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- Calculate quantities based on Bill of Materials for specific product batch

2- Manage inventory of parts by controlling Quantity on Hand

3- Organizing Order BOM to provide a summary of what needs to be purchased from which vendors

4- Automate preparation of Purchase Orders to help sourcing parts and contractor work


The major components to production planning in OpenBOM are:

  • Order BOM
  • Production Batches
  • Vendor Lists
  • Purchase Order
  • Inventory Control

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 wheel nuts 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.  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 are assigned in the Order BOM because you may use different vendors for different Order BOMs created from the same BOM.

For example, you may have a BOM for the skateboard and one Order BOM for batch orders or 100 or more, and another Order BOM for small runs of just a few skateboards.  Each of those Order BOMs might have a different vendor list assigned, based on batch quantity.

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


Now that you have a vendor assigned for each item you wish to include in a Purchase Order, click Create/Update Purchase Orders and OpenBOM will generate a PO for each of the Vendors assigned in the Order BOM.

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.

Return to the OpenBOM Dashboard->Purchase Orders area to see the PO’s you just created

Three PO’s – one for each vendor assigned in our Order BOM

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


The final step is to produce 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.

The January Release of Purchase order and Vendors is Beta level and will be refined in a coming release.

In summary

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