Reduce engineering bottlenecks

Bottlenecks in Sales and Engineering can result in the loss of new business and harm existing projects. Cash-flow can be severely affected which limits investment and in extreme cases impacts the viability of the business. Engineering bottlenecks occur either due to excessive workload, the timing of cyclic work, change or rework due to errors. Increasing capacity in both sales or engineering teams usually requires recruiting more staff. The training of new staff takes time before they are sufficiently proficient, reducing the immediate effectiveness of the business. Costs rise proportionately with the number of staff employed. Often companies chose to make temporary appointments. At the end of the temporary contract, the knowledge acquired leaves with the employee. Errors are more likely to occur when staff are new, undertrained or under pressure, and there is a lack of time or resources to complete work.

Please select your type of business

Make-to-order (MTO) production models are characterised by awaiting a customer instruction before the product is manufactured. MTO is a broad description and includes a wide range of business types from few product variants and minimal customisation to complex configure-to-order (CTO) or even engineer-to-order (ETO) businesses. As ATO, CTO and ETO have their category the definition we will use in this context will be MTO with few product variants.

Most MTO business will have fully defined product designs available at all stages of the sales and production processes, and therefore product design backlogs should not occur. Where product design is deferred to after a customer order is received, the business operates as an engineer-to-order (ETO) business, not MTO.

Design capacity

Order fulfilment should not be affected by engineering design requirements, because in an MTO business model all product design is complete before a customer enquiry or order is received.

If an MTO business offers many product variants, it may be beneficial considering moving to an assemble-to-order (ATO) or configure-to-order (CTO) production model. Both of these production models benefit from a modular product design approach which is defined during the product development phase. When there are a significant number of product variants, a modular design reduces engineering effort to manage and maintain the product reducing the engineering effort required to support the product. See more…

Reduce error rate

By establishing robust standard product library, product design errors can be eliminated. Products are entirely designed and tested before being released to sales and production. When errors are identified these errors can be resolved at the source. Therefore all future products will benefit from the change. When several product variants exist, modular design methods should be used to reduce product components and allow product configuration. See more…

Product development

Product development does not always need to be groundbreaking blue sky work. For existing products,  product development should be a continuous incremental improvement process. Well executed incremental product development eradicates problems as they occur and adds features and options as needed. New customer requirements are incorporated providing new sales and extending the life of the product. Product development should be scheduled outside of order fulfilment schedules. See more…

Assistance

Gatehouse Design can help MTO companies;

For MTO business that has more product variations

 

Assemble-to-order (ATO) production models are characterised by assembly configuration determined after the point of order. Assembly configuration requires modular product definitions to be established during the product development phase. ATO business models are highly responsive to customer requirements and allow rapid change when required. ATO makes full use of product standardisation and implies that engineering will not be required during order fulfilment.

Design capacity

Order fulfilment should not be affected by engineering design requirements, because in an ATO business model all product design is complete before a customer enquiry or order is received.

If an ATO business offers many product variants, it may be beneficial considering moving to a configure-to-order (CTO) production model. A CTO production model benefits from a configurable modular product design approach which is defined during the product development phase. CTO provides the ability to quickly and accurately configure products to the customer’s exact specifications. See more…

Reduce error rate

By establishing robust standard product library, product design errors can be eliminated. Products are entirely designed and tested before being released to sales and production. When errors are identified these errors can be resolved at the source. Therefore all future products will benefit from the change. When several product variants exist, CTO business models ensure rules are applied during the configuration process reducing the opportunity for error further. See more…

Product development

Product development does not always need to be groundbreaking blue sky work. For existing products,  product development should be a continuous incremental improvement process. Well executed incremental product development eradicates problems as they occur and adds features and options as needed. New customer requirements are incorporated providing new sales and extending the life of the product. Product development should be scheduled outside of order fulfilment schedules. See more…

Assistance

Gatehouse Design can help ATO companies;

For ATO business that has more product variations

 

Configure-to-order (CTO) production models are characterised by product configuration determined after the point of order. Product configuration requires modular product definitions to be established during the product development phase. CTO business models are highly responsive to customer requirements and allow rapid change when required. CTO makes full use of product standardisation and implies that engineering will not be required during order fulfilment.

CTO is the recommended model to be used for managing products with a high number of variants. When working efficiently, CTO should require little engineering design during the order fulfilment process, and therefore engineering bottlenecks should not occur. If engineering design bottlenecks arise, the CTO process should be reviewed and corrected.

Assistance

Gatehouse Design can help CTO companies;

 

Engineer-to-order (ETO) businesses are characterised by deferring engineering to after the point of order.  Many ETO businesses, however, do have products of their own which they integrate into systems provided to customers. Owning products give the company some technical advantage and re-inforces creditability with customers. Many ETO companies, however, continue to operate the ETO production model for both the system and products which adds complexity, time and cost to the business. If your business has no identifiable standard products, this section is not relevant to your business.

Design capacity

By adopting a CTO product production model to work alongside the ETO project, all product design is completed during the product development phase. Product design will not be required during order fulfilment. Products can be fully configured during the sales stage, and therefore no product design is required during order fulfilment. Without product design, engineering resource is released to complete system integration and other bespoke engineering issues which add value to the project. Product development is scheduled outside order fulfilment schedules to meet company schedules. See more …

Reduce error rate

By establishing robust standard product library, product design errors can be eliminated. Products are entirely designed and tested before being released to sales and production. When errors are identified these errors can be resolved at the source. Therefore all future products will benefit from the change. When several product variants exist, modular design methods should be used to reduce product components and allow product configuration. See more…

Change management

CTO products are quickly and accurately configurable, which allow change to be managed with minimal impact. During the sales stage, the ability to consider many configurable options can lead to winning more business and providing more cost-effective solutions. During the order fulfilment phase, CTO products can be quickly reconfigured allowing further options to be considered immediately with minimal engineering effort or delays to the project. See more

Product development

Product development does not always need to be groundbreaking blue sky work. For existing products,  product development should be a continuous incremental improvement process. Well executed incremental product development eradicates problems as they occur and adds features and options as needed. New customer requirements are incorporated providing new sales and extending the life of the product. Product development should be scheduled outside of order fulfilment schedules. See more…

Assistance

Gatehouse Design can help ETO companies;

 

MTS – Make-to-Stock (this page is not relevant to MTS)

MTO – Make-to-Order

ATO – Assemble-to-Order

CTO – Configure-to-Order

ETO – Engineer-to-Order