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Definition

beginning of life (BOL)

Beginning of life (BOL), in the context of manufacturing and product lifecycles, is the first stages of a product’s existence.

BOL includes the initial conception of a product, its development, testing and initial marketing. The beginning stage finishes when the product is released to the market. Products can fail at any point through the lifecycle stages. If a product is determined not to be feasible during BOL, it is unlikely to reach the end of that stage.

The subsequent middle-of-life (MOL) stage is the longest one for most successful products. During MOL, a product becomes established in the marketplace. Its eventual decline ultimately leads to the final end-of-life (EOL) stage. The success of the final stage is largely determined by beginning-of-life decisions. 

The BOL stage is crucial to the sustainable product lifecycle, for example, because as much as 70% of a product’s sustainability is inherent in its original design. Elements such as the materials chosen and the processes required to create the product all have a significant impact on the product’s ultimate environmental footprint.

 

This was last updated in December 2013

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