Manufacturing Outlook August 2020

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More than Half of All Manufacturers are Now Engineer-to-Order and Growing


Fifteen years ago (2005), approximately 25% of all North American manufacturers were ETO (Engineer-to-Order), yet very few knew it. They referred to themselves as custom manufacturers or manufacturers within a particular sector. The TRCutler marketing research division tracks ETO manufacturing annually since 2005. The research survey is conducted every July and funded by the 8000 members of the Manufacturing Media Consortium. The report is a statistically significant sample size of 1600 manufacturers. The projected data (for 2025) was determined by asking each respondent what they anticipate in the next five years. That is the greatest growth trajectory in the ETO space since 2005. Fast forward to 2020 and the customer demand for customization and one-of-a-kind manufacturing has never been stronger; there has been a 100% increase in ETO manufacturing. More than half of all manufacturers produce non-standardized SKUs and finished goods. These are custom manufacturers rather than repetitive manufacturers. When counting manufacturers by process, there are gray areas including ATO (Assemble-to-Order) and BTO (Build-to-Order), however ETO manufacturers confront many unique challenges as illustrated by the unique ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) features detailed below.


Manufacturing Outlook / August 2020