Inventory Details

A well maintained inventory (database of parts) is critical for the success any bill of materials created. All the information extracted from a bill of materials comes directly from the inventory.

Part in Inventory

The information in an inventory should contain the following information:

  • A part no.
  • A description, in a consistent format
  • A unit
  • One or more costs associated with this item
  • Wastage
  • Weight, optional
  • Category

The additional ordering information is also required:

  • Quantity on hand
  • Allocated quantity
  • Minimum re-order level
  • Lead time in days
  • Vendor

There may be the following additional information:

  • Custom Fields
  • Comments
  • Hyperlinks for product data

Data format

Data entered into the inventory should be in a consistent format. For the description, this would having the wording using the object type first, then the next important characteristics, in order of relevancy. i.e Bolt, M10x70, Galv.

Errors

Errors can creep into an inventory by:

  • Missing critical data, this can be eliminated by validation in a software product
  • Real no's entered where only integers are acceptable
  • Identical parts, but with different part numbers
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