A Typology of UK Engineer-to-Order Companies

Hicks, Chris; McGovern, Tom and Earl, Chris F. (2001). A Typology of UK Engineer-to-Order Companies. International Journal of Logistics: research and applications, 4(1) pp. 43–56.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13675560110038068


A typology of four ideal types has been developed to classify the different forms of engineer-to-order (ETO) company. This framework is used to examine the impact of market changes on the configuration of production processes. Markets that were once stable are now dynamic and uncertain. The research found that ETO companies have responded to the environmental changes by adopting new configurations. Internal and external supply chains have been reorganised to gain competitive advantage. There has been a shift from vertical integration to the outsourcing of physical processes, as companies seek to reduce costs and lead-times whilst increasing external flexibility. The typology can be used first to map process configurations to environmental conditions, and second to identify the main drivers of configuration change.

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