Category: Furniture Manufacturing, Wood Manufacturing, General Manufacturing, Inventory
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Building Unique Sales Orders Is Easier Than Ever Thanks To Product Configurator Software
Any manufacturer that produces customizable products knows that sales and order entry have a big impact on how long it takes to make a product. This is especially true for companies that have thousands of options available every time customers place an order.
Product Configurator software, as part of a fully-integrated ERP software, simplifies the process of building up configurable sales orders by automating what would otherwise take hours or even days to complete.
No Task Too Large for Product Configurator Software
Take the case of The Joinery, a wood furniture manufacturer with a lengthy list of configurable product options. Their customers can choose between seven different types of wood, while selecting from a variety of options such as fabric or wood seats, knobs, handles and other accoutrements that give each piece of furniture its own look. Add in all the different colors and patterns and the number of options increases exponentially.
These options require The Joinery to create thousands of part numbers – a mind-boggling task if done by hand. Fortunately, Product Configurator software cuts this Herculean task down to size. When a customer places an order, the configurator guides the sales rep through the product configuration process, accurately building up the order one step at a time.
“I can’t even begin to estimate how much time the Product Configurator saves. It creates the part number and builds up the price as new options are added. It creates the router for us. If someone forgets the price of a knob, or if there’s an upcharge on a certain option, it automatically applies the correct cost.”Rosy Boyer, Business Manager for The Joinery
“The Product Configurator also makes it easy to change routers when needed. For example, if the material requirements on a particular router have changed, I can quickly modify the appropriate lines in the configurator tables. The next time someone orders that piece of furniture, it will have the corrected router attached to it – no matter which option or part number they choose.”
Customize Your Configurator to Fit Your Business
Mestex manufactures an extensive line of HVAC products that includes tens of thousands of product options. To save time, sales reps use a special tool, called a “Specifier,” to build up each order as customers select their options. The tool is very efficient except for one problem – the data must be manually re-entered into Global Shop Solutions ERP software.
At Mestex’s request, we wrote a custom configurator program that allows them to import the Specifier data into Global Shop Solutions ERP software. Once the data is imported, the custom configurator automatically generates a basic BOM that includes all the selected options. It then creates an inventory part with a description of what has been ordered, and a BOM to match that – all of which is done without any additional data entry.
“The custom configurator has made life much simpler for our sales team,” says Mike Cox, inside Sales Manager for Mestex. “Order entry is easier and more accurate because we don’t have to do any additional data entry, and the automatic BOM creation saves even more time.”
Quote Faster, Eliminate Invalid Parts
The standard Product Configurator requires upfront work to enter all your product options into the software. The time savings come at the back end, when providing customers with quotes and building up orders. If the data is entered correctly, the configurator will prevent the configuration of invalid parts so you don’t end up selling products you can’t make.
The Product Configurator also simplifies your quoting process by creating assemblies of common options and order requests. Create an option once, and it’s ready to go for all future quotes. For manufacturers engaged in eCommerce, your customers will love the ability to order configurable products online. If you need a configurator that needs a few tweaks to fit your business process, contact our Continuous Improvement Team. We’ll be happy to customize a configurator to meet your specific needs.