Our toolbox: The product configurator
At Post en Dekker, we are working with developments for the manufacturing industry, from sweeper trucks to flue gas cleaning installations. For these developments we use various tools. With "Our toolbox" we give a look behind the scenes. Previously we shared our vision and working method for concept development and in this article we address our expertise in product configurators.
In short: What is the product configurator?
The product configurator is, as the name suggests, a configurator for assembling products from predefined modules and options. The first step in a product configurator is to import all relevant data and knowledge regarding product composition. This makes it possible to switch quickly when a customer comes with a product request. Moreover, the knowledge within the organization is well secured.
Different software can be used for a product configurator. Excel is a very flexible and useful software, but it also quickly runs into limitations in terms of clarity and manageability. It is recommended to use a professional configuration package. Also, professional configuration packages offer a better protection of the valuable data.
How the tool works
During the development process, the product configurator is filled with all modules and other relevant data, knowledge and options for the end-customer. When the development process is completed and the customer comes with a product request, it is possible to to make a proposal quickly
In an interface, various customer-oriented functional and technical parameters are entered, with which the product is then put together. Depending on the type of product, you can think of, for example, the capacity, type of engines, color, etc.
The product configurator generates a product that consists of standard modules and parts and possibly part engineering-to-order parts. This makes it very easy to realize a customer-specific product.
The output of the completed product configurator can consist of a large amount of documents such as a quotation for the customer, a 3d CAD model, a "bill of materials" of the parts to be made or assembled, manuals, checklists, etc.
Best of two worlds; customization and standard products
The product configurator allows us to find the best of two worlds between customization and standard products. Where customization takes a lot of time and is expensive, standard products are very limited in options. With the product configurator, customer-specific orders can be realized with a fast turnaround time consisting of standard modules and possibly a small piece of customization.
Deploy a product configurator
Our advice is to always use a product configurator throughout an organization. By making the tool available from sales to work preparation, you ensure that it is widely supported, costs are saved in all steps and adds a lot of value within your organization.
Do you want to know more about what drives us and how we think and work? Download the whitepaper Creating new business for OEM.