Toshulin Implements ERP for Engineer-to-Order Manufacturing
Toshulin is an engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturer. Although production is based on standard designs and components, machines are often adapted, sometimes up to 60 percent, to customer requirements. Long production cycles of six to 14 months mean that changes in the customer’s specification are quite common. Sometimes on signing a contract, a customer will submit only a few requirements with detailed specifications, which are later elaborated in collaboration with the Toshulin design department. As a result, the workload within the company changes significantly. Each milling tool requires individual delivery of materials and components, as well as specific manufacturing capacity. Although the company used IT tools to control the process, special needs, company production processes, production management, supply planning and optimization capabilities proved to be complex and not always fully covered by the existing system. Draft designs have shown that, despite the fact that engineers use IT tools and a substantial part of the documentation is already available electronically, support of the design work is the hardest part of IT use. Each project is a conceptual work, requiring problems to be identified and addressed. Frequent changes in projects due to customer expectations or technical problems also hamper the development of a precise timetable for project work. As a result, the manufacturing department works under constant pressure.
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