Business Basics
Home Page

Who is Bill Gaw?
And why should we
listen to him?


lean manufacturing principles and techniques training

Bill Gaw's 3-Step, World Class
Manufacturing Training Program
World Class Manufacturing

Increase the effectiveness of your
Lean Manufacturing Program

Manufacturing Simulation Game 

Focused Manufacturing
Part 1 of 8

privacy policy

Lean Manufacturing, Basics, Principles, Techniques

For my latest
Goggle.Knol article:
Click Here

 To review Bill's training
 programs, click on 
  the links below: 

Lean Manufacturing Solutions

Management Training

Production Quality

Supply Chain

Lean Six
Sigma Process

Strategic Planning

World Class Manufacturing

Kaizen Training

     Other Options:   

Manufacturing Simulation Game

Thinking Outside the Box

Implementation, Methodology, and Excellence Improvement Training

Balanced Scorecard Training Program

Kaizen Blitz Event

Lean Manufacturing Operations 

Six Sigma Management

Manufacturing Supply Chain Management

Strategic Planning Management


Lean Management
Certification Program

Lean Manufacturing Seminar

Lean Manufacturing Jobs

Process Improvement Training

Best of Gaw Lean Management Articles


Identify and discuss the unique and critical business issues that an en­gineer-to-order (ETO) or project-oriented manufacturer must deal with. Also, this presentation will outline the newly formed body of good business practice that resolves these issues. This new body of knowl­edge is a logical fusion of formerly disparate approaches to business acquisition, configuration management, project scheduling, detailed scheduling and control, project accounting, and revenue recognition into a cohesive business system. This paper is organized around the lifecycle of a project.


The project-oriented manufacturing style of operating is very different from that used by traditional discrete and repetitive manufacturers. Project-oriented manufacturing and engineer-to-order are expressions often used interchangeably. For the majority of companies operating in an ETO environment, every machine sold is similar to, but different from, anything else previously engineered and built. We often refer to these machines as "custom," "unique," "complex machinery," "capital equipment," and "bespoke."

In addition to the engineering and fabrication of the device, the performing of services is often necessary. Examples of these services are site preparation and onsite installation and training. The typical worker in an ETO environment is a skilled craftsperson.

A complex engineered-to-order piece of equipment generally is expensive to build and expensive to buy. When a custom-designed com­plex machine is ordered, it is often a subsystem in a larger project. Examples of large projects for which an ETO machine would be or­dered are construction of an automated assembly line, building a power station, assembling a large private data network, and building a ship.

When you combine the uncertainty of a custom design with the high costs of engineering and producing it and the impact a late deliv­ery would have on the customer's project, you have significant eco­nomic risk. This combination of factors creates critical business issues for every department, function, and discipline that is involved in the contract and project lifecycle. This workshop will cover

      the lifecycle of an ETO project, including the presales bidding and
estimating phase

      the organizations or departments that participate in the project life-
cycle and the point or phase in which they are involved

      the critical business issues that each department must address

      the ideal business system framework to manage the project lifecycle

      how to contain, resolve, or eliminate the critical business issues.


      Understand the ideal business system framework to manage the
project lifecycle.

      How to contain, resolve, or eliminate the critical business issues
that adversely impact organizational competitiveness.


Embedded throughout the lifecycle of an ETO project is a continuous process of discovery. This process of discovery is centered on under­standing the customer's requirements. Often, not understanding the


customer's requirements is directly related to the customer not fully understanding what they want in the special device being defined, en­gineered, built, and installed for them. They typically want a machine "just like the one you built for us in 1962 but with some improve­ments." There is an expression "the devil is in the details." The devil for the company providing products and delivering services on an ETO basis is getting an accurate requirement definition from the customer. That statement, "but with some improvements" is the "force" behind the continuous process of discovery. This constant state of discovery creates a constant state of uncertainty.

Frequently the complex device being ordered is part of a capital improvement project or new facilities project. Projects of this nature typically have large budgets. Large budgets generally equate to large customer expectations, expectations such as

      seizing a marketplace opportunity

      increasing revenues

      decreasing costs or improving efficiencies.

The time value of money is an important consideration. Delivering on time is critical. Combine this with changing requirements, even if they are relatively minor in nature (but often are not), and you have an extraordinarily challenging environment.

To Be Continued


To stay current on Lean Management Basics and Best Practices, subscribe to our weekly MBBP Bulletin... and we'll send you our PowerPoint presentation, "Introduction to Kaizen Based Lean Manufacturing™." All at no cost of course. 


First Name:
Your E-Mail:

 Your personal information will never 
be disclosed to any third party.

privacy policy

Here's what one of our 13,000 plus subscribers
wrote about the MBBP Newsletter:

"Great manufacturing articles. Thanks for the insights. I often share portions of your articles with my staff and they too enjoy them and fine aspects where they can integrate points into their individual areas of responsibilities. Thanks again."

               Kerry B. Stephenson. President. KALCO Lighting, LLC

"Back to Basics" Training for anyone ... anywhere ... anytime

Business Basics, LLC
6003 Dassia Way, Oceanside, CA 92056
West Coast: 760-945-5596 

© 2001-2009 Business Basics, LLC