Engineer-to-Order ERP: Unlocking Manufacturing Efficiency

engineer-to-order ERP

Custom manufacturers often search for innovative solutions to streamline operations and boost efficiency. Engineer-to-order ERP software is a powerful solution to meet the unique demands of these businesses. ERP software holds the key to unlocking manufacturing efficiency with comprehensive features designed to optimize processes and drive growth.

Understanding Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing

Engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturing is a production approach where products are designed based on individual customer specifications. The manufacturing cycle typically takes longer with ETO. Most items are one-off and require strictly defined concept-to-production processes.

Industries like aerospace, automotive, and machinery often use this method, where complex products are common. However, the building products industry often employs ETO processes. The following are all examples of engineer-to-order products:

  • The hermetically controlled HVAC system in a museum containing ancient artifacts.
  • Customized clean room cabinetry for the Intel chip plant currently under construction in Ohio.
  • The precisely engineered glass of the Sphere or Luxor in Las Vegas.
  • Fabrication of ornate entry gates for elite country clubs.

ETO also facilitates the production of goods like hardware for intricately designed doors, or special display fixtures for a retailer. This adds great diversity to the manufacturing process.

Engineer-to-Order ERP Removes Roadblocks

Engineer-to-order ERP software offers a myriad of benefits for companies that manufacture highly customized products. ETO ERP systems simplify operations by centralizing data, streamlining workflows, and offering real-time visibility. The right manufacturing ERP will remove these common roadblocks:

Inefficient Communication

With disparate systems and manual processes, communication breakdowns throughout the company can lead to delays and order errors. Engineer-to-order ERP facilitates collaboration, visibility, and control across departments. This ensures that all employees are working towards common objectives.

Poor Project Management

Managing complex ETO projects requires meticulous planning, scheduling, and resource allocation. ETO software enables project managers to track progress, monitor resource allocation, and identify potential bottlenecks, allowing for proactive intervention and effective risk mitigation.

Inaccurate Cost Estimation

Estimating costs for customized products is quite challenging, especially when factoring in various design iterations, material costs, labor expenses, and overheads. Engineer-to-order ERP software leverages advanced project costing algorithms and historical data to generate accurate cost estimates. This allows manufacturers to price products competitively while maintaining profitability.

Limited Visibility

Manufacturers may have a hard time responding quickly to changing market demands without access to real-time information. Visibility into insights such as production status, inventory levels, and order status is crucial to producing highly specialized products. ETO ERP solutions provide comprehensive dashboards and reporting tools. These tools provide a holistic view of operations for well-informed business decision-making.

Leveraging ERP with Parametric Product Configuration

engineer-to-order ERP, CPQ

Dynamic parametric product configuration is a vital element of Frontier’s engineer-to-order ERP system.

Integration of ERP systems with strong product configuration tools is paramount for proper engineer-to-order. The right configure, price, quote (CPQ) software is one such powerful tool. These sophisticated software solutions empower manufacturers to manage complex product configurations efficiently, generate accurate quotes, and streamline the order fulfillment process.

But not all configurators are the same. Many simple configurators are used for selecting different fabrics or finishes. Rules-based configurators go a little further by offering some dimensional options like height or width. However, for a true engineer-to-order manufacturer, a parametric product configurator is ideal. This allows you to adjust all the dimensions of the product being ordered while the configurator runs full engineering calculations in the background to ensure the strength and stability of the item.

By leveraging ERP with CPQ, businesses can expedite design iterations, ensure pricing accuracy, and enhance collaboration between engineering, sales, and production teams.

Frontier Engineer-to-Order ERP System Highlights

Frontier ERP stands out among the myriad of software solutions as a leader in the engineer-to-order market. With its robust feature set and industry-specific functionalities, Frontier empowers manufacturers to:

Streamline Order Processing

From initial quote generation to final product delivery, Frontier ERP automates and streamlines the entire order fulfillment lifecycle. This reduces lead times and enhances customer satisfaction.

Optimize Production Efficiency

Frontier ERP software includes built-in CPQ. The robust parametric product configurator enables accelerated design iterations, optimized production schedules, and minimized waste. Engineer-to-order manufacturers therefore benefit from more efficient operations and greater cost savings.

Incorporate 3D Modeling and CAD

Frontier CADFlow serves as an adaptable module, effectively connecting CAD software with Frontier ERP’s product configuration tools. CADFlow automates detailed 3D model generation, drawings, and manufacturing data for each ETO.

Ensure Compliance and Quality

Frontier’s comprehensive quality control and compliance management features ensure adherence to industry standards and regulatory requirements, safeguarding product quality and reputation.


Engineer-to-order ERP systems are pivotal in enhancing manufacturing efficiency for custom manufacturers. By utilizing ETO ERP, manufacturers can remove common roadblocks while meeting customer and market demands.

Frontier is the best streamlined engineer-to-order ERP solution for manufacturers of complex and one-off products. To learn more about Frontier ERP with built-in CPQ and CADFlow, contact us today!

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