Customer manufacturing may be a way for U.S. manufacturers to hold on to and even increase their marketshare and margin, Thomas Cutler wrote in a recent issue of Manufacturing & Technology eJournal. The ability to meet your customer’s engineer-to-order (ETO), build-to-order (BTO) and assemble-to-order (ATO) demands is one way to differentiate yourself from your competition. By building or redesigning products to meet customer specifications, you create a niche for yourself in today’s challenging industrial market and build customer relationships that can’t be easily transferred to competitors.
“Standard products are the easiest targets for competitors to attack,” Dennis Parass of Burlington, Ontario’s Questica told Cutler. “If the client feels that there are a number of alternatives, there is a devaluation of the supplier and profit margins fall.”
Clients value and are often willing to pay more for the problem-solving skills needed to redesign standard products to meet specific needs. “Successful ETO or customer manufacturing companies develop relationships with their clients who value the expertise they bring to a project,” Parass told Cutler. “They differentiate competitors and force the client to weigh more than just the ‘economics’ in making a choice. The margins are better. Reputations are built on successful projects with happy clients and the value of references cannot be overemphasized.”
Industry experts predict an increase in ETO manufacturing in coming months. DJ Products has long recognized the advantages and necessity of offering ETO services to our customers. We’re experienced at working with our customers to design solutions that meet their specific needs. Many of our ergonomically-designed carts, movers and tugs are adaptable to a variety of specific needs. Our innovative designs are engineered to help our customers get the greatest and most flexible use from their equipment. Recently, we came out with a motorized retrofit cart kit that allows you to instantly power all your carts with a simple, easy-to-install kit.
Our RaceCarCaddy, a redesign of our popular vehicle pusher, is manufactured to meet the specific needs of the race car industry. Our CartCaddyShorty Power Tugger features a spring hitch option and customized tugger attachment that eliminates the need to fabricate multiple attachments on each of your carts or equipment. We’ve created a variety of specialized attachments that allow instant customization of our standard products. But we also regularly design specific custom applications where our base products don’t match customer criteria. Call DJ Products’ sales engineer to discuss your ETO needs.