Dragon Innovation Standard BOM

Introducing the Dragon Standard BOM

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!


  • Ricardo Solorzano commented on December 1, 2015 Reply

    I am interested in configuring how the Dragon Innovation BOM change the BOM information.

    • thos@dragoninnovation.com commented on December 1, 2015 Reply

      Hi Ricardo – thanks for checking out the Dragon Standard BOM! What are you looking to change? If it would be useful to the whole community we could look into extending the app to help everyone.

  • Dave Z. commented on January 14, 2016 Reply

    When I go to install the add-on, it requests quite a lot in the way of permissions: my email, my account info, read & write data to the spreadsheet, send data to & from an external source, etc.

    What is your privacy policy with respect to this tool? Do you collect data? Do you store data of mine on your server? Will you look at my BOM?


    • beth@dragoninnovation.com commented on January 19, 2016 Reply

      Hey Dave,

      Thanks for reaching out. We don’t have a *ton* of control over the warnings google throws up on install unfortunately, and agree that some of their language is ominous. What the warning really means is that the add-on has the ability to add tabs and create reports out of the data in your sheet.
      What it does NOT mean is that we can see the data or store it. We can’t at all, and we wish we were able to message that more clearly from the get-go. Let us know if you have any additional questions.

      Thanks so much!

  • Michael Rutt commented on January 26, 2016 Reply

    Fantastic resource! Is there any chance you will provide an Excel version of this (or something similar) in the future? I’m currently working with Office online, not Google Docs.


    • beth@dragoninnovation.com commented on January 26, 2016 Reply

      Hey Michael! Thanks so much for the positive feedback. We’re currently working on even more powerful tools that won’t rely on Google Docs. We have heard from some XLS users that they’ve gotten value out of copying/pasting their BOM into a Google Sheet as a one off exercise to scan for duplicates and to create the charts. Stay tuned though!

  • Adam C. commented on November 9, 2017 Reply

    Is it possible to create new sheets within this BOM for additional material/component types to give a more detailed look at the breakdown. When I’ve tried this, I don’t see the new sheet in my flat BOM or breakdown chart reports.

    • thos@dragoninnovation.com commented on November 9, 2017 Reply

      Hi Adam. Thos from Dragon Innovation here. Unfortunately the programmatic stuff going on behind the Dragon Standard BOM won’t pick up the additional data for things like reports, which rely on expected column headers.
      However, there is good news:
      It sounds like you’re ready to graduate out of the Dragon Standard BOM and check out Product Planner. Product Planner is a tool we’ve built that helps you manage your BOM data and get manufacturing insights in a way that is much more robust than a spreadsheet, and more modern and approachable than an old-school enterprise tool. You can learn more and start a free trial any time here: https://tools.dragoninnovation.com/planner?

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