CMMS Reliability Reliability & Maintenance Center

Good BOMs Boost Maintenance Efficiency

Jane Alexander | February 16, 2018

Most CMMS systems have the ability to create Bills of Materials (BOMs) for equipment or assets. This type of BOM includes all the components needed for a piece of equipment. According to information from Life Cycle Engineering (, Charleston, SC), all types of asset-intensive industries can reap benefits from good BOMs—with one of the most important of those benefit coming in the form of  increased maintenance efficiency. Among other things:

Equipment BOMs can help the maintenance planner plan a task or job faster.

Do your planners spend time looking at drawings, manuals, or catalogs to find part numbers that could be right at their fingertips? BOMs can be created for certain PM tasks, shutdowns, or redundant tasks. Yes, it does take time to create and maintain good equipment BOMs. If they aren’t maintained correctly, confusion ensues and end-user time is wasted.

Equipment BOMs can help reduce downtime. 

Do you have craftsmen working on back shifts, nights, or weekends? Good equipment BOMs will reduce equipment downtime because, regardless of the time that any parts are needed, they can be identified and procured quickly.

Using a good BOM system can help manage system sub-components. 

Do you have sub-components with replacement parts that are hard to identify? Consider a conveyor that uses lifts, curves, and belts of different lengths or widths, gearboxes with motors, or a hoist made of several components. The sub-component items can be broken out into their own BOMs and become part of a sub-BOM for such systems.

Using equipment BOMs helps manage spare-parts inventory.

Do personnel ever decommission and remove equipment from the plant floor? The associated spare parts can sit in the storeroom for years, taking up valuable space. With good equipment BOMs, the task of identifying spare parts that belong to a decommissioned piece of equipment is a simple task. With a little cross-checking to ensure that the parts aren’t used on some other piece of equipment or system, you’re almost done—except for removing the items from the CMMS and storeroom. This strategy helps reduce the total dollar amount of a site’s spare-parts inventory.

While it does take time to create and regularly update equipment BOMs, the payoff is big. When BOMs are correctly set up and maintained, and appropriate personnel know how to access them, an operation can look forward to fewer headaches and a reduction in equipment downtime.

For more information from Life Cycle Engineering on this and other important plant topics, visit or email




Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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