An engineering change order, which is often abbreviated as an ECO, is a tool that is used to help plan and implement changes to various types of end products or components that are being made. ECOs are also commonly called engineering change notices (ECNs), engineering changes (EC), and engineering release notices (ERN). All these names will typically refer to the same thing.
Engineering change orders are often needed when something needs to be adjusted due to things like cost reduction requirements, safety improvements, customer demand, product evolution, performance improvement opportunities, and much more. Rather than changing the way a product or component is produced on the fly, having an ECO in place will help to ensure that it is properly planned out and implemented successfully.
ECOs are going to be in the form of a formal document that is created by the engineers who need to make the change. The document will then be approved by the other parties involved, which will typically include the design team, management, and sometimes the customer. Having this type of document in place helps to ensure everyone is on the same page and clear about what types of changes will be made to the engineering of a product. This helps to eliminate miscommunications from occurring, which could result in significant savings.
There are many benefits to using an ECO when changes are needed. This goes well beyond just avoiding miscommunications. One common reason why companies like using engineering change orders is because it provides documentation related to how things on a product have evolved over time. Teams can look over all the ECOs related to a given product to see what change and improvements have been made. This information can then be used for future planning on the product, or even helping to ensure new products are launched with the best features possible.
Similar Glossary Terms
- Change Management
- Quality Engineering
- Safety Engineering
- SCM (Supply Chain Management)
- 5S – Set in Order
- Organizational Structure
- Earned Value Management (EVM)