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Cloud Manufacturing Software Helps Engineer-to-Order Manufacturers Balance Time, Cost, and Quality

Cloud Manufacturing Software Helps Engineer-to-Order Manufacturers Balance Time, Cost, and Quality

3 Ways Cloud Manufacturing Software Helps ETO Manufacturers Solve the Triple Constraint Challenge

Engineer-to-Order (ETO) manufacturers like most manufacturers know the importance of balancing time, cost and quality. Each has its own challenges and striking the balance between the three are critical to maintaining customer satisfaction and increasing profits. In our global competitive economy, it’s essential that manufactures balance these “triple constraints”. Triple constraints is term commonly used to refer to this challenge.

Triple constraints are well known to ETO manufacturers who make highly customized products. Cloud manufacturing software helps avoid compromising one constraint over the other in three critical ways listed below. It’s like finding a great restaurant – a great manufacturer is like a restaurant that has great food, ambiance, and service. It is a challenge for ETO manufacturers to serve their customers with personalized products and services that justify the cost incurred. As a result, the processes may not be cost effective and the profit margins tend to be very low.

Since each product manufactured is unique, the sales team, the engineering team must be coordinated to deliver on the concept of the design variants of the product. Specifications are different, hence various new parts, assemblies and systems are designed each time an order is placed. There are multiple product versions, each with a varied degree of complexity. These products have complex supply chains and high inventory costs which could lead to exorbitant pricing without the best systems in place to track design and development.

For more information on configurators and how it works for manufacturing organizations visit our B-WI Manufacturing Pulse Blog and click the image below to learn more on how to solve the time to market crisis in engineering.


In cases where the design and development teams are spread across the globe, a possible lack of effective collaboration can have a huge negative impact on cost, quality and customer satisfaction. Information silos lead to high part proliferation and duplication of efforts. Multiple reworks add onto the overall cost and result in lesser productivity and efficiency.

It is a challenge for the techno-commercial team to respond to inquiries in the stipulated time. Increased pressure on quick turn-around time results in a faulty job and on the other side, pressure on personalization and quality results in a delay of the turn-around time and loss of orders.

Is there a trade-off between time, cost and quality for the ETO type of manufacturers? Yes, there is and the answer is mass customization through the use of employing mass customization and a product configurator.

3 Ways Cloud Manufacturing Software Helps Balance Time, Cost, and Quality

1. Mass Customization:  It’s the process of delivering wide-market goods and services that are modified to satisfy a specific customer need. Mass customization is a marketing and manufacturing technique that combines the flexibility and personalization of custom-made products with the low unit costs associated with mass production. (Source: Investopedia)
2. Configure, Price Quote (CPQ):  Otherwise known as a product configurator, CPQ is a software tool that enables a user or customer to create their specifications or requirements in a product inquiry. It empowers the customer by automating their order placement process and makes the decision-making process easier and less time consuming. The CPQ enables ETO manufacturers to choose from a variety of approved options provided by the manufacturer, with their inputs forming the base of the quotation process.
The CPQ tool allows customers to build specifications that suit their product and pricing needs. With the design automation process in place, the sales engineers are better equipped to respond to inquiries and the turnaround time for developing a quote is significantly less. As a result, the bidding process is further accelerated and cost estimation is more accurate.
Due to reduction in manual bidding, there is also a reduction in errors, improved efficiency and the team has better bandwidth for responding to more quotes. The CPQ tool generates all required documentation on completion of configuration, like 3D drawings, BOM, that are needed for product development and manufacturing. This reduces the design cycle and reduces engineering effort considerably, resulting in faster time to market for the product.
3. Standardization of Parts:  Modularization of parts and assemblies, standardization of parts, processes, and tools, improves the configurability of a product. All the parts and systems in the product configurator are pre-approved on these parameters.
Standardization also ensures design compliance and manufacturability of the product, thus reducing errors, increasing through-put and improving quality.
Cloud manufacturing software helps ETO manufacturers implement the product configurator in a cost effect way. It’s an effective tool for accelerating inquiry turnaround time, improving order win rate, reducing the design and development cycle, improving manufacturing effectiveness, optimizing costs, and delivering quality. No wonder, it can facilitate an effective balance between the triple constraints of time, cost and quality.

Barry-Wehmiller International offers several solutions in a cloud delivery model such as ERP, CRM, PLM, ecommerce and SharePoint solutions.

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Barry-Wehmiller International (B-WI)

Barry-Wehmiller International (B-WI) is a global provider of business and technology solutions to the mid-market manufacturing domain. Our unique business model enables us to offer global competence in consultative services while having a strong local presence in the markets we serve.   With operations strategically located to meet client needs throughout the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, B-WI offers world-class engineering, enterprise, IT and application managed services (AMS) solutions that enable its clients to achieve a competitive edge in their marketplace.  Our global headquarters is in Atlanta, GA with additional offices in North America, Europe and India.

Visit or call - 404-476-4476

Another version of this blog was previously published in B-WI’s Manufacturing Pulse Blog on November 7, 2016 by Pratistha Suhasini - How To Facilitate Faster Time To Market And Balance The Triple Constraints For ETO Manufacturers?

Photo courtesy of by Stuart Miles 

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