Consistent Bill of Material Management in SAP

A BOM represents a digital image of the product for a specific purpose at a specific time. But often many different requirements are represented in exactly one BOM and the question arises more and more whether it makes sense to maintain exactly one BOM or whether the better approach is to work with several BOMs that serve exactly one purpose.

But how can digital consistency still be achieved with multiple BOMs?

What are the benefits of integrated BOM management for your company?

Different business units have different requirements regarding the structure of a product.  Product development structures a product from a technical point of view in order to maintain functional interfaces cleanly and thus achieve maximum standardization. For other areas, such as purchasing, however, it may be necessary to combine certain scopes so that they can be supplied in this form by suppliers. The situation is similar for the requirements of the aftermarket, which in turn needs a different view of the product in order to be able to position an adequate service offering on the market.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to map these different requirements in just one bill of materials or product structure. A structure inevitably results in a compromise between the departments involved and a lot of coordination effort to find this compromise.

If, however, a structure optimized for the requirements of each department is mapped, the need arises to keep these structures together throughout. This means that changes to the upstream processes must be able to be transferred easily and reliably to the downstream processes, and at the same time each department should retain the freedom it needs in its structure in the form of restructuring or even additions.

Core functionalities

  • Comparison of structures and representation of structural differences and also at the level of individual attributes
  • Simple and system-supported synchronization of a source structure with a target structure
  • Automated comparison of source and target structures.
  • Possibility of conflict resolution in case of deviations of the structures
  • Visual support (3D representation) when comparing the structures
  • Support of different structures


    • Classical parts lists
    • Document BOMs
    • SAP product structures
    • Snapshots of structures coming from non-SAP systems

SAP solutions for the structure reconciliation process

The SAP Product Structure Synchronization (SAP PSS) and SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Manufacturing Planner (SAP VEMP) solutions enable easy implementation of a multi-structure concept with maximum system support to ensure consistency of the different structures.

SAP Product Structure Synchronization

SAP Product Structure Synchronization (SAP PSS) enables a link to be established between a source BOM and a target BOM in SAP. Based on this connection, changes to a source BOM can be transferred to the target BOM, thus creating what is known as downstream traceability.

Both structures are compared in a cockpit and structural differences and differences in the attributes (e.g. quantities) are prepared and displayed in detail.

If the structures or attributes between the source BOM and the target BOM do not match, these conflicts are displayed so that they can be resolved by the user. SAP provides a very comprehensive set of suggestions for conflict resolution.
If changes in the source structure can be mapped to the target structure without conflict, they can be applied automatically.

SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Manufacturing Planner

With the SAP 3D Visual Enterprise Manufacturing Planner (SAP VEMP) it is possible to use the potential of 3D product data from development in manufacturing planning and execution. It allows to create logistic structures for downstream processes textually or also visually supported with simple drag & drop operations from the development structure of the product and to update them easily in case of changes.

The possibility of assigning the components of the production structure to operations in a routing in the same work step not only opens up new potential in terms of processes, but a simple, animated 3D work instruction can also be derived directly in SAP VEMP and, if necessary, subsequently detailed.  Through the visual representation of the work instruction, activities in production can be represented much better than through textual instructions alone.

Use Cases

When transferring from one structure to another structure, different use cases can be mapped.

  • Transfer of a material BOM to another material BOM (e.g. development BOM to production BOM)
  • Transfer of a document structure into a material BOM
  • Transfer of a configurable product structure to a configurable material BOM
  • Transfer of a configurable product structure to a material variant

Request now

Would you also like to swim along on the wave of success?
We will be happy to help you.