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Thomas R. Cutler
By Thomas R. Cutler
ETO Manufacturers Turn to Streamline Systems ETO blog

Streamline Systems just published a vital tool for Engineer-to-Order manufacturers; the white paper is objective and looks at the history, trends, and future of ETO manufacturing. Larry Cohn and the ETO experts at Streamline Systems work with industrial manufacturers to manage and grow their businesses through the effective use of software designed for engineer to order manufacturing companies. “We focus exclusively on ETO manufacturers, who benefit from the knowledge and experience of ETO experts,” commented Cohn.
The paper discusses the development of ETO ERP Solutions, including AX2012 ETO ERP. The Streamline Systems ETO ERP white paper may be requested at:
The second installment about ETO Streamline Systems blog recently focused on Technical Sales and Program Management for ETO in AX 2012.
ETO and BTO organizations face challenges with the complexity of the technical sales and program management. A custom designed product can be a major project where balancing the resources required to design, draft, and review represents major heartburn. If the work is not completed on time the company loses the bid. If the bid is inaccurate, it can cost the company significant money. Either event is costly and painful. Three areas that represent real opportunities for the ETO and BTO organization include Program Management, Technical Sales Tools, and Collaboration.
Program Management
Program Managers have a tough job. These dedicated employees work long hours trying to balance resources and resolve conflicts to get bids out to customers and complete projects on time and on budget. Microsoft’s Dynamics AX 2012 strengthens proposal management, project quotation, and project budget control with complex work breakdown structures, milestone definitions, task assignments, and deliverable specifications. Projects can be visually managed throughout the life cycle, incorporating resources from engineering through shipping.

Everything that is done for a project flows into the core financials eliminating redundant and disparate systems, spreadsheets and workarounds. The program manager has constant visibility into project status and budget vs. actual performance.
Help for Technical Sales
Technical Sales staff must provide accurate bids which hold the key to the future health of the company. Typically they work in one system (usually MS Office) to handle estimating and generate the quote or bid for the customer while the rest of the organization works within their core ERP system to enter the final accepted bid to complete the sales and production processes.
This can lead to mixed results. At best it’s time consuming and prone to errors. With Dynamics AX 2012, all the information that goes into the technical sales quoting process can be converted directly into the Sales Order. No keystrokes, no errors. Data flows directly to the approved project while retaining linkage back to the original quotation providing huge paybacks in speed and cost savings.
Instant, immediate collaboration
A major hurdle for a complex manufacturing is staying on top of all the details of many projects. Precious time is spent in daily and weekly meeting pouring over spreadsheets and reports to determine the status of a project and resolve issues.
Sharing information in a collaborative workspace in real time provides a significant competitive advantage. The collaboration tools provided in Dynamics AX 2012 enable faster problem identification and resolution, immediate dissemination of critical updates, and elimination of delays. Your whole team gains time back into their work schedules as they distill multiple inputs and work from only one source of the truth.
AX 2012 ETO from Streamline Systems can also be followed via Twitter @StreamlineSysAX.

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