Whether your project is big or small, it probably starts with a Bill of Materials (or BOM). This one-stop document contains all the pertinent information for every component you'll need to complete your device or design.
Not surprisingly, BOMs tend to get long and complicated as you try to track and account for every capacitor, LED, and wire you'll need ― and the confusion only grows when you're working on a team and need to coordinate with buyers and other engineers.
Arrow's BOM Tool is designed to alleviate these frustrations and make it easy to track every part and piece in your design. The BOM Tool allows you to upload (create), review and delete your own BOMs. Customers can easily view prices, availability and other related part information for BOMs. Customer created BOMs are saved instantly and can be accessed any time from the BOM homepage. Let's explore how it works.
Using an Established BOM Database
The BOM homepage consists of 3 main components:
2. Quick input
3. Existing BOMs
The easiest way to use the tool is to upload an Excel spreadsheet with all the relevant information, such as:
- Part numbers
Uploading a new BOM allows users to upload a XLS, XLSX, or CVS file, users can drag and drop or select a file on their computer, and users can upload a maximum of 3,000 lines per BOM. Once the customer has uploaded the file, the BOM Mapping Page displays.
If you don't have a spreadsheet file already prepared, you can still use the BOM Tool through the quick input. Simply copy and paste the relevant part numbers (separated by a return) into the right-hand box on the BOM tool main page. The tool will generate a BOM for you that you can then share, download, update, and filter just as if you had uploaded a spreadsheet.
Now you can maintain an internal format that's consistent with your company's standards. Rather than having to format your sheets for the tool, you can tell the BOM Tool how to interpret those sheets. Once the tool as assigned your columns, (you can even give them custom names), click "view BOM" to see all the relevant data about every part in your request.
The 'Column Mapping' page displays information related to the file.
A. File Uploaded - name of the file the customer has uploaded
B. File Size - size of the file being uploaded. The larger the file, the longer the upload will take
C. Worksheet - if multiple sheets exist, select the sheet to upload
D. Number of Lines - the total number of liens in the file, including header or any other non-part rows (ie header info) found in the file
E. Header Row and Data Start Row - the row with the header information and the first part row. This helps ensure unnecessary information is not uploaded to the BOM
The BOM Tool will also map columns for you, or you can select (map) columns.
1. A part number or CPN (customer part number) is required for mapping
2. To create a custom column, click the drop down, enter the column name, and click map
3. Once columns have been selected, click the View BOM button to display the BOM View page
You can also create new CPNs inside of the BOM Tool by uploading a column and selecting the "Customer Part Number" column. Once the column has been selected, text will display at the bottom of the screen asking the user if they would like CPNs to be created. Now you can maintain an internal format that's consistent with your company's standards. Rather than having to format your sheets for the tool, you can tell the BOM Tool how to interpret those sheets. Once you or the tool has assigned your columns, click "view BOM" to see all the relevant data about every part in your request.
BOM Inventory Management
In some cases, the exact product you're looking for may not be available. You can filter for "alternates" using the filter buttons at the top of the screen. This filter will show all the unmatched components and suggest possible substitutions so you can get going on your project.
On the top left, you will also find a "share" icon that lets you send the entire BOM to someone else by e-mail. This function allows engineers to make selections and share with buyers quickly. Multiple teammates can also easily collaborate on choices about components, quantity, and price. You can download the completed BOM with all its information or only selected, relevant details using the "download" button.