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Making or building a product configurator sounds like an incredibly complicated process. This is also what some parties would have you believe. But for anyone with standard product knowledge, what is possible and what is not, it is actually quite simple. Especially with our CPQ software. The backend of CPQing Solutions consists of a rules engine in which – without programming knowledge– knowledge rules (configuration and calculation rules) can be recorded so that the product is always composed 100% correctly. In this blog we explain how to create a product configurator using examples. Whether you have a very complex product or a product with a few variations, the principle is the same. Only the number of knowledge rules differs. Our software is structured in such a way that everyone can create their own product configurator, without the help of consultants. Of course they are always there for you.
A product configurator must of course be filled with products. Various parameters are entered for each product, which can include: length, width, weight, color and material. Do not fixate yourself on this because all kinds of parameters are possible. The real power of a product configurator lies in the possible variations of a product and especially in the impossibilities. Which combinations cannot be made, for whatever reason. By recording this in the knowledge rules, the product configurator always puts together 100% correct products.
An example of a company that supplies furniture. They make five different types of tables, with eight different leaf sizes, in ten different leaf decor colors and with three different frames. This gives a total of 1,200 (5 x 8 x 10 x 3) different tables. If the option of whether or not to have wheels under the table is added to this, another 1,200 variations will be added. But perhaps the largest tabletop size cannot be equipped with wheels at all or one of the frames is too large for the smallest tabletop size. By including these limitations, or rather impossibilities, in the rules of knowledge, impossible combinations can never be put together. This significantly optimizes the production process because every order can be executed immediately.
In addition to the specific knowledge rules of your product(s), dynamic images, 2D or 3D visualizations can also be added. This way your customer immediately sees what the product will look like, or what consequences his or her choices have on the final product. This makes it a handy tool for your field staff during sales conversations (it is also called a sales configurator), and the CPQing product configurator is also easy to implement online on your (WordPress) website.
Most of the time of creating a product configurator is spent collecting the knowledge rules. In most companies these are not ready-made on paper, but are in the heads of various officials. Our advice is therefore to involve the entire company in this, as each department often encounters its own problems or impossibilities. Visualize frequently made incorrect combinations and, for example, study old quotations. Also try to look at the structuring of the knowledge rules from a different angle. This will only benefit you later in the process.
Chances are that you currently have all your products – and variations – available in a different way. For example, in ERP software such as Exact Online or in Excel files. Our software works optimally with this. A product configurator saves a lot of time, especially when using Exact Online. We explain this further in the customer case of MB sportswear. Thanks to the use of CPQing, thousands of items do not have to be created in order to sell, produce and invoice all variations of their sportswear. Instead, a standardized article code is calculated and creating and managing it has become a breeze.
Do you keep your specifications in Excel files? The automatic reading of these documents is no problem at all within our software. This makes it possible, for example, to automatically add all requests for production in one go. The configurator validates whether the choices made can be combined and then generates a material and routing list.
These lists can be used, for example, as data input for saw optimization programs so that actual production can take place. This also offers the possibility to use the product configurator as a calculation tool. In this way, not only the sales price can be calculated, but also the production costs to generate a clear overview of margins.
The CPQing Solutions product configurator can be configured completely by yourself. Both the frontend and backend can be set to your own house style. For example, you can match your quotes with the look and feel of your website. Our configurator is also ideal to use as quotation software.
CPQing’s product configuration software works intuitively and makes it possible to create a product configurator without programming knowledge. But if desired, we are happy to provide you with a total solution: in addition to the software component, we also offer a wide range of services. This way you can look forward to the implementation process of the product configurator within your company with confidence.
We can provide you with training, implementation support, building a document template, modeling graphical visualization(s), website integration, integration with your e-commerce platform and integration with your CRM and/or ERP application. And finally, for software maintenance & support, of course, contact us.
Would you like to create a product configurator with the CPQing Solutions software? Request a free demo today and discover the versatility! Of course you can also contact us directly to discuss your wishes.
The implementation of a configurator is different for every company and can differ per industry. However, there are advantages that are the same for every company in every industry, regardless of the application:
Do you also want your construction supply company to be able to call on all the benefits of a configurator soon? Please feel free to contact to discuss the possibilities, or experience the convenience for yourself with your own demo-environment.
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