Sustainability in the supply chain through synchronization of demand and supply in ETO-companies
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In the Engineer-to-Order industry every product is unique and therefore, engineering design, production and installation is made to the specific customer order (batch-of-one production). Traditionally, engineering, fabrication and installation work as separate departments connected in series. This means that customer orders are pushed from engineering to the installation on-site which causes long lead times, inefficient material transport and high and uncontrolled levels of Work-in-Progress (WIP). As a result, resource inefficiencies occur (costly labour delays) when the required quantity or quality of drawings or materials is not on hand in fabrication and on-site. This work presents a concept for aligning demand with supply using the Constant Work in Process (CONWIP) control mechanism and thus enabling a sustainable supply chain for ETO-companies. An industrial case study shows the current implementation in an Engineer-to-Order company acting as a first tier construction supplier.
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