Production Planning and Purchase Orders

Production planning can be thought of as the process, end-to-end, of using your BOM to buy the parts you need.  Video of planning process

  1. Assign vendors to items in Catalog
  2. Calculate quantities based on Bill of Materials for specific product batch
  3. Manage inventory of parts by controlling Quantity on Hand
  4. Organizing Order BOM to provide a summary of what needs to be purchased from which vendors
  5. Automate preparation of Purchase Orders to help sourcing parts and contract work

The major components to production planning in OpenBOM are:

  • Vendor List(s) with Vendor information defined
  • Catalog with Vendor List assigned
  • BOM with Catalog assigned
  • Order BOM
  • Production Batches
  • Purchase Order
  • Release and Inventory Control

Creating the Order BOM

An OrderBOM is a BOM which has been scaled by the quantity of a particular batch “order” for that BOM.  For example, if your skateboard BOM has a line item of wheels, each with 2 bearings per wheel and you receive an order for 5 skateboards then you will have

4 (wheels) X 2 (bearings per wheel) X 5 Orders = 40 bearings in your Order BOM

The same will be true for all the other items in your BOM.  They will be scaled to the requirements of the particular order quantity, in this example, 5.

Order BOM is activated by clicking the Order BOM button in the BOM menu bar. The image below is of a BOM which you are ready to create an Order BOM for:


The Batch Order dialog will appear, click Add to create a new batch.  A batch creates an Order BOM which defines how many of each BOM you will be building with this order. In this example, we will build 5 of the SB7000-PO skateboards. Only one batch may be active at a time


Open your Order BOM by clicking the link

Click the link to open the Order BOM you just created

The Order BOM opens.

Assign Vendors (Not needed if you assign Vendors in Catalog)

The next step is not necessary IF YOU DEFINED YOUR VENDORS IN THE ASSOCIATED CATALOG.  In other words, if you define preferred and secondary vendors in the catalog (the preferred method) you will not need to specify a vendor list here. Skip to Create Purchase Order below.

If you are not using a catalog, or have not defined Vendors in the Catalog, complete this net step.

Next assign a vendor list to choose vendors from.  In this case we will assign VL-3 as our vendor list.  See help on Vendor Lists for more information:

Assigning a vendor list to your Order BOM

For reference we are including an image of our vendor list here.  You wont need to open the vendor list as part of this process but this is a good time to introduce the concept.

Vendor List (VL-3) – for reference

Now that you have assigned your vendor list (VL-3) to your Orde OBM, it is time to specify a vendor for each item in your Order BOM.  Vendors may be assigned in the Order BOM only if you have not pre-defined them in the associated item Catalog(s).

For each items in your Order BOM assign a vendor form the drop down list.  Remember, the vendors shown will be coming from Vendor list(s) you selected above

Assigning a vendor to each of the items in the Order BOM

Endure that all items have a Vendor (defined inthe Catalog or in the Order BOM)

Create Purchase Orders

Click Create/Update Purchase Orders to generate a PO for each of the Vendors assigned in the Order BOM.  PO’s will be created in the Purchase Order area of the Dashboard.

In our example, we have assigned three different vendors so OpenBOM will create three PO’s, one for each vendor.


Purchase Orders have been created. Go to Dashboard->Purchase Orders to view them.

Now we have three Purchase Orders, let’s open the one for McMaster


The final step is to produce and Export the PO we will send to the supplier:

Click Export as shown above

Choose the appropriate properties to appear in PO

FInally, here is the PO.

Your PO is ready to send to the supplier

There are a few details we will cleanup on the next pass through. Remove the zero quantity line items before exporting the PO and perhaps alias Quantity Gap to “PO Quantity” so it reads a little better.

In summary

  1. We created an approved Vendor List for our company (VL-3)
  2. We created a new BOM (SB7000)
  3. Edited the Catalog to Set Vendors
  4. Assigned the Catalog to the BOM (Skateboard PartsMaster)
  5. Created an Order BOM for the batch quantity
  6. Create/Update PO
  7. Exported each PO as PDF to send to our supplier