An ERP product configurator (PCS) is a vital asset for any company involved in made-to-order manufacturing. Capable of streamlining all aspects of the process – from design to order to manufacture – it drastically improves the ability of manufacturers to achieve a quick and high-quality turn around in building something for a customer, and improves their manufacture capacity as a whole.
Quick and accurate design
One of the main benefits of configuration software is the ease in which a customer’s request can be modelled before production. Given the features and parameters supplied by the customer, the software is capable of configuring the design in no time at all – in perfect accordance with the brief and what is possible. This removes the time consuming and sometimes inefficient need for an employee to interpret and assess the viability of the customer’s requests and produce a product specification – thus accelerating the design process immensely.
Reduces the risk of error
Made-to-order orders will contain detailed information about the customers' requirements, which can relate to the different aspects of the manufacturing process. To manage this information, product configurator software will allow users to convert sales orders to manufacturing orders. This simplifies the transition of information between departments and makes the margin of error much slimmer.
It can be difficult to decide how to organise the production process of bespoke products due to the uniqueness of each item. PCS helps streamline and optimise the production process. It can be used to plan the most efficient methods and schedule for the making of the product, cutting out organisational complications.
Catalogue of potential combinations
Made-to-order manufacturing often includes complex orders, which PCS is capable of handling with ease. Products and components of different levels of complexity can be configured – as such, the difficulty and time-consuming nature of trying to manually model a complicated product ceases to be an obstacle.
Shortens the time between offer and production
Having the ability to oversee a large portion of the manufacturing process means that the time between the customer’s order and them receiving the product can be reduced. Appraisal, modelling, quote, production and logistics, can be handled by the software, making it easier than ever for companies to meet a customer’s requests quickly, without sacrificing quality.
The customer can have a unique product
The capacity to appraise and plot out any aspect of an order means that PCS makes it possible for the customer to have a product that is unique and special to them. Limits of design or manufacture can be overcome thanks to its ability to instantly work out what is and is not possible.
A product configurator will enable better customer service by providing accurate lead times based on the current production schedule and stock availability. It takes care of the needs of your clients through providing and delivery of professional, helpful and quality information.
A company involved in custom manufacture can vastly improve its marketing thanks to the fact that PCS can store data from previously fulfilled orders. Manufacturers can use this to identify trends in requests, features that seem particularly popular, materials that sell well etc. - which will help produce much more efficient and targeted marketing.
Provides quotes and BOM's with ease
It makes it a lot easier to quickly come up with an accurate quote and a comprehensive bill of materials, even when creating complex custom products. The data that it can store means users can quickly produce accurate quotes for customers and make it much easier to predict what materials will be necessary and how much they will cost.