Make to Assemble (MTA)
What it is:
Make to Assemble (MTA) is a manufacturing strategy whereby the manufacturer creates or obtains all of the components of its products but does not assemble the product until a customer places an order.
How it works (Example):
For example, let's say Company XYZ manufactures tables. If it uses the MTA strategy, it might cut the tabletops, mill a variety of legs, mix stains, and order the hardware for inserting the table leaves and any drawers. When customers order a table, Company XYZ selects the right components, assembles the table in 30 minutes, and ships it to the customer the next day.
MTA is a common strategy in restaurants, whereby a restaurant may slice vegetables, shred cheese, or make sauces in advance. This reduces the time the customer has to wait while ensuring a fresh, made-to-order product.
Why it Matters:
The MTA allows manufacturers to customize items quickly and easily and reduces labor costs by spending time assembling things only when a paying order is in hand. Because the MTA strategy does not include a of finished goods in , the risk is that the manufacturer might receive an order larger than it is able to satisfy with the components on hand.