Tag Archives: bill of materials

Excel in your Steel Fabrication Workplace.

Are you using Excel to enter your bill of materials, complete your bids or to track your jobs?
Why use a general computer program to manage such specific industry tasks!? Read more on how StruMIS Software is the faster, more efficient way to make you productive in your steel fabrication workplace.


We all naturally resist the initial notion of change. Surely, the switch to Excel from pen and paper was also met with resistance initially. But here we are, years later, familiarly clicking away in Excel; thoroughly adjusted to the cumbersome task of entering the bill of material in Excel. It’s what you know. It’s what you’re comfortable with. Just as the generation before us knew and were comfortable with their pen and paper.

But like anything, time and technology changes. After all, you’re reading this blog (which wasn’t even a “thing” 20 years ago!) from a computer screen, not a typewriter. What if I told you the steel fabrication industry is not immune to such technological changes? That there is an easier way to work with software but it’ll naturally require a transition time to get used to the new way of work? Does your mind immediately focus on “transition time” or “easier way” in that sentence?

If you found yourself focused on “transition time” and dreading that notion, what if I added that the transition time is short and seamless because the new way resembles the look of Excel but is specifically designed for the Steel Fabrication Industry? Starting to sound better? What if I add that the software comes built with all your cost and labor codes for faster, more efficient take-offs? Sounding even better yet? What if I also add that you can import your bill of materials, your excel sheet, your 3D model, your electronic take-off for an even faster, more efficient bid? A no-brainer, right?


Unfortunately, so many of us, get stuck on the notion of change that we keep to the old way of doing things because it works, no matter how cumbersome, regardless that there are industry improvements out there that help us work smarter, not harder.

Our customers have recognized this realization and are reaping the benefit. They’re able to get more bids out than before, they’re able to track their bid win/loss history to understand where to improve and make themselves more competitive, and they’re able to understand with a click of a button what is available in inventory, what’s already allocated in inventory to a specific job, and what drops they have to utilize. Instantly, our clients are able to view any potential bottlenecks in the shop, reroute, and stay on time for delivery.

They’re not working harder, they’re simply working smarter. They’re harnessing the power of technology that StruMIS delivers and I invite you to see the faster, smarter (not harder) way to work through StruMIS, too! A complimentary, brief online demo will show you just how seamless an “easier way” is. Work smarter, not harder, with StruMIS.

Request an online demo here

da BOM! Bill of Material (BOM) – where the story begins

In the beginning

Bill of Material (BOM) – This is where the story begins once you’ve successfully secured the project bid.


I see fabricators build this list in Excel with the help of macros, drop down lists, vlookups et al. They have it narrowed down to the most efficient way of building the BOM. And it probably is with the tools that they have available. But it certainly is not the most effective – that way is long gone!

For those of you that use management information software, such as StruM.I.S, to manage this, you’re ahead of the game. I’m speaking to the ones out there that who are still using Excel or access based tools to manage the BOM. Shorten your information flow by automating this process and setting up the downstream processes for success.

Eight tips to look for in detailed accuracy:

1. Drawing, assembly, super-assembly, piece mark (component), quantity
2. Material or section type, length and width
3. Division/Phase/Sequence #, lotting
4. GUIDs (Globally Unique Identifiers)
5. Automatic revision tracking
6. Ability to toggle between a consolidated listing and a flattened listing
7. Ability to link drawings and CAM (dwg, dxf, pdf, nc1 etc)
8. Ability to view your BOM in 3D visual environment

Fast and Flexible

Large projects may entail producing 1-2 Divisions per month for 6 months, other projects you can build and ship within a week. As a fabricator you need flexibility built into managing your BOM. Flexibility can look like space requirements to store material; approvals for construction trickling in by division; constant changes and scope creep; long lead time material to plan for.

Seamless Integration
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By integrating with 3D CAD packages Tekla, Revit, SDS/2., Autodesk Advance Steel, Solidworks, Bentley ProStructures/ProSteel Inventor and BoCAD; StruM.I.S can import the necessary files and create an accurate BOM in ten seconds By having this information up front you will be able to plan your nesting and procurement needs, erection sequencing, production and shipment schedules, up-to-date status tracking.

Take the challenge

I can show you how to do it faster, in minutes.
Visit us at www.strumis.com or contact me direct at e.morris@strumis.com