Many engineering teams will already have developed a prototype without any written list of specification requirements. This is a certain path to wasted time and capital - both of which, most startups don’t have a lot of.
In the previous two articles in this Building a BOM series (5 Required Fields and 7 Optional Fields) I discussed what should be in a BOM. But, it's also important to mention what should not be included.Under no circumstance should the price of a part be listed in a released BOM. I see this mistake too many times. A released BOM should contain only static data, which will be accurate at any point in the life of the BOM - from the time it was created until the next time an engineer makes a revisioned change. Pricing and lead times are variables.
In the previous article in this BOM Building series, I listed the 5 bare minimum fields required for a proper BOM (Bill of Materials). The goal of any BOM is to accurately represent the discrete parts of your product with sufficient detail to procure them - no more, no less. While only 5 fields are required to accomplish this, the addition of the following optional fields helps make your BOM more robust and efficient for a procurement team to do their job.
Now that we know how to get a visual on our data (Histogram Post), we can consider lot-to-lot variation of our parameters to see how Shifts and Drifts affect the ability of our part to meet specifications over a long production run, and some things to watch for when optimizing our manufacturing processes.
The hard and soft goods industries have seen exponential changes in the last few years. There is now a wealth of services and tools that make it much easier for someone with a product concept to begin prototyping it quickly and cheaply. Advancements in software tools, 3D printing technology, and rapid prototyping services have resulted in an overwhelming number of entrepreneurs trying their hand in product development.
t's important to find a Chinese Manufacturer that is the right match for your product market and forecasted volume. Just about any CM can do PCB Assembly, Box build, and testing, but you need to find a manufacturer that has worked with products similar to yours. This will go a long way in terms of efficiency and costs when bringing up the new product line and for on going support.