SOURCE: Cincom Systems

July 12, 2007 10:33 ET

Engineers Spend More Than Half Their Time on Low-Value Activity

CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - July 12, 2007) - More than 50 percent of engineers at build-to-order and engineer-to-order manufacturers spend their time on activities that add no real value to the customer. This is according to a research report recently released by software maker Cincom Systems (

"Best Practices: Mass Customization and Build-to-Order Manufacturing" discusses the findings of the industry's first report -- from an engineering perspective -- on the state of mass customization and build-to-order practices.

"Engineering is uniquely positioned to optimize the fit between a customer's needs and manufacturing," writes Jim Wilson, Cincom Program Director and author of the report. "Unfortunately, much of the time spent is low-value activity."

While engineers spend most of their time (32 percent) creating new product drawings for customers, the week is often consumed by numerous administrative tasks. Such low-customer-value activities include creating bills of material (14 percent), change orders (13 percent), product selection and configuration (10 percent), manufacturing changes in line (5 percent), cost estimates (4 percent), pricing orders (4 percent) and post-order revisions (4 percent).

Sales support activities such as general sales consultation and post-sales support of installation only consume five percent of engineers' time.

"Engineering is uniquely positioned to optimize the fit between a customer's needs and manufacturing," continues Wilson. "As such, engineering management would benefit from reducing the amount of low-value tactical support activity but increasing engineering's influence on sales processes and solutions that are proposed to customers."

Cincom Systems targeted the survey at senior engineering managers at 900 manufacturers of complex industrial, electrical and transportation equipment and systems between January and February 2007.

For a copy of the report, please visit

About Cincom Systems

Cincom delivers and supports innovative software and services to simplify complex business processes. For nearly 40 years, Cincom has empowered thousands of clients worldwide to transform their businesses and outperform the competition by providing ways to increase revenue, control cost, minimize risk, and achieve rapid ROI.

Cincom's Quote-to-Order solutions help complex manufacturers dramatically streamline the quote-to-order and build-to-order process by automating complex, expert-dependent processes including: sales, pricing, quoting, design validation and product configuration.

Cincom serves clients on six continents including BMW, Citibank, Boeing, Ericsson, Penn State University, Milacron, Siemens and Trane. For more information about Cincom's products and services, contact Cincom at 1-800-2CINCOM (USA only), send an e-mail to, or visit the company's website at

Cincom and the Quadrant Logo are registered trademarks of Cincom Systems, Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective companies.

© 2007 Cincom Systems, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Donna Hedge Burns
    Public Relations Specialist
    Cincom Systems, Inc.
    Email Contact