When an M item is flagged for CTO linking, a job is generated and hard-linked to each sales order line for the exact quantity ordered.  CTO linking is automatically applied to one-off, custom items that are made to order and never stocked.


CTO linking is counter-productive for standard items

For standard items, however, CTO linking is counter-productive and should be avoided.  

  • Standard items are interchangeable from order to order and are potentially subject to stocking.    

  • There is no ability to adjust CTO jobs to account for stock on hand or to consolidate demand into more efficient job sizes.

  • CTO linking forces items to be made to order, even in cases where items with frequent orders could be planned with a Stocking order policy to enable immediate shipment from stock.

Linking occurs naturally with item-based manufacturing

Some companies use the CTO setting solely to get the sales order number and customer referenced on the job traveler.  This practice is contrary to just in time manufacturing, which is item-based rather than order-based.  With item-based manufacturing, linking of a sorts occurs naturally when supply events happen to align with demand events. Unlike hard-linking, natural linking also flexibly allows one supply event to align with multiple demand events.  

The Stock Status inquiry shows the destination of any item

It is not necessary to use the job traveler to know the destination of an item or what is available to ship.  The Stock Status inquiry, which can be accessed within the Job Receipts and Job Schedule screens, indicates which sales orders are pending for the item or whether the item is intended for stock.  The Shipment Planner within the Order Picking screen lets you know when items are ready for shipment.


Avoid the CTO setting for efficient manufacturing

For efficient just in time manufacturing, avoid using the CTO setting with standard items and discontinue relying on the job traveler for sales order references.