Hardware Hardware journey Manufacturing product development Uncategorized

Introducing the Dragon Standard BOM

on November 10, 2015

Over the last six years since starting Dragon Innovation and Bolt, I’ve talked with thousands of hardware companies and factories about how to start manufacturing and scale from a prototype to high volume production.  A critical starting point for this conversation is reviewing a Bill Of Materials (BOM), which serves as the foundation for building the product.  It’s a fundamental set of data, used throughout the process.  A well constructed BOM clearly communicates all of the technical ingredients required to build the product.

From this information, it’s possible to determine:

  • Lead-time to procure the materials
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
  • Manufacturing processes
  • Quality of the Design for Assembly
  • Supply chain robustness
  • Cash flow requirements

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Based on all of these conversations, we’ve come to believe that most hardware companies understand the importance of a solid BOM, but rarely have confidence that they have one that is complete or professional.  There is little consistency in format, adding friction to the process.

To help solve this problem we created the Dragon Standard BOM, which is a free tool for the hardware community.

Built as a Google Sheets Add-on, it’s like a template on steroids, providing a proven, pro-grade BOM format that companies can use with confidence. We’ve included some basic analytics and graphs to provide visibility into the BOM as well as some validation tools to help find duplicate parts.  Companies who have their BOMs in any spreadsheet can easily cut and paste into the template we generate.

We're excited about the Dragon Standard BOM for a few reasons.  It's our vision to make manufacturing feel easy, and we believe that this should help many teams.  If it's adopted widely, the Dragon Standard BOM will remove friction from the manufacturing process, which will help get products to market faster.  Most of all, we're thrilled to be building tools like this that capture the experience of the Dragon Innovation team and make it accessible online.  Stay tuned, the best is yet to come!

Scott N. Miller

Scott has been fascinated with hardware since he was old enough to hold a screwdriver. He worked on a robotic tuna fish, life-size robotic dinosaurs for Disney Imagineering, and robotic baby dolls with Hasbro, before joining iRobot where he was responsible for leading the Roomba team to scale the functional prototype to high-volume production of the first three million units.

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