Project-based Manufacturers Find Scheduling Technology Solution

By: Thomas Cutler

The term engineer-to-order (ETO) denotes a style of manufacturing rather than a specific industry segment. Other synonymous terms are "project-based" or "custom" manufacturers. ETO companies typically have distinct characteristics about the way they conduct business that differentiate them from discrete or repetitive manufacturers.
Scheduler is an optional module for projectTRAK by Trakware (www.trakware.com). The scheduler is an integrated graphical production scheduling tool, which allows ETO (engineer-to-order) manufacturers to manage critical resources and tasks for optimal profitability and throughput.
View production schedule in many different forms:
&bullGantt charts
&bullResources graphs
&bullTables
&bullNetwork Diagrams
&bullCalendars
According to Randy Richel, CEO of Trakware, "The scheduler allows ETO manufacturers to easily identify bottlenecks in your production schedule, then simply drag and drop the tasks to reschedule within constraints. It also allows clients the ability to run test schedules for a job estimate, to see if it can be completed when required. This allows project-based manufacturers to assess workload and be certain to deliver on time as well as build customer confidence by providing a proposed production schedule specifically for the client's project."
Richel also noted the importance of providing status reports internally or to customers all with real-time production scheduling information.

ETO companies build unique products designed to customer specifications. Each product requires a unique set of item numbers, bills of material, and routings. Estimates and quotations are required to win business. Products are complex with long lead times, typically months or even years. Unlike standard products, the customer is heavily involved throughout the entire design and manufacturing process. Engineering changes are a way of life. Material is purchased not for inventory but for a specific project. All actual costs are allocated to a project and tracked against the original estimate. Once complete, the product is typically installed at the customer's site. In most cases, aftermarket services continue throughout the life of the product.

TRAKware provides an integrated solution for Manufacturing, Planning, and Control (MPC) functions such as:

&bullestimating
&bullorder entry
&bullproject execution
&bullscheduling
&bullshop floor data collection
&bullpurchasing/receiving
&bullshipping/invoicing
&bulljob costing
&bullfinancial analysis
&bullaccounting

Trakware Systems is the worldwide leader in manufacturing execution system (MES) solutions for engineer-to-order (ETO) and project-based manufacturers maximizing both profitability and productivity. Trakware specializes in lean business-critical functions such as estimating, advanced scheduling, job costing, production management and labor as well as material shop floor data collection. TRAKware software fully integrates with existing ERP systems, as well as major software providers for financials, engineering design, optimization, payroll and wireless interaction for mobile workers. Trakware recognizes ETO manufacturing as a process and includes a wide range of industry sectors including Architectural Woodworking, Cabinets, Store Fixtures, Doors and Windows, Furniture, Oil and Gas Fabrication, Solid Surface, Metal Fabrication, Yachts-building, and Custom Electronics.

Founded in 1995, Trakware's partners include Microsoft, Oracle, ADP, Sage, and SolidWorks, Dell and TouchSystems. TRAKware software allows any manufacturer with unique requirements of a custom engineered-to-order business, in any industry, to have total control of each and every order through the plant. Trakware is the leader in delivering innovative Manufacturing, Planning, and Control (MPC) solutions for project-based manufacturers.

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