In a 2020 survey conducted by Tech-Clarity, more than 200 companies reported the custom engineering challenges they’re seeing and how top-performing companies set themselves apart.
Meeting customer requirements is the top business benefit of engineer-to-order (ETO) products because customization provides more market opportunities.
However, reacting to opportunities and accurately predicting costs are top engineering challenges for these organizations because they require coordination with sales and engineering, which is difficult with siloed process steps and short-term solutions.
Here are the top three statistics worth noting from the survey, or you can download the full survey results for yourself here.
Only 23% of surveyed custom engineering companies were considered top performers.
In Tech-Clarity's findings, less than a quarter of respondents at ETO organizations were considered high performers based on a series of performance measures that contribute to their profitability:
- Differentiating from competitors
- Winning deals
- Retaining favorable sales margins
- Controlling product cost
- Delivering on time
These top performers who are able to match quality and cost control with the speed the market demands are more than twice as likely to have integrated processes to create custom-engineered products, better integrated information systems, and are twice as likely to report that collaboration is “very easy.”
These results don’t just naturally occur — they’re the result of an organization's ability to align their sales and engineering teams and enhance collaboration across the entire company.
Top performers are twice as likely to have integrated PLM and QMS systems.
As the world’s technological challenges grow more complex in recent years, so must the products that meet those challenges. Custom-engineered products fill previously unmet needs and therefore require a high level of collaboration and information management to control the manufacturing process from conception to delivery to the customer.
If your PLM and CRM live in different places and don’t talk to each other, you simply won’t be able to excel and achieve full alignment. ETO business changes fast and requires quick decision-making. Sales and engineering need to be able to pull up product and customer records alongside additional information with to-the-second accuracy and communicate using a shared source of truth down the supply chain.
Does your current system support two-way, constant, clear communication? How is your data quality — can you trust your data sets?
44 percent of all respondents said that custom-engineered products helped improve their sales margins.
Better-aligned ETO teams collaborate faster and respond to customers faster as well, meaning less time waste and more repeat business. Regardless of whether they were a top performer or not, all respondents pointed to the business advantage of offering custom-engineered products.
For companies new to offering ETO products and seeking a place to begin, the first step is setting up the entire customer experience to be as simple as possible. A potential customer should be able to browse a company’s product portfolio and see if they make products that will fit their needs.
Can prospective customers easily search for products on your website? Once customers find a potential product match, how easy is it for them to submit a custom development request or contact a company representative for early, rapid prototyping in your production facilities?
Read more in Four Steps to Creating Great Custom-Engineered Products.
Learn from a top-performing ETO product company
Complete alignment on proposals and quotes between sales, operations and engineering is only possible when those teams are able to access all needed information on one platform to create a single source of product truth and collaborate in real time. With that single source of truth, profitable custom products can get into customers’ hands faster and propel companies ahead of their competition.
Top-performing ETO company AMS Technologies is a case study in custom-engineered product success.
With the evolution in recent years towards engineer-to-order solutions, it has become more critical for AMS Technologies to coordinate its project managers, technical consultants, software developers, electronics, optical and mechanical engineers scattered across Europe. With its custom-engineered solutions, AMS Technologies needs to involve its customers more directly throughout the production process.
Learn how AMS deployed and implemented Propel in just six weeks and experienced a 500% increase in engineering throughput here.