A successful business model deals with the ongoing fluctuations of the business world and changing customer demands. Manufacturers that specialize in creating complex products face multiple challenges. ERP applications, such as a Product Configurator, can help your manufacturing company better compete by making configurations and customizations to your product more automated, integrated across different business functions, and seamless for your teams and customers.
For example, manufacturers of garage doors and components use Product Configurators to determine specifications of angles, springs, model and part numbers, bearings and cones, drums, galvanized struts, and more. And based on these specifications, the bill of materials and routings are determined. Let’s read in detail about Product Configurator and how it can help businesses achieve success.
What Is a Product Configurator?
A Product Configurator helps manufacturers create component combinations, unique part numbers, and multiple options for a configurable product to meet the specific needs of customers. It lets you automatically create quotes and specifications, speed up the quoted timeline, and process and plan the configured product for production.
A Product Configurator offers the flexibility to define attributes and formulate a specific product to create a special bill of materials and routings for producing finished goods. It automates the calculation of costs and the pricing of configurable products. A Product Configurator empowers the sales team to quote and price products easily while connecting customers, products, and the shop floor. This results in fewer manual errors, stronger integration between sales, production, purchasing, and customer service teams, greater efficiency, improved customer experience, and increased profitability.
A Product Configurator Can Help You If:
- Your engineers are spending too much time on creating estimates rather than designing products.
- Your sales team has limited time to prospect and talk to customers because they’re bogged down with paperwork from manually creating quotes.
- You want to reduce errors with pre-defined rules that create only valid configurations and accurate pricing.
- You want your customers to be able to build their specific product and see the pricing, stock availability, and lead time needed to deliver that product.
- You want your production, purchasing, and inventory staff able to better plan and schedule to meet customer demand/orders.
- You want greater market share by increasing throughput and making it easier for dealers and distributors to sell your products.
This software allows your customers to build their unique product and decide on material sand routings themselves. Once a salesperson and customer finalize the configuration, the whole order is saved in the database and automatically sent to the production team.
How Does a Product Configurator Increase Revenue for Manufacturers?
Quick and accurate design – With a Product Configurator, customers’ requests can be easily modeled before production. They can provide specific features and parameters and the software can configure the design quickly. This helps you remove the timely process of interpreting the customer’s request and creating the product specification.
Reduces the risk of errors – A Product Configurator helps to produce made-to-order products by consolidating the detailed information from your customer. It allows you to convert a sales order to a production order for a configured or made-to-order product. It also helps the sales and manufacturing department cascade information, leading to fewer errors.
Optimizes production – When the BOM and product manufacturing steps are complex and custom-made, the production department may face difficulty in organizing the production process. A Product Configurator is used to plan and execute the most efficient methods and schedules for the production process. It cuts organizational complications and manual errors.
Reduces production time – A Product Configurator reduces the time taken between the order placed and when it is shipped to the customer. Without a Configurator, customers wait until the configuration is decided, and prices are finalized and quoted. But once you have a Configurator installed, sales reps can show many configuration options to customers in a matter of a few seconds. They can recommend the best options available.
Helps customers configure unique products – Every manufacturer wants to improve customer satisfaction. And customers love to have multiple options to make a custom product, and the control to do so. The ability to configure and plot a different aspect of the order means customers will get to build their specific product more seamlessly. This leads to higher customer satisfaction and more customer orders.
Improves marketing and customer service – With a Product Configurator, you can provide an accurate lead time to the customers based on the stock availability and ongoing production schedule. Customers’ needs are taken care of with the help of the Configurator tool. It provides better clarity between customers and the sales department.
A Product Configurator tool also helps the marketing team identify trends in requests and materials that sell well by using data history. This boosts targeted marketing.
Provides quotes and BOMs with ease – When the customer comes up with unique and complex products for manufacturing, the Configurator makes it easier to create an accurate quote and comprehensive BOM. It makes it simpler to understand what materials are required for production and how much they will cost.
How Does a Product Configurator Empower Marketing and Sales?
The Product Configurator allows the sales team to assemble sales orders or quotations when they are out of the office. It gives them an accurate price list to speed up the configure-to-quote process.
The sales and marketing team can respond to customer orders more efficiently. It provides the marketing team with access to all the critical business data needed to enhance the company’s overall business strategy. Things such as product information, popular product options, and product profitability are used to target marketing and sales accordingly
A Product Configurator provides users with an immersive buying experience. It automates the part configuration, quoting, and production order process, as well as planning and scheduling across these functions. It generates part numbers and descriptions. Configurator captures the knowledge of your engineering staff and places it into the database.
You can contact us to learn more about the capabilities of a Product Configurator.