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  Manufacturing Insights
by Thomas R. Cutler
 

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Lean Manufacturing Finally Arrives at the Sales Process
October, 2018

There is good news and bad news. The good news is that the opportunity for higher manufacturing margins exists in the ETO (engineer-to-order) space; the bad news is that poor job quoting processes often consume that competitive advantage, even generating an unprofitable manufacturing project.

Approximately 55 percent of all North American manufacturers are ETO, yet very few know it. They refer to themselves as custom manufacturers or manufacturers within a particular sector.

Due to customer demand for customization there has been a 20 percent increase in ETO manufacturing over the past twelve months. These are custom manufacturers rather than repetitive manufacturers.

Thanks to new lean manufacturing best-practice technologies, the quoting process has arrived at the doorstep of a lean journey. While it seems like an obvious segue from the shop floor, the quoting, bidding, and engineering modifications needed, have been overwhelmingly ignored.…
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