Is a product configurator right for your business?

Posted by Jonathan Davies on 19 Apr


A product configurator is utilised in a variety of sectors and helps you to avoid making expensive mistakes throughout the production process. Instead of manually preparing quotations and specifications, this solution automatically converts a sales order into a manufacturing bill of materials,

commonly referred to as a BoM, by using a single centralised system. Read on to learn more about the advantages of this tool, as well as the industries that could benefit from it. 

What is a product configurator? 

A product configurator refers to a digital tool that enables your teams to set up product data structures for design and onward travel through your manufacturing processes.  Giving you a way to build variations of your products, especially where there are a number of styles or options to choose from and a particularly important tool for manufacturers whose products are engineered-to-order only. A configurator gives you the flexibility to generate bespoke orders in which you can adjust the colour, accessories and other aspects of your product with a few mouse clicks, rather than lots of manual setting up or uploading of options every time someone places an order. 

Advantages of using a product configurator for your business 

1. Reduced lead times 

Using a product configurator, you can automate the quote-to-production procedure, which reduces the time it takes for customers to receive quotations as well as the time it takes for your product to be manufactured. The fact that all of the information necessary to execute a manufacturing order will have been gathered right at the start of your process, perhaps on your website via an order form, which mirrors the options available within your ERP product configurator module will reduce the likelihood of having to return questions to your sales team to chase down missing information. 

2. It eliminates the need for rework

Complex goods contain complex price structures, and complex production or assembly processes, which increases the likelihood of human error occurring. Product configuration software considerably minimises the likelihood of these mistakes occurring by pre-defining criteria that results in proper pricing and valid combinations when a product is configured. Ensuring that your customers get the correct items you’ll not only save both time and money but maintain your reputation for high-quality, accurate product delivery too. 

3. It can be integrated  

If you are currently using other software in your production and sales processes, most software can be integrated with an ERP system or migrated across into your centralised software, including eCommerce platforms to help you provide a more seamless experience. An additional advantage of this is that it helps you to also manage your inventory better.  

Other benefits include full tracking, with full auditing that records the date, time or technician adding notes, stage completions so you can monitor each part and product, allowing for easier reproduction and the ability to monitor trends, as well as planning for aftersales spares. Produce BoM’s and quotes from the information already inputted and apply automatic price breaks to offer extra value on larger or promotional orders. 

How to align your internal product configurations with your external offering…  

Product configurators may be created based on the demographics of your target audience. You could build an area of your website to drive customers based on some pre-set choices towards a product you know they need, showing you not only understand their market but can also tailor it to fit their requirements. 
Industries that benefit from having a product configurator 

  • Furnishings, including the range of materials and sizes
  •  Automobiles and trucks, including paint finishes, air conditioners and interior materials
  • Apparel and footwear, including materials, sizes and designs
  • Decorative items for the home, including plates and cups designs and stock checks
  • Construction of housing interiors, including sheds and premade items like interior beams
  • Items of luxurious nature, including phones, jewellery, high-end cycles and watches 

Arrange your discovery session with WinMan today, to understand how you too could maximise returns from the use of a product configurator, whilst also streamlining your internal processes at the same time 

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Topics: Product Configurator

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