How to Clean Your BOM With Octopart

Alexsander Tamari
|  Created: December 19, 2023  |  Updated: February 4, 2024

When you first start a design job, it is imperative to make sure the BOM is cleaned up. Whether you're working in-house at a big company or working as a freelance designer, you'll have egg on your face if all of your components have the wrong ratings, packages, or lifecycle status. Unfortunately, most supply chain tools make it very difficult or clunky to clean up all the lines in a BOM. That means BOM cleaning is usually done manually, which takes a lot of hours (and headache).

But what if there was a fast way to clean up a BOM and quickly identify all of the out-of-stock, obsolete, EOL, or incorrectly packaged parts? All you need to do is head on over to Octopart. The BOM Tool offers an extremely quick way to clean up your BOM. I'll show you how it's done in this article.

Clean it up With the BOM Tool

The BOM Tool is a free-to-use feature in Octopart as long as you have created a free account. The BOM Tool is accessed from the top menu bar on the Octopart homepage.

When you navigate to the BOM tool, you will have an option to upload a copy of your BOM to Octopart’s system. The BOM Tool will then analyze each line in your BOM and connect you with distributor data from Octopart’s database. To use the BOM Tool for cleaning successfully, make sure you of the following available:

  • Export your BOM in Excel format
  • Make sure each line in the BOM contains an MPN

1. Upload Your BOM

First, upload the bom into the bom tool. The bom tool will allow you to eliminate the header row and any other rows that do not have valid part numbers included. If data is available for your parts, it will automatically populate into the data table.

2. Scan by Lifecycle

Immediately you will be able to see which components are EOL, Obsolete, or NRND. An in-production status may not show up for all components in the table, but these other life cycle statuses will as long as they are known. You can Ctrl+F for each lifecycle status or scrolls through the table to quickly identify these parts.

If you're ready to start swapping out parts, you can immediately start searching for replacements and add them to your BOM. Another option is to copy these parts and their reference designators into a separate Excel sheet; you can set this sheet aside and look for replacements later.

3. Select Preferred Distributors

Some designers and companies have distributors they prefer to use for their parts. Whatever your reason might be for choosing a preferred distributor, part of cleaning the BOM is ensuring you can procure the maximum amount of parts directly from your preferred sources. Select your preferred distributors and you will be able to filter by components that are in stock.

From here we can quickly see which components are in-stock and out-of-stock. At this point you can start searching directly for substitutes or copy these over to your change sheet and search for them later.

4. Clean up by Price

Using your preferred distributor list, you can quickly select the optimal price for each part using the Distributor/SKU column. The dropdown button will open a dialog that shows pricing and MOQ for each line in the BOM. You can also apply the “Lowest Price (Preferred Distributors)” option in the Shopping List menu and this will automatically filter each line for the lowest price in the Distributor/SKU window.

No matter how you want to use the BOM Tool, the goal is to eventually get to a completely cleaned BOM that can be 100% procured from your desired distributors, as well as compile a list of changes that need to be implemented in your design. Once you've finished cleaning the BOM, you can download it as a CSV file and make the necessary swaps in your CAD tool. If you're a contract designer, you can also send the modified BOM over to your client for review, or you can take it to distributors and start buying parts.

The next time you need to look for some cost savings on electronic parts and remove obsoletes/EOLs from your BOM, head over to Octapart and use the advanced search and filtration features to create your component orders. You will also find suggested alternates on Octopart’s component pages and up-to-date distributor pricing data, parts inventory, and parts specifications.

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About Author

About Author

Alexsander joined Altium as a Technical Marketing Engineer and brings years of engineering expertise to the team. His passion for electronics design combined with his practical business experience provides a unique perspective to the marketing team at Altium. Alexsander graduated from one of the top 20 universities in the world at UCSD where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

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