Engineer-to-Order is the Supply Chain Configuration Strategy that enables customer-driven requirements to be recorded on the order and design/engineering to be finalized as part of the execution of the order (Order Engineering). Typically these customer-driven requirements are unknown at the time of product design or are variations that are not designed into the product or offering (at the time of product engineering).

Engineer-to-Order extends the capabilities of Make-to-Order to include Order Engineering activities. Configurable Make-to-Order products are generally menu-driven. This implies the configurable part of a Make-to-Order product has been defined as part of product engineering.

Engineer-to-Order is one of the four Supply Chain Configuration Strategies: Make-to-Stock, Make-to-Order, Engineer-to-Order and Reverse Logistics.

Use Cases

  • Order Engineering
  • Complex construction projects
  • Configure-To-Order (exceptional cases)
  • In home building: Completely custom home
  • In a Retail store: Not a common use case
  • In services industries: (Co-) develop a custom offering for a unique client


Engineer-to-Order does not mean a product is designed completely as part of the Order Engineering process; most use cases have limitations to the extend of customization (requiring engineering) of the product or service. OpenReference recognizes two types of Engineering:

  • Product Engineering is a process driven by market requirements and is generally performed prior to marketing the product (and taking customer orders for such product)
  • Order Engineering is a Supply Chain process driven by an individual customer order and is generally performed after the product has been engineered (as part of product engineering processes) and after the receipt of a customer order

Another differentiator from Make-to-Order: Engineer-to-Order orders are generally considered project orders.


SCCSSupply Chain Configuration Strategy1SCCS


A1Align Strategy2A1
A103Segment Supply Chains3A103
A113Identify Strategic Supply Chain Capabilities3A113
A2Align Network2A2


OEOrder EngineeringOE
RLReverse LogisticsRL
SCCSSupply Chain Configuration StrategySCCS
Engineer-to-Order Supply Chain Configuration Strategy 3 2 Supply, Chain, Configuration, Strategy, Requirement, Demand, Driven, ETO, Configure-To-Order, Order Engineering, Project, Orders, Supply Chain The supply chain configuration strategy which enables customer-driven requirements to be recorded on the order and design/engineering to be finalized as part of the execution of the order (order engineering)