Are you one of those engineering organizations that pride on meeting all of the customer’s requirements in their engineered products? If yes, then I am sure, in the process of meeting customer’s varied requirements and even more about their ever changing requirements during the course of manufacturing of the product, you spend a lot of resources and this is one area where your lean objectives still are not met.
The whole Quote to Mfg cycle is quite longer for the engineering organizations and often the longest period as well as the area for maximum improvement is product design and configuration. Lot of times, companies struggle with lack of resources, maintaining configuration rules and synchronized data and lack of internal alignment and here is where your enterprise systems – be it supply chain system or ERP system, play a major role. Multiple product configurator solutions are available in the market these days though the most important factor for considering a configurator solution remains its ability of re-use of earlier designs and reducing the design time by bringing down the scenario of starting from scratch every time, but the factors like ease of use as well as good product support have become equally important.
A good product configuration solution not only reduces the design lead time but also instills confidence in your customers that you have excellent capabilities to immediately & correctly articulate their requirements and also can show them in quick time about how the actual completed product will look like. The other benefits of a good order configuration process are:
- Improved accuracy
- Better quality
- Increased flexibility
- Reduced manual work and hence errors
- Good data integration which make your process lean and efficient
- Improved speed of quoting
- Single face to customer for quotation or proposal
- Better product costing
- Improved ability to cross sell/upsell
- Much faster and improved new product introduction
- Improved ability to charge premium for custom products as well as modified products during the course of manufacturing
More so, you can conquer the bigger challenge of integrating sales, manufacturing and engineering information to have a single source of truth for all these business functions. Look at the above benefits and introspect if you are able to relate to the challenges and longer and inaccurate product configuration process a pain area for you as well, then re-visit your strategy and consider deploying a product configuration solution.