Make To Order - MTO


DEFINITION of 'Make To Order - MTO'

A business production strategy that typically allows consumers to purchase products that are customized to their specifications. The make to order (MTO) strategy only manufactures the end product once the customer places the order. This creates additional wait time for the consumer to receive the product, but allows for more flexible customization compared to purchasing from retailers' shelves.


The make to order (MTO) strategy relieves the problems of excessive inventory that is common with the traditional make to stock (MTS) strategy. Dell Computers is an example of a business that uses the MTO production strategy.

  1. Pull-Through Production

    A method used in just-in-time manufacturing processes to order ...
  2. Make To Assemble - MTA

    A manufacturing production strategy where a company stocks the ...
  3. Manufacturing Production

    The creation and assembly of components and finished products ...
  4. Make To Stock - MTS

    A traditional production strategy used by businesses to match ...
  5. Assemble To Order - ATO

    A business production strategy where products ordered by customers ...
  6. Pay To Order

    A check or draft that must be paid via endorsement and delivery. ...
Related Articles
  1. Entrepreneurship

    Cost-Push Inflation Versus Demand-Pull Inflation

    Gain a deeper understanding of aggregate supply and demand, forces which raise the price of goods and services.
  2. Economics

    Understanding Supply-Side Economics

    Does the amount of goods and services produced set the pace for economic growth? Here are the arguments.
  3. Economics

    A Practical Look At Microeconomics

    Learn how individual decision-making turns the gears of our economy.
  4. Options & Futures

    Explaining The World Through Macroeconomic Analysis

    From unemployment and inflation to government policy, learn what macroeconomics measures and how it affects everyone.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does In Specie Mean?

    In specie describes the distribution of an asset in its physical form instead of cash.
  6. Economics

    Calculating Cross Elasticity of Demand

    Cross elasticity of demand measures the quantity demanded of one good in response to a change in price of another.
  7. Stock Analysis

    The Biggest Risks of Investing in Amazon Stock

    Find out which risks are most important to Amazon's shareholders. Learn which operational risks impact share prices and which financial risks affect investors.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Emerging Markets: Analyzing Colombia's GDP

    With a backdrop of armed rebels and drug cartels, the journey for the Colombian economy has been anything but easy.
  9. Stock Analysis

    How Does Work and Make Money?

    Learn how is taking on retail giants Amazon, Walmart and Costco by promising to save customers an average of 10 to 15% on over 10 million items.
  10. Stock Analysis

    Top 3 Stocks for the Coming Holiday Season

    If you want to buck the bear market trend by going long on consumer stocks, these three might be your best bets.
  1. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How can I invest in electronic retailing (e-tailing)?

    Electronic retail is one of the fastest growing segments of the economy. Every year, more people are choosing to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is the difference between JIT (just in time) and CMI (customer managed inventory)?

    Just-in-time (JIT) inventory management focuses solely on the need to replenish inventory only when it is required, reducing ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What are some common ways product differentiation is achieved?

    There are many ways to achieve product differentiation, some more common than others. Horizontal Differentiation Horizontal ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What economic indicators are important to consider when investing in the retail sector?

    The unemployment rate and Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) rank as two of the most important economic indicators to consider ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What factors make it difficult to compare performance ratios between retail stocks?

    Companies that operate in the retail sector significantly differ in terms of their profitability and efficiency, making stock ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!