How does the "Build To Order" system work?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SteelBlueTJ, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. SteelBlueTJ macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2012
    I always wondered exactly how Apple processes the custom configuration or build to order Macs. For example, if you order a custom config iMac does Apple then build that iMac specifically for you based on your specs after you place your order? Or does Apple build a stockpile of just about every combination of configurations possible to have on hand?
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    they do not stockpile every possible system; build to order means they assemble the system for you using parts on the production lines.
  3. fizzler macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2010
    build to order means that your order is not built until it is placed. The retail stores typically only hold & (directly) sell stock model units. When you place an customised order online, your product is manufactured and shipped directly to you from the manufacturer- typically in china.
  4. aloshka macrumors 65816

    Aug 30, 2009
    Keep in mind, when you do build to order it's shipped from China. Granted it only takes 2-4 days as they have pre-certification for customs (so it's quick to cross the border).

    But no, they don't prebuilt them. Ironically if you select the same specs as a standard one, they still built to order it.
  5. nitropowered macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2003
    Some more common build to order configurations may be pre-built, like 8gb ram vs standard 4gb on MacBook airs.
  6. MacPC macrumors regular

    Sep 25, 2006
    Sometimes your local Apple store do have a small stock of the build to order available. Check with them first.

    For example, I recently bought a Top of the line MBA, i7 haswell, 8G Ram and 500G SSD. Before I placed the build to order on Apple's website, I went to my local Apple store ask the salesperson, he told me the store had four in stock.
    No need to wait to be ship from China.:)
  7. Umbongo macrumors 601


    Sep 14, 2006
    Apple use just-in-time manufacturing. They aren't exactly waiting for orders to come in, the flow of BTO orders is high enough that it just gets added to the queue of continually assembled and shipped systems.

    A lot of just in time case studies are on Apple as they do things slightly different, you can get a better idea from googling.

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