Smart Customization for your business?
Smart customization is the simple, efficient and error-free translation of the customer request into all necessary documentation for selling, designing, producing and sustaining the order.
But what can you achieve with Smart Customization? And when is it interesting for your business? I will explain this in this article.
Post en Dekker helps OEM developers in the manufacturing industry with structuring their product families in a smart way, with as an ultimate objective to define smart, flexible modules in a limited number of variants. At the same time, we prevent expensive customization. Smart customization we call this.
We call it ‘smart’ because it takes a lot of product analysis, engineering knowledge and supply chain information, to get to the desired result. To get the best solution for every type of customer, we use a product configurator. This configurator can apply, per situation, each knowledge rule that has been determined together with the OEM developer.
When is Smart customization interesting?
Many OEM developers ‘’always design the same thing, but just a little bit different”. This ‘little bit different’ has to do with the influence that the customer exerts on the implementation so that the design needs just that little bit of adjustment. This flexibility of the OEM developer has resulted in engineering-to-order designed organisations that focus first on selling, then on designing, then purchasing and then on administering the production.
But lead times and margins are under pressure so that there is now a need to boost the reuse of components. And there you have the area of tension between what sales wants to/can sell and the wish to design it lean and mean.
What are the indicators that one or more of the issues mentioned are happening and can we do it better? Several examples that we come across regularly at Post en Dekker:
- Hours necessary for order creation (sales, sales engineering, order engineering) are often simplified to hours ‘engineering per million Euros turnover’. Or vice versa, so ‘turnover per fte order creation’;
- Lead time for order creation is too long. Customers quickly expect a complete answer to the request;
- Re-Work or costs of failure as a percentage of the order, often cause by order documents that are not or not sufficiently complete or clear;
- Lead time in order realisation is too long;
- R&D engineers are working on processing orders, not with innovations and opportunities.
Do you recognise one or more of the above consequences? Then a modular design could help your organisation. Smart customization contributes to the reduction of costs and lead time and also brings down the risk.