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The Maintenance Management Blog

June 24, 2024

Bill Of Materials - Success In Work Orders

Image: Shelves of inventoryYou add the necessary ingredients to make a cake come out perfectly. Likewise, you need certain information included in work orders to achieve success. Otherwise, maintenance technicians experience confusion and spend time searching for answers instead of using their time efficiently. In this article, let’s explore one piece of information to reduce that confusion—a bill of materials.

What is a Bill of Materials?

Most maintenance jobs require parts and/or supplies. A bill of materials (BOM) consists of inventory or stock needed for those jobs. Many assets or equipment use the same inventory (replacement parts, lubrication, etc.) for each preventive maintenance (PM).

You can have two categories of BOM.

  1. Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) BOM, which contains all parts.
  2. Maintenance, Repair, and Operation (MRO) BOM, which focuses on routinely used parts as mentioned above.

What information does a BOM contain?

  • The name of the part (this could include a brief description).
  • The part number (if relevant).
  • The quantity or unit of measure (i.e., six feet of wire, two gallons of oil, etc.).

The information on each part includes its location in the stockroom.

Depending on the industry, company, and task, optional information includes:

  • A specific manufacturer's name/number (in case you have the same part made by different companies).
  • Cost.

How to organize a BOM:

If you’re using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), you can add a BOM to those asset records.

The CMMS helps you layout your stockroom. This saves technician "search time." He retrieves the needed part(s) and gets to the job. Stockroom organization keeps everything in a logical order so it’s easily accessible and easy to read by the maintenance technician.

Another suggestion for an organized BOM is to have kitted parts. Again, referencing the parts that you use repeatedly, you bundle or “kit” them. These kitted parts reduce the inventory search time further because everything for a particular job is in one place.

Since costs are always a factor in maintenance operations, every aspect of the BOM must be accurate. In part, the supervisor sets authorizations on who can access, create, and update BOMs.

How do you use a BOM?

With the CMMS software from Mapcon Technologies, an issue ticket can be created by the PM process automatically. Parts are added to the PM Description using the BOM as a guide. When you generate a PM work order, the assigned technician receives the work order and the issue ticket. Or, a worker can create and print or email an issue ticket without a work order, simply issuing the parts directly to the equipment. The BOM is available when issuing to help choose the right parts.

The system also helps build your BOM. Let's say you check out a part using an issue ticket. If that part is not found on the BOM, it will be added to the BOM for the next time.

What are the benefits of a BOM?

As mentioned above, you reduce the questions a maintenance technician has regarding what stock he needs for the work order. If you lay out the stockroom properly (the CMMS can assist with this, too), you reduce search time for inventory. Kitted parts also save time.

A BOM attached to an asset ensures that a technician retrieves all components required for the job.


For a bill of materials to assist success in asset management and work orders, consider the accuracy and usage of each BOM. Maintenance supervisors should utilize BOMs for as many work orders as possible. That way, technicians stay organized, efficient, and productive.

For details on how a superior CMMS features a BOM for your maintenance operations, call MAPCON at 800-922-4336.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: bill of materials, maintenance, CMMS — Stephen Brayton on June 24, 2024