Engineer-to-order products (also known as ETO or custom-engineered products) allow you to give customers exactly what they need, when they need it, and at a price they can afford. When you offer this level of end to end service, you can ensure that you stand out from other manufacturing companies.
The four ETO companies case studies here are great examples of what’s possible when you offer engineer-to-order custom products the right way. They also show how this new product production method can help you diversify your customer base, reduce your lead time, and increase customer retention and profitability.
Aluminum Precision Products
Aluminum Precision Products (APP) manufactures custom-engineered aluminum and titanium products. They’re also an excellent example of how offering engineer-to-order products creates growth potential, having grown from reducing costs of production within the aerospace industry to more opportunities within the aerospace and defense industries, generating new demand.
Now APP offers engineering, testing and manufacturing services to a diverse range of industries. They produce everything from strong lightweight parts for the automotive industry to titanium implants for the medical industry. A few configure-to-order products, such as forged wheel blanks, compliment these MTO products.
Why they inspire us: This diverse portfolio of clients and production styles allows for stability that might not be feasible if the company only served a single industry.
Diverse production processes allow for stability that might not be feasible if the company only served a single industry.
GlobeTek designs and manufactures power supplies, chargers, batteries, cables, and power cords. They produce a range of stock products, but they also offer configure-to-order and engineer-to-order products. GlobeTek meets a specific need in the small electronics industry by offering product development and rigorous testing based on the standards set by major regulatory agencies.
They moved into ETO manufacturing when their customers noted that they didn’t have a supplier for internationally certified power supplies. The company opted to fill that customer requirement by opening their own factory for cables and power cords.
Why they inspire us: GlobeTek’s decision to open their own factory is a direct result of listening to their customers and providing them with effective and efficient solutions.
Pioneer Circuits designs, manufactures, and tests printed circuit boards. They offer make-to-order complex products, but they also offer services at any project stage, such as procurement and product design process. Those services range from educational sessions to assembly of the product itself. With a heavy focus on aerospace and military services, they offer expertise in fields such as deep space technology, satellites, avionics, and missile defense.
These are niche markets, but Pioneer Circuits is still able to serve a wide range of other industries. This, combined with highly visible customers such as NASA, demonstrated the value of offering ETO products and optimizing your engineer-to-order process.
Why they inspire us: Creating circuit boards that make it to Mars in functioning condition is pretty inspirational!
Siemon Interconnect Solutions
Siemon Interconnect Solutions (SIS) designs and manufactures a wide range of cables, cabinets, racks, and power distribution units. These items are available as ready-to-use products, configure-to-order products, and engineer-to-order products. In order to meet the needs of their customer orders, SIS does everything from research and development to on-demand order manufacturing in-house.
Ensure the customer is fully involved in every step of the process.
This kind of end-to-end service isn’t just good for business, it’s also great for the customer, since it ensures that they’re fully involved in every step of the ETO process and that engineering changes can happen in real-time.
Why they inspire us: SIS also takes steps to guarantee that their business practices don't harm the environment by efficiently using supply chain processes, material requirements planning (MRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and tightly controlling the production of the raw materials used in their manufacturing processes to ensure production with minimal environmental impact.
These four companies show the diversity of engineer-to-order products, which aren’t limited to certain product types or tied to any one industry. ETO products also foster growth, provide stability, and allow you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. Learn more about adding ETO products into your portfolio with our Engineer to Order Guide.