Time is a bizarre thing. We’re always trying to find time, pass time, waste time, etc., etc. So, in respect of your time, Mouser has created a couple cool features to help you save time. Of course, you’re always welcome to spend as much time on mouser.com as you want to, but we also understand if what you’re after is that sweet feeling of accomplishment you get after checking something off your to-do list, we’d like to help you get there faster. Speaking of lists, anyone who has a list of parts can save a lot of time using Mouser’s BOM Tool.
The BOM Tool is our product search engine and purchasing platform. Essentially, you upload your own personal Bill of Materials, which can either be an Excel spreadsheet (the program’s default features enable it to process up to 99 lines of data, though you can request more if necessary) or you can build your own right from the site, and then the BOM Tool takes it from there.
The BOM Tool reads and processes your BOM and then finds the appropriate parts as sold by one of our 500+ manufacturers. For you, this means no more copy and pasting product numbers into a search bar. No more searching through long lists of products and adding each individual item to your Cart. The BOM Tool does all of this for you. . When you upload a list of parts, you can also choose what additional part data you would like us to include with your BOM output file, which is returned as an excel file with whatever additional columns of information you want to add from a menu, such as real-time product pricing and whether it’s in stock. You can export your BOM with your custom data and original formatting. The BOM tool is rather sophisticated, but it can save you buckets of time. Don’t know the exact part number? No problem! Incomplete or inexact part numbers are accepted, and you are offered several intelligent choices as a possible match to our product database, with whatever you were able to provide.
And finally, when you’re done locating your parts and have added them to your Cart, you can use our “Customer Part Number” feature. The “Customer Part Number” feature allows you to put in your own part number and, when Mouser sends you your part, we’ll print what you put in that box right on the packaging. This is just about the easiest way we know to help you stay organized and assemble your circuit with ease.
The whole process is super simple and much faster than looking for a list of individual parts. Here’s how you do it (click any image to embiggen):
1. From mouser.com, go to Services & Tools → BOM Tool. Then click “Import a New BOM.”
2. You can either import your BOM Excel document or manually input the data. When you’re finished, click “Import BOM.”
3. After you have imported your BOM, let the program know which of your column headings relates to which part attributes. This will assist the BOM Tool when processing your items.
4. Next, (and this is pretty cool) you can customize your BOM to display only the output data that you’re interested in seeing. If you want to see the price, tell it to show you the price. If you want to see the order city, tell it to show you the order city. These fields are up to you.
5. After customizing your BOM’s output, you can select your preferences for currency, RoHS compliance, and whether or not you would like alternative recommendations for parts that are unavailable.
6. Once you’ve completed the preferences section, the BOM Tool will scan and process your BOM.
7. You will then get a report on what the BOM Tool gathered from your data. In this example BOM, there were 16 parts, all of which were located. If some parts had not been located (out of stock, not RoHS compatible, obsolete, etc.) there would have been alternative recommendations listed.
8. After your brief summary report, you will be able to view your detailed BOM and you can purchase your items right from here. If your parts were not available, simply click on “Click to View Part Options” to see the alternative parts available.
It’s that simple. This tool can save you a lot of time. Curious? Go check it out at https://www.mouser.com/bomtool/. There are a few short videos that demonstrate what you can do with the tool. (Note: the videos work best on a non-Chrome browser.)
And, if you’re interested in more tools that Mouser has which make your job easier, be sure to check out “Work Smarter With Mouser Tools: Project and Cart Sharing” on how to share this BOM and other project details with your team to effectively communicate and, you guessed it, save time.
Justin is a contributing author who loves to read and write about the advancements of technology and robotics. When not at work, you can find him conquering Risk and Catan or on an adventure with his wife and kids. Last Father's Day he received a #1 dad shirt, so now that's official.
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