Traditionally physical product manufacturers were not challenged with enabling product customization like they are today. With innovative technological advancements in place, customers have become more empowered than ever before. Today, they have the liberty to choose their products, and product manufacturers can no longer get by with making one product that fits all.
So, what does this mean for your company? Customizing a product is vital! The world is fast-paced, and manufacturers need to move just as quickly. Building a product precisely as customers want is crucial for companies to remain in business.
Philip Kotler, the father of modern marketing, said, "It is no longer enough to satisfy your customer; you must delight them." A critical aspect in the manufacturing world that is highly dependent on customizing complex products is Engineer To Order (ETO). Designing products to meet customers' unmet needs result in delighted customers.
What is ETO?
ETO is a process of building a unique and sophisticated product every single time. It is not a repeat manufacturing process. For configuring a product according to your customers' requirements, physical product manufacturers, creators, and designers need to leverage customer feedback early in the product design and development cycle. Doing ETO well has several benefits, such as:
- Maximizing customer satisfaction
- Improving profitability
- Boosting employees' morale
- Bringing desired and customized products to the market faster
As you could imagine, if something goes awry while making such a complex and highly customized product, the cost of reworking could be significantly higher. And what if your customer buys a faulty product? The damages resulting from product failures could lead to dissatisfied customers and have a severe negative impact on profit margins.
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Ensuring quality must, therefore, be an integral part of the entire ETO process. Today's customer wants a smooth and frictionless product experience. Inferior quality products could cause inconvenience, and resulting delays could potentially make your customers switch to your competitor's products.
Small variances can potentially lead to major impacts causing permanent damage to your brand reputation. It is, therefore, pivotal to accurately forecast the overall costs and timelines while providing your customers with a cohesive platform to help build high-quality, custom-built goods. You need to combine product and customer records to leverage customer insights for building such highly customized goods successfully.
Propel's highly configurable, collaborative, and secure platform incorporates the next-generation Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) as well as Salesforce's multi-tenant modern cloud capabilities. Our solution acts as a single source of product truth by bringing customer insights earlier to the product design process, which ensures that the right products ship to the right customers.
Such a unified and collaborative experience across the value chain helps with exceeding customer expectations, communicating product updates, being on schedule, and correct cost estimations. Your customers must never wait for the products they love for longer than they really should!
For best practices on ETO, download our Engineer to Order Guide here.