Your BOM-tail Supply challenge
Beyond the main components and assemblies, your production Bill of Materials may include many hundreds of other items from different suppliers – fasteners, connectors, electronic components, switches and so on. Many of these are used in some volume across the range of your production; others may be specific to less common products. They may be entirely generic, or tightly specified, perhaps to the proprietary designs of a single manufacturer. (Some may even be bought-in parts to your own design). Typically, though not invariably, they are small both in size and in price, though their total value may be considerable, and although they are critical to production, your order may be of minor importance to the supplier.
Such parts are by their nature liable to loss, damage and wastage, and often they are required in several different production stages, making control of issue and usage difficult. The length of this BOM tail tends to increase as new products introduce new item variants, and effectively managing this tail requires inordinate administrative time and expenditure with little opportunity to achieve compensatory savings.