Tuesday, 26 September 2023 IMS HomepageHome


Build-to-Order (BTO) is the process of delivering goods or services to the customer according to an individual's desired (and precise) specification and within a short delivery lead time. It is the opposite of building for stock. Many sectors have already embraced the philosophy, including some surprising ones such as retailers of spectacles. Other sectors, such as automotive manufacturing, are still developing their BTO strategies. This is because their 'tradition' is one of high volume, high efficiency production or "stock push" with customers having to choose from the vehicles available on the dealer forecourt.

This can be frustrating for the customer but it can also introduce a significant level of waste from the perspective of the vehicle manufacturers who often hold over a hundred days-worth of finished stock in their distribution systems. This is particularly relevant in fast moving, expensive consumer goods such as PCs where unsold stock is very expensive. Thus, more PC manufacturers are moving to BTO.

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