How to handle BOM for Print on Demand

How would you handle the creation of a BOM for something like a art studio or print on demand business?

Lets say a studio has a photoshop file for a print or a screen printer has a framed screen for a shirt or an art studio has a printing plate for a poster. When a worker is preparing a work order they need to get the ink and the canvas and the frame but they also need to know what digital file or screen printing frame to get.

How is this handled in the BOM since the order may be for 1000 t-shirts but only one screen is needed, not 1000?



Sometimes it may be an overkill to pile up everything onto the BOM. Maybe you could add a custom field into the Sales Order or the Work Order and attach the digital file or screen printing frame to it.

If you have to do it in the BOM, you can use Qty to Manufacture field and there put in the order size (100, 1000…) now you can just put 1 Nos Digital File or Screen Printing Frame and the rest of the quantities can be for the full quantity.

Or you can add a Custom Field into the BOM and attach the digital file or Screen Printing Frame.

Hope this helps.



I don’t need to actually include the digital file as an attachment. The worker can get it from the digital warehouse the same way they would a physical item. I simply need the worker to know which digital file they need.

When I create the item for the digital file I have the option to Maintain Stock or not.

If I chose to Maintain Stock for the item and add it to the BOM with a quantity of 1 a production order of 100 posters will tell me I need 100 files which I don’t.

If I chose NOT to Maintain Stock and add the item to the BOM with a quantity of 1 a production order of 100 posters will not tell me what file I need at all.

I have a client that mixes chemicals. To get around the problem you are facing they put the assets such as your screen printing frames in the Item database as inventory with a value of $0.01 and then stuffed the inventory level to 999,900 items in the warehouse. Then they set the stock level alert to 99,000 to notify them to stuff the inventory number again.

In their case the odd Item they had to create was adding heat (placing the heating elements in the vat) during the mixing or adding a chiller during the mixing.

The cost of production is a little inflated, but not enough to be of concern when looking at the value of the output of the BOM.

I know it is not perfect, but it was the only way we could get it to work.

BTW… we are using v10 ERPNext


Can you not just attach the file to the BOM or the Work Order. Or have a custom field where you key in the name/location of the file. ERPNext has a native document manager. Maybe you can upload it there and provide the link in the appropriate document?

I mean there are multiple ways of doing this.

Hope this helps.



While there are in fact multiple ways you can accomplish the task, those methods require extra steps to be performed by the user printing the BOM’s out for the shop floor workers to use. Many time it is the shop floor workers themselves.

The problem becomes the lack of tech skill (or even sometimes laziness) of the user doing the printing. If you have to print out 75 to 100 BOM’s for a shift of workers, assign them, and then check them for completion, it is very easy to miss a step or even ignore a step to look for the ‘extra’ documents that might need to be printed.

I had EXACTLY this problem at a client site and it really doesn’t matter how many people you threaten to fire for lack of attention to this detail. Ultimately, your product manufacturing is either delayed or ruined by the information NOT being easily and readily available to the shop floor worker. This costs the business owner money, either in lost time and productivity, or in wasted raw materials by making ruined product.

Until ERPNext core dev team takes the time to properly fix the many issues in the manufacturing module, we have to find the least intrusive work-arounds. Don’t even bring up waste management processes.