Make-to-Stock (MTS)

Make-to-Stock (MTS) is a manufacturing strategy where products are produced based on sales Forecasts and placed into inventory before customer orders are received. In this approach, production is not directly tied to specific customer demand but instead anticipates future demand based on historical sales data, market trends, and other forecasting methods. MTS is commonly used for products with stable and predictable demand patterns, allowing businesses to maintain sufficient stock levels to meet customer orders promptly.

Key Features of Make-to-Stock (MTS)

  1. Inventory-Based Production: MTS manufacturing involves producing goods in advance and holding them in inventory until customer orders are received.
  2. Demand Forecasting: Accurate demand forecasting is critical for MTS, as it drives production scheduling and inventory management.
  3. Quick Order Fulfillment: With products already available in inventory, MTS enables rapid order fulfillment when customer demand arises.

Benefits of Make-to-Stock (MTS)

  1. Faster Order Processing: MTS allows for quicker order processing and delivery since products are readily available.
  2. Economies of Scale: MTS enables businesses to take advantage of economies of scale in production, leading to potentially lower production costs.
  3. Stable Production Planning: By relying on forecasts, MTS provides a more stable production schedule compared to reactive manufacturing approaches.

Challenges of Make-to-Stock (MTS)

  1. Inventory Management: MTS requires careful inventory management to balance holding costs and the risk of overstocking or stockouts.
  2. Demand Variability: Unforeseen changes in demand can lead to excess inventory or shortages.

Application of Make-to-Stock (MTS)

  1. Standardized Products: MTS is suitable for products with relatively stable demand and consistent specifications, such as consumer electronics, household items, and certain types of apparel.
  2. Retail Industry: Many retail businesses adopt MTS for common consumer goods to ensure product availability on shelves.

Comparison with Make-to-Order (MTO)

MTS and MTO are two opposite manufacturing strategies. While MTS relies on demand forecasts and produces goods in advance, MTO manufactures products only after receiving customer orders. MTS is better suited for products with stable demand patterns, while MTO is preferred for customizable or highly specialized products.


Make-to-Stock (MTS) is a manufacturing strategy that involves producing goods in advance and holding them in inventory until customer orders are received. It offers benefits such as faster order processing, economies of scale, and stable production scheduling. However, MTS also presents challenges related to inventory management and demand variability. By effectively managing inventory levels and employing accurate demand forecasting techniques, businesses can optimize MTS to ensure product availability, meet customer demand promptly, and maintain a competitive edge in the market.


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