About the model

Introduction Build to Design

In Build to Design, the OEM outsources production based on a design in progress. During the design process, the supplier gives input to the OEM with the aim of arriving at a product design that matches his available production processes as closely as possible. The result is recorded in the technical product documentation. The supplier sets up its factory and supply chain based on this.

Life-Cycle Management will mainly be done by the OEM, with the exception of production-related Life-Cycle Management (e.g. obsolescence management).

Characteristics of the model

Time to market

Parallel development of the product and the production process takes a little more time in the beginning, but often yields time savings in the end.



Quality – Optimal coordination of product design and production process leads to a product with the highest possible quality and delivery reliability.


Total Cost of Ownership

Total Cost of Ownership – The alignment between product design and manufacturing process leads to the lowest possible product cost. In addition, this early alignment can save costs through higher product quality. Higher quality leads to fewer complaints and lower cost-of-non-quality.



Organization – Early coordination between OEM and supplier requires discipline. Engineers who are in their creative design process need to make time to consult with the supplier. The big advantage: OEM and supplier both start to feel responsible for the outcome of the collaboration.


When is it appropriate?

The Build to Design model is suitable for outsourcing production for products, where it has not yet been proven that the translation from design to production process is simple and risk-free for existing suppliers and their factories and supply chains. This means that design changes may be required to get production to the desired level of quality, delivery reliability and cost.