dds Automated Machinery Design Inc., Ontario

“Total ETO has significantly cut down our man hours for data entry”.

Amar Singh, Partner, dds Automated Machinery Design Inc.

About dds Automated Machinery Design Inc.

dds Automated Machinery Design Inc. was started in 1996 to offer its customers solid, uncompromising mechanical automation equipment. These systems are backed up with the software required to allow the machinery to achieve its full potential.


dds is based in Cambridge, Ontario, the heart of southern Ontario’s technology triangle. The company built and moved into a new 21,000 square foot facility in March of 2005.


dds was founded by Barrie Drysdale who has over 35 years of experience designing and building factory automation equipment. Their staff offer intimate knowledge in material handling, machine loading and unloading, injection, thermoforming and blow molding, assembly cell and packaging equipment industries.

Size of Company

25 employees


Custom Automation


Cambridge, ON

CAD Integration


Accounting Integration

Sage 50

Business Need

After purchasing SolidWorks, dds Automated Machinery Design Inc. wanted a solution that could seamlessly import a Bill of Materials (BOM) from their CAD software.


Total ETO is specifically designed for the custom design manufacturer. Our system integrates your whole business from prospecting to shipping.

Dynamic Benefits and Results

  • Cost Savings
  • Integrate with SolidWorks
  • Custom Reports
  • Spare Parts History
  • Historical Data

Business Challenge

Back in 1999, dds Automated Machinery Design Inc. was looking for an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that would help them grow their business. Engineering was frustrated that they had to manually enter a Bill of Materials (BOM) into Excel for purchasing after it had already been entered into SolidWorks for the project. The double entry was tedious, not cost effective and created potential for errors. Finding spare parts was also frustrating as staff had to go through several project lists to locate the part they needed. Management wanted a solution that could automatically import BOMs from their CAD software and streamline all data entry processing.



While still in the startup phase, it was a major consideration for dds to invest in an ERP software solution but management knew that it was the right decision. After learning about Total ETO from another company that had great success with it, dds decided that it was the best solution for them and worth the investment. By speaking with other Total ETO customers, dds knew that our solution would minimize their man hours spent reentering a BOM, as well as looking up spare parts and project costs.


When data is entered in multiple spreadsheet locations, duplicates and miscalculations often occur. With Total ETO, all information is located in a central database for all staff to use and report on. Over the past 18 years that dds Automated Machinery Design has been using Total ETO, they have been satisfied with their return on investment.


Dynamic Benefits and Results

Over the past 18 years dds Automated Machinery Design has been very happy with the success they have achieved with Total ETO. Purchasing Total ETO was risky when the company was starting out but the decision was a good one. Taking into consideration the savings in labor costs as a result of reduced data entry and errors, the investment make has resulted in a good rate of return.


Cost Savings

It was very important to dds to have one database in which data can be entered. The one point entry eliminates duplicate entry and clerical mistakes. One data entry point ensures that data is pure and accurate.


More man hours are saved when projects are similar and staff can copy parts of one project into another. “Reusing prior designs is particularly important to estimators and can save staff hours of work when quoting future projects”, states Amar Singh. The one point of data entry and easy accessibility to historical information has led to many cost savings.


Seamless integration with SolidWork

Total ETO has true 3D CAD integration capabilities. With a dynamic BOM process, Total ETO allows the flexibility to not only create but also change a project’s BOM  prior to, during, and even after its release to purchasing and manufacturing.


Since Total ETO can integrate with SolidWorks, it further streamlines the engineering process. This integration was important for dds as it would ensure that BOMs could be linked to specific projects and adjusted as the designs changed. For Amar Singh, being able to import his electrical BOM of a project from SolidWorks was a key selling point when purchasing Total ETO.


Custom Reports

Total ETO features a single location where all reports (over 200 provided with the system) are easily accessible. These reports are also found throughout the software program. The Report Center is organized in a departmental hierarchy, allowing users to run many reports quickly and find the reports they are looking for in a one-stop shop.


Darren McCreedy, President of dds, likes the rapid access he has to all reports which are essential to him as a Manager. He uses the Spare Parts Report, Purchasing Reports and the recently added Packing Slips report on a daily basis. Managers need a system that allows them to quickly find and run all of the reports they require without having to learn how to navigate the system. A central Report Center makes this possible.


Total ETO also recognizes that every company requires reports that are very specific to them. This is why all reports in the Report Center are configurable and new reports can be created if required. Total ETO staff are available to assist in creating reports.


Total ETO works tirelessly to keep our software up-to-date and frequently offers upgrades which include new features and reports that have been requested by customers.


Spare part tracking

A big benefit of Total ETO is the ability to track parts in real time. For dds it was important to be able to look up a spare part by its part number and know in real time where the part is located, when it will come in and if it has been used. Darren appreciates that he can look up one part number and see that it has been used in several jobs. Before purchasing Total ETO, Darren would have to go into each project and see which parts had been used and then cross reference them against purchasing lists to see if they have been procured. Now with Total ETO, he can see all the data he needs in one location. Being able to access real time data is beneficial for time and cost savings.


Better estimates using historical data

Total ETO provides templates and search wizards to find historical data. Total ETO recognizes that all engineer-to-order companies design and build complex machinery to specification criteria. These criteria and specifications can be tracked on a machine-by-machine basis using a fully customizable templates feature. Searching templates is very powerful and allows staff to identify prior designs that may match similar traits of current work. Being able to reuse prior designs is particularly important to estimators and can save staff hours of work when quoting future projects.


Access to historical data is essential for dds Automated Machinery Design as they require past project information for new estimates. The ability to find previous job information assists when quoting on new jobs. Access to material and labor costs, shop information on construction experience and project results is important to many departments. Engineering needs to access previous designed BOMs to reduce the effort for new jobs. Manufacturing can use past job commentaries to highlight production opportunities and management can utilize past history to reduce the risk when establishing selling prices and target margins.