Acquiring orders using requirement specifications for engineer-to-order production

Jiahua Weng, Shingo Akasaka, Hisashi Onari

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Engineer-to-order production is an approach in which a firm designs and produces a product that matches the requests of its customers. Usually, at the inquiry stage, the product specification items provided by the design/engineering department are used for discussions between the sales staff and the customer. However, since the customers are not familiar with all the product specifications, commonly, the product specifications are proposed by the sales staff according to his/her experience. Therefore, sometimes a relatively complex product specification (implying high price) may be proposed because of which the customer may not be satisfied; then, extensive discussions are conducted among the customer and the sales, engineering, and even production departments of the firm. This inefficient process may lead to order loss. In contrast, even when the customer is satisfied, the specifications (price) may be underestimated when the product specification is designed in detail after the contract is signed, and may lead to financial loss for the particular order. Therefore, the ability to accurately grasp customer requirements at an early stage is an essential factor. To solve this problem, this paper focuses on the description of the customer requirements. Instead of product specifications, customer requirement specifications are proposed to be used at the inquiry stage. This study uses mixers and drilling machines as case studies. Detailed customer requirement specifications are designed for these two kinds of products. The results show that the proposed description models are practically useful and can be translated into accurate product specifications.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)620-627
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Japan Industrial Management Association
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


    • Customer requirement
    • Engineer-to-order (eto)
    • Product specification

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
    • Applied Mathematics
    • Management Science and Operations Research
    • Strategy and Management


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