Heinzen Manufacturing International Inc., California

“Total ETO was the right solution all along. It was eerie how it mirrored our internal process of custom design”.

Rudi Groppe, President, Heinzen Manufacturing International Inc.

About Heinzen Manufacturing International

Heinzen Manufacturing International (HMI) is a full-service engineering and fabrication company specializing in the design, production, and installation of food processing equipment. HMI draws upon a wide range of depth and experience, from custom-built fruit processing lines to complete heavy construction projects. For over 24 years, Heinzen Manufacturing has been satisfying customers with its commitment to customers, R&D and the development process to ensure the equipment built for customers is easy to access, inspect, sanitize, maintain and operate cleanly and efficiently.


Food Processing Equipment


Gilroy, California

Business Need

Heinzen was looking for a system which allowed partial Bill of Materials (BOM) releases and that would grow with them in the future.


Total ETO’s automation software is designed by engineers for engineers. From sales to shipping our end to end solution solves every common problem preventing engineer-to-order (ETO) businesses from running smoothly.

Dynamic Benefits and Results

  • Multiple releases to purchasing
  • Seamlessly integrate SolidWorks
  • Truly ETO software
  • Ability to track work orders easily
  • Highly configurable solution

Business Challenge


As a custom design manufacturer, about 95% of Heinzen’s projects are engineered to order or modification designs. Most projects have a 6-12 week cycle. In the first weeks after the order engineering builds the Bill of Materials (BOM), partial releasing long delivery parts to Purchasing. Engineering then goes on to another job, coming back between jobs to do a full release of the BOM when the time is right. Heinzen needed a solution that allowed partial BOM releases in order to keep projects moving. They also needed a system and vendor that understood their business process and who would provide exemplary customer service and work with HMI to grow their business.




Being an engineer-to-order (ETO) manufacturer, Heinzen is used to long lead times on projects. They wanted a solution that mirrored their internal process and allowed their engineers to partially release the BOM of a project. They initially purchased Total ETO as their solution of choice back in 2000. After a few years, while Heinzen was expanding, management decided that they wanted a larger enterprise resource processing (ERP) solution and stopped using Total ETO to make a larger software purchase. Unfortunately, after spending $500,000 on this new system they realized that this larger solution could not deal with multiple BOM releases and took about 12 hours to release the engineering module to Purchasing. The larger system over promised and under delivered. Within months, Heinzen’s management decided to return to using Total ETO after realizing that the features they needed were there all the time, but were just not being utilized. Heinzen updated to the latest version of Total ETO and reinvested in some custom modules to grow their business.


Dynamic Benefits and Results


Now that Heinzen is fully utilizing the benefits of Total ETO they are extremely happy with the software system and how it works with their business processes.


Multiple releases to purchasing


A common complaint of custom design manufacturers is that designers are fearful of releasing the BOM information too early because of the problem that change requests can create for them. The result is that Purchasing receives information too late and is unable to obtain item in time or at competitive prices. Total ETO allows engineers the confidence to create BOM’s quickly, and with the integrated document and release system can release data frequently to purchasing. Total ETO provides dynamic integration with purchasing.


It was also important to Heinzen that they can at any moment track the open items within the system. Once engineering releases a BOM, the items hit the procurement screen within seconds and in five to ten minutes the items are purchased and scheduled for delivery. Everything happens in real-time and all departments have access to this information.


Seamless Integration with SolidWorks


TotalETO has true 3D CAD integration capabilities. With a dynamic Bill of Materials 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.


The seamless integration of the BOM from SolidWorks into Total ETO is one of the software’s best features. This integration is important for it ensures that BOMs can be linked to specific projects and adjusted as the designs are changed.


Truly ETO software


Over and over we hear that when our customers were looking for an ETO software system, Total ETO was the only one they found that understands the unique needs of custom design manufacturing companies. This is no different for Heinzen. Even after purchasing a much larger ERP solution, Rudi Groppe admits that “they pulled the plug realizing they were on the wrong track and Total ETO was actually the right solution after all”.


The Total ETO software system is unique as it mirrors the workflow and processes of custom design manufacturers. Total ETO was developed with the support of custom design manufacturers and all of our customers are ETO companies.


Ability to track work orders easily


To run a business smoothly, management needs to know at all times the status of a project. Within Total ETO, managers can see the entire project sequence even at the part level. There is a sequence of check-ins at different stages so managers know the status of a project, when it is complete (and at what cost).


Highly configurable solution


Although Total ETO already mimics the business processes of custom design manufacturers, each company is still unique and requires specific features. Our specialists worked with Heinzen to configure the solution just right for them. Rudi Groppe worked with us to add new modules such as process scheduling, office-shop and job processing that were needed to help their company grow.


In order to utilize the full capability of Total ETO, we want to make sure that it is perfectly suited for your company – just like with Heinzen.