Product Stability and Reliability Using Engineering Change Control

Posted by Gerry Poe

Engineering Change Control Systems Empower Simplification and Standardization.
Many small-to-mid-sized organizations follow the same manual engineering change processes (ECR(change request)-ECN(change notice)-ECO(change order)) are manually created using text document templates, the BOM (bill of materials) is a spreadsheet, copies of the documents are attached, packaged and manually routed through office (e)mail or hand-carried from one engineer/reviewer/checker to the next. This process hasn't really changed much in decades. Last, but not least, don't forget about the documentation updates.

Change forms (ECR/ECN/ECO) often reference incorrect part numbers, attachments get lost, the packages can be misrouted or sit on a vacationing engineer's desk... the workflow is extensive, inefficient, error prone and costly.

Then there are the productivity-stealing variations: a deviation or waiver process which provides insufficient detail or inadequate review; engineering change proposals that are never acted upon, and therefore represent wasted effort; change orders that don't follow your company's documented process. Customere buy-offs, approved vendor assignments and approvals or material and process variances (un)identified, costs and price adjustments and contracts management.

syspro enginering change control ecc

SYSPRO Engineering Change Control (ECC) helps improve the management of engineering changes to your products and/or associated data. This is achieved through user-defined workflow, steps and processes, and can augment or replace the paper trail that usually accompanies any changes to product design data. The archiving facility enables retrieval and production of prior revisions/releases. Customer and supplier, forecasts and build schedules, authorized vendor and material control alignment to version/release requirements for sales, purchase and or contractual requirements.

The Engineering Change Control system gives you ready access to documentation on prior product versions. In this manner, you can address questions relating to product defects in older product versions. Comprehensive ECC documentation also enables you to easily revert to the production of prior product versions, if necessary, to suit the requirements of a particular customer or conform to regulatory requirements.

Notes: If a product is under the control of ECC, then any maintenance to a bill of material and/or routing of the product can be accomplished only by means of a current Engineering Change Order.


  • Assign product design tasks to particular users (or groups of users)
  • Transfer tasks between users (or groups of users)
  • Notify users of new tasks
  • Remind users of outstanding tasks
  • Sign off engineering changes electronically


  • Define workflow to document and control product design changes
  • Assign product design tasks to specific users/groups of users
  • Transfer tasks between users/groups of users
  • Define new task notifications, outstanding task reminders and electronic sign-off
  • Control BOM and/or routings maintenance with mandatory Engineering Change Order’s (ECO)
  • Optionally prevent creation or maintenance of purchase orders, jobs and sales orders for products on an ECO
  • Retrieve previous revisions of BOMs, routings and jobs from archives for production as planned or as built


  • Govern revision/release sensitivity at stock code level
  • Keep track of product-related data such as drawings, circuit diagrams and CNC programs
  • Enforce security and controls in the ECC process
  • Govern the ECO cycle using meaningful user-defined status codes
  • Define any number of user-defined statuses with associated routings
  • Movement between statuses can be automatic or manual
  • Trigger an associated event when an ECO is moved into a status
  • Identify affected products against an ECO
  • Identify existing jobs, purchase orders and sales orders relating to the affected products on the ECO with where-used queries

Integration with SYSPRO

  • Bill of Materials (Essential)
  • Inventory (Essential)
  • Purchase Orders
  • Quotations
  • Sales Orders
  • Work in Progress

Audit Trails and Reporting

  • Report on status of all Change Orders
  • Report on all revisions and releases held against ECC controlled items
  • Listing of ECC users, Status Codes and Routings

PLM the Next Step:

Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). Lifecycle management helps to ensure your organization's design information is accurate, reliable, controlled and available throughout the entire product lifecycle by efficiently managing product data and processes. SYSOPRO software offers the most useful capabilities of high-end PLM software solutions, but without their complexity and expense.

PLM is specifically tailored for growing companies:

  • Parts list management and rules-based automatic document and part numbering system
  • Bill of materials / product structure management
  • Engineering drawing management and document control for requirement, design, process, support and other engineering data
  • Electronic file repository ("data library" or "vault") that permits attaching files to parts, documents and change form.
  • Engineering change management, including engineering change request (ECR) forms and engineering change order (ECO) forms, as well as change workflow for formally approving and releasing new and revised product data
  • Approved vendor source management and approved parts identification
  • Materials content identification for regulatory compliance (WEEE/RoHS/ELV)
  • Custom part and document data definitions ("custom attributes")
  • Multi-user secured access, including "electronic signature"
  • Data access & export to downstream ERP/SCM/CRM systems

SYSPRO ERP software offers organizations the tools necessary for smooth running, financially sound, best business practiced operations.

The best ERP and Analytics Software is no accident. SYSPRO, for over 30 years, has been the winner for more than 14,000 enterprises worldwide.

Knowing where you are, with trust in your enterprise tool-set, helps define your vision and where to start.

For the best possible outcomes; do your internal systems align? People, technologies, and enterprise software?

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Tags: Change Management, SYSPRO Support

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