A well maintained inventory is critical for the success any bill of materials created. All the information extracted from a bill of materials comes directly from the 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
- Weight, optional
The additional ordering information is also required:
- Quantity on hand
- Allocated quantity
- Minimum re-order level
- Lead time in days
There may be the following additional information:
- Custom Fields
- Hyperlinks for product data
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 can creep into an inventory by:
- Real no’s entered where only integers are acceptable
- Identical parts, but with different part numbers.
- Missing critical data, this can be eliminated by validation in a software product