You don’t have to be an engineer to understand a problem; you just need the right tools to do the job. Engineers just so happen to inherently understand the most efficient ways of getting a job done. This understanding is why they’re absolute gems for manufacturing companies and meeting their organization’s intended sales projections.
To optimize production capacity and keep things moving and grooving on the assembly line, it’s up to the engineer to ensure every process is fine-uned with precision and executed without flaw. This is how businesses meet or exceed sales projections — through the hard work of their engineers.
Don’t engineers deserve the best tools available to help them get the job done? That’s where ETO manufacturing software plays a critical role.
An Overview Of ETO Manufacturing Software
Engineer to Order, often abbreviated as ETO, manufacturing software is designed to help engineering teams manage projects efficiently.
ETO manufacturing software maintains a strong focus on the often overlooked business side of engineering projects’ price quoting, allowing engineers to focus on the engineering side while the software keeps track of crucial business metrics.
Overall, this allows the team to keep the big picture in mind without allocating a lot of time or resources perusing data or spreadsheets, trying to make sense of it all. The system offers information quickly and provides an accurate representation of numerous factors while simultaneously automating some aspects of the project to make things easier.
Side-by-side, the team utilizing ETO manufacturing software almost always outperforms the team that tries tracking project performance using traditional, antiquated methods.
Common Features of ETO Manufacturing Software
ETO manufacturing software is often customized completely for the business that is using it. For this reason, no two software interfaces and capabilities are uniformly identical.
Nonetheless, there are various commonalities shared by ETO manufacturing software, regardless of the developer who created the software or the business it was designed for.
Here are some of the most common features of ETO manufacturing software.
Quote to Order
A good ETO software should allow users to create quotes based on current inventory information and historical data. Because the software understands these numbers and can apply them appropriately, ETO software can then estimate costs and delivery dates for the order.
Engineers are notorious for getting bogged down in the actual legwork of the task, neglecting key areas such as this. However, the task is largely automated through the judicious use of ETO software. The team needs only to review the order that the software automatically generated and hit enter to approve it — it’s as simple as that.
Bill of Materials Management
As anyone in business can tell you, the quote and price paid are often different. Material shortages, substitutions, unforeseen changes in the size of the order or delivery of it, and other factors might influence the price after the initial order is created.
A comprehensive ETO system will create BOMs directly from orders, adding additional details to record an accurate account of what was received and the order’s true cost. In advanced systems, a conceptual BOM is often used during quote development, enabling greater accuracy and less need for revisions later.
Make or Buy Decision Support
Engineers are innovative, inventive, resourceful individuals, and sometimes having all the required materials are a nice-to-have option instead of a must. However, in some cases, it makes more sense to build essential components with items on hand, both in terms of time and actual cost.
When the team is unsure whether crafting a component or purchasing one makes more sense, ETO system software can apply job estimating to subassemblies and evaluate which option makes the most fiscal sense for both the team’s objectives and the company’s bottom line.
All things considered, features like these bridge the gap between engineers having the tools to do their job and the company that has employed them, hitting all desired sales projections and outcomes in the process. It’s the best way to ensure all parties win.
Conditional Order Management
It’s one thing to generate orders as needed, keeping close tabs on inventory management and sniping out potential snafus well before they impede the timeline and project goals. It’s another thing entirely, though, to have an order waiting to go for when the correct parameters are realized.
This is the rationale behind conditional order management, which waits for certain parameters to be true before automatically generating and sending an order without the engineer expressly approving it. Conditional order management is for when the team is certain they will need certain materials, but not until the ones currently in stock reach a preestablished minimum quantity. At this time, the system takes care of it without needing specific input from the team.
Cost Plus Pricing
ETO manufacturing software often has the capability of creating cost-plus bids as required, accounting for variable markups for components and subassemblies.
It is the prime directive of the software to, at all times, paint an accurate picture of the team’s progress, inventory, and finances to provide the team, and their supervisors, all the information to meet the company’s objectives most efficiently.
Spare Parts Management
Inventory management is another large portion of what ETO manufacturing software can accomplish for the user. Of course, reconciling discrepancies should still be conducted by staff. Still, most of the inventory should become largely automated, freeing up ample time for tasks more deserving of an engineer’s attention.
The system can often identify and account for the production or acquisition of any contractually required spare parts in addition to monitoring on-hand inventory in general. More advanced software also allows you to track lead times, notifying the user if a crucial part stands a chance of becoming out of stock and how far in advance to guarantee there is never downtime waiting for shipments to arrive.
The system decides which parts should be stocked, which should be built to order, and which can be ordered from vendors. Overall, this provides great control over inventory.
Warranty and Service Contract Management
There’s enough to keep track of during an engineering project, but you can’t afford to have a lapse in warranties or service contracts. Luckily, ETO manufacturing software can be set up to track these essential dates and notify the appropriate personnel in advance.
This is just another way in which ETO manufacturing software maintains a user-focused experience that makes project management a breeze.
Administrative and Other Essential Functions
The purpose of ETO manufacturing software is to allow engineers to focus on engineering-related tasks, and due to this, it is customized specifically for engineering projects and niche needs.
That’s not to say most software can’t be made to perform administrative and other essential functions, as well. Additional capabilities of ETO manufacturing software include:
- Payroll processing and management
- Workforce and overtime management
- Customer relations management
- Project management
A good engineer never leaves important figures as guesses or estimates. Using ETO manufacturing software, it’s easy to get a full and clear picture of all aspects of the business and project with considerably less effort than ever before.
Benefits of ETO Manufacturing Software
Many areas of engineering and project management were formerly managed more closely by humans, but that is now a thing of the past. While some organizations still encourage human interaction in all aspects of the project, many of the duties are easily automated without compromising quality.
In fact, the results are usually the opposite — better accuracy, better resource management, and overall better results, thanks to technological integration.
Using software to manage these key project areas enables a team to reduce waste and operate more efficiently since they now have access to more accurate information at greater speeds. They also often appreciate the time ETO manufacturing can save them, as ETO projects are infamous for taking anywhere from days to decades.
Managing an engineering project seems daunting at first glance, but usually, the real challenge is managing the business and engineers concurrently. Unfortunately, not all engineers are business-minded, so their expertise may not leave them with the ability to appreciate other operational aspects of the business.
Asking engineers to design widgets is a pleasure, but encouraging them to review documents and complete paperwork for compliance is not always as enticing from their viewpoint.
With hundreds of products on the market designed to assist engineers with critical business functions, it’s important for a business to truly understand the capabilities of each software solution, its benefits, drawbacks, and how precisely it will add value to an organization.
Orases Is the Answer
Why look for an out-of-the-box experience that meets every need for your business when the option to customize software specifically for you is an option all along? That’s where Orases comes in.
Here at Orases, we help build custom software solutions to facilitate the functions of your business, including solutions and ETO manufacturing software that effectively streamlines, simplifies, and automates vast portions of your typical engineering project demands.
Clients with similar packages boast improved accuracy, better resource management, an easier workflow, improved performances, and, of course, a heftier bottom line. Furthermore, effectively utilizing ETO manufacturing software and other technological solutions allows engineers to stay focused on the task at hand while placating the supervisors and CEOs that are funding the project in the first place. Everyone wins in the end.
If you’re ready to take the first step towards a better, more technologically integrated workplace, contact Orases today and schedule a consultation. Call now and find out what it’s like to truly have the right tool for the job.