proactive maintenance.

    How an Edge IoT Platform Increases Efficiency, Availability and Productivity

    Within four years, more than 30 per cent of businesses and organizations will include edge computing in their cloud deployments to address bandwidth bottlenecks, reduce latency, and process data for decision support in real-time.

    MaximoWorld 2022

    The world's largest conference for IBM Maximo users, IBM Executives, IBM Maximo Partners and Services with Uptime Elements Reliability Framework and Asset Management System is being held Aug 8-11, 2022