Should the bill of materials in a tech pack include price?

Producing a garment is like baking a cake. When baking a cake, you need three things: ingredients, a recipe and a kitchen. The bill of materials (BOM) in a tech pack is like the list of ingredients for baking a cake. The BOM is the list of things you need to buy before you can start sewing your garment together.

The BOM is a table with the following columns:

Item description
Supplier’s name
Manufacturers code or SKU number

When you describe the fabric, be as technical as you can. If you write that you want 95% polyester and 5% spandex sportswear fabric, then the factory will be frustrated because there are more than 100 variations of 95/5 poly/span sportswear fabric. The factory needs to know the fiber specifications, knitting or weaving structure, weight and any special finish you want.

If you are not sure what the fabric specifications are then I recommend you hold off on sending your tech packs to a factory. Factories are not good at what is called fabric development. If you need fabric development then I recommend you hire a fabric development company like Enventys or AS International.

Or, if you have sample of the fabric you want then send it along with the tech pack and indicate in the tech pack, “copy supplied fabric.”

Or, clearly state in the tech pack “need factory recommendations.” The factory can certainly suggest fabric options but if they don’t have what you want then you are stuck on first.

When you describe a color, use a Pantone number.

If you are nominating the supplier for an item on the BOM then write down the supplier name. For example, if you are using YKK zippers then include the supplier’s contact information like company name, contact person’s name, and their email. Write down the model number or sku given to you by your supplier. For example, if you are using YKK zippers with a model number of 3YGR then write down 3YGR in the manufacturer’s code column.

If you are not nominating a supplier and will accept the factory’s supplier then write “factory choose supplier” in the supplier’s name column.

Vietnam Insider Tip - I recommend you dedicate one whole page to the BOM. Separate the BOM into four parts: fabric, trims, accessories and other. This allows you to visually compare the cost breakdown by group. This will be helpful when analyzing the price.

Include a column for price. If you know the prices of each component then include it in the tech pack. If you don’t, ask the factory to provide a cost breakdown of each item on the BOM. Most likely they will not give you the individual prices. When their price is too high, the next logical thing to do, is, start getting the prices for each component yourself and either prove them wrong or see why their high price is justified.

The BOM is your list of ingredients and your cost breakdown sheet.

Normally labor, management fee and profit are not listed in the BOM. They are needed to calculate the total price. Do you think it is a good idea to add them as line items in your BOM?