In the intricate world of modern manufacturing and product management, precision and organization are essential in maintaining efficient and effective product structuring and assembly management strategies across an entire organization.

Enter Bill of Material in SAP (BOM) — a versatile tool that offers a comprehensive set of capabilities designed to streamline, optimize, and control the entire product lifecycle and improve overall production process and product handling efficiency.

In this article, we’ll discuss SAP BOM’s key features and functionalities, how it revolutionizes product structure management and other critical manufacturing operations, how to facilitate efficient BOM usage, and where our expert SAP consultant team can come in to help.

What is a Bill of Material?

A bill of material (BOM) is a comprehensive list of raw materials, parts, components, and assemblies required to manufacture a finished product. BOM usage allows companies to define a minimum and maximum component quantity for each component material number and class and outline relationships between components and subcomponents.

What is BOM in SAP?

SAP bill of material (BOM) is one of the most critical elements of the SAP Production Planning (SAP PP) module, allowing users to create a list of the raw materials and components and their quantities required to produce a final product or assembly and making it easier to save BOM components for future use.

Different BOM categories are available for use in various applications and functional areas of the SAP landscape, including SAP PP, SAP Sales and Distribution, and the SAP Plant Maintenance module.

Here’s a list of the BOM categories and where they’re used in the SAP system:

  • Order BOM: SAP Sales and Distribution module
  • Material BOM: SAP Production Planning module
  • WBS BOM: SAP Project System module
  • Equipment BOM: SAP Plant Maintenance module
  • Functional Location BOM: SAP Plant Maintenance module

Understanding Different BOM Type Capabilities in SAP

Let’s take a closer look at the main bill of material types, their core capabilities in the SAP system and effective BOM usage:

1) Sales and Assembly BOM

Sales and Assembly BOMs represent a finished product assembled at the sales phase, meaning the finished product is comprised of its predefined component items only when its parent product is sold. In both the Sales and Assembly BOMs, users manage the parent product as a sales item rather than an inventory item, but BOM component items are tracked individually in the warehouse.

Here are a few key considerations when choosing between the Sales BOM and the Assembly BOMs:

  • Sales BOM: Use when there is a fixed combination of materials and the customer needs validation for each item. With this BOM type, customers cannot alter or remove an item from the sales order, and other items cannot be added between the parent and component items. However, component quantity for each item can be modified as needed.
  • Assembly BOM: Use when customers don’t expect to check each component in the sales order.

2) Production BOM

The Production bill of material (BOM) is created for a finished product made up of different inventory components, helping customers to organize and manage the individual components that make up the final product.

A Production BOM can be used to include specific products in the MRP run, process standard production orders, and manage the physical items that make up finished products.

3) Template BOM

A Template BOM includes a bundle of production items, but it does not act as a BOM once it’s added to the sales document. This allows users to maintain a list of items brought together at the same time, update the quantity of each item, and swap or delete items in either the BOM or the sales order.

Template BOMs are typically used when customers require flexibility to choose each product component.

Navigating SAP Bill of Material (BOM) Architecture

Here’s a quick breakdown of the main components of the SAP bill of material structure:

  • BOM Header: Contains the BOM number, alternate BOM, BOM base quantity, and technical type
  • BOM Number: Unique number assigned to each BOM by the internal system, allowing users to link BOM data with transaction data and other information in other SAP PP applications like Production Order, MRP, and more
  • BOM Base Quantity: Refers to the base quantity for each component used in BOM explosion and other MRP and costing activities
  • Technical Type: Contains all technical types that the BOM belongs to, including alternate and variant BOMS associated with each product
  • Item Category: All BOM components are assigned to an item category that classifies the BOM items, including stock item, non-stock item, PM structure item, variable size item, document item, class item, text item, and more
  • Alternate BOM: Represents an alternate BOM if more than one BOM exists for the parent material and can differ according to lot sizes, validity dates, and production process methods

How Can We Help?

Whether you need help creating a new BOM table in SAP, additional support understanding the role of the material to BOM link for efficient product delivery, or just an extra hand navigating new SAP BOM tables or applications, Surety Systems is here to help.

Our senior-level, US-based SAP consultant team has the knowledge, skills, and experience needed to handle all your most critical SAP project needs — from first time implementation to integration, upgrade, and everything in between.

Getting Started with Our Team

Interested in learning how to utilize BOM tables to maintain relationships between material, order, and equipment BOM types or where our team of expert SAP consultants can come in to help facilitate more efficient BOM usage across teams?

Contact us today!