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Electronics Production | July 02, 2009

Flextronics: BTO and CTO

Part 3 of 4: LEAN manufacturing is not just constant improvement or the elimination of waste. BTO – or Build-To-Order – is one of the oldest styles of order fulfilment.
Build-To-Order (sometimes referred to as Made-To-Order) is a specific approach to production. Here, the production of any given product starts as soon as the order is received. “BTO is a service to our customers, mainly for highly customised or low-volume production. We have a few customers and our cooperation is very good. Paderborn is actually a Centre of Excellence for Box-built BTO/CTO and server manufacture”, states Dr. Uwe Schmidt-Streier.

“This production style suits our LEAN production environment very well. As we are producing everything to order, we do not have or need huge inventories. This in turn minimises costs. In difficult times, an overflowing inventory, can not be healthy”, adds Mr Okesson.



However, a pure BTO-approach to production would defeat the object of being a global EMS-provider – serving a wide range of customers. For some products – especially for low value/high volume parts – a BTO-production would not make economic sense. “Flextronics does manufacture products that are BTS (Build-To-Stock), however, that is not the main focus of our customer and product portfolio – here at SBS”, explains Dr. Schmidt-Streier.

As said before, the SBS site in Paderborn focuses on assembly of complex PCBAs and the box-build of BTO/ CTO-products and on server manufacture. “Here an exact timing of the delivery is essential and we provide CTO – Configure-To-Order – mainly for our customers in the server market”, Dr. Schmidt-Streier continues. “The customer can so specify the exact component make-up or configuration of the product already when placing the order”.

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This article is part of a series:

Part 1: Flextronics SBS: a specialised organisation within a global company

Part 2: Lean manufacturing at Flextronics SBS

Part 4: Flextronics: Virtual Prototyping to aid quality
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