Many companies sell modularised or customised products that are variations based on standard products. Generally, the products are assembled of parameterised standard components that have been designed in advance. This process of customisation is often referred to as a configuration process. A configuration process may be simple or complex depending on the number of options presented to the customer, the ways in which the various options and features can be configured together, etc.
Traditionally, staff with considerable technical knowledge of a product has handled customer configurations in order to ensure that orders are taken properly and that products are built according to standards. The process of monitoring orders for customer specified products, from initial acceptance to shipping, has consequently been expensive and time consuming.
Due to the flexibility of the tool, IBS Product Configurator will make the order process more efficient. The fact that sales staff can handle the customer configuration also contributes to the flexibility and efficiency of the tool.
The objectives of using the product configurator can be summarised as follows:
- Provide means to handle customised products efficiently
- Result in higher customer satisfaction due to shorter delivery time
IBS Product Configurator is a tool used at order and quotation entry to dynamically configure customer specified products without having to define every individually tailored product as temporary items in the basic data files. The tool is integrated with IBS Distribution (sales order and quotation entry) and IBS Project Management (project and project quotation entry). For configuration of produced items IBS Manufacturing must be installed.
Using the IBS Product Configurator you define the information and rules to be used in the configuration process in configurator tables. Once the rules and information is defined, a sales representative can accept orders correctly without having the in-depth product knowledge of a design engineer.
IBS Product Configurator contains functions to interactively guide the user through the configuration process. The user defines the product by selecting the attributes of the product from available options or values. For produced items the product configurator automatically generates a bill of material, a bill of routing and creates a manufacturing order. For order structure items the product configurator creates order lines.
Quantities of material used as components and times per operation are calculated based on the formulas defined in the configurator bill of material and configurator bill of routing tables. Text to be printed on external documents and shop floor documents may be automatically generated.
IBS Product Configurator may also automatically take care of pricing functionality. Additional prices may be added to the sales price if defined by formulas for material and/or operations. The cost price may be set using the standard cost roll-up if defined for the configurator item.
Item description, Order text, Cost price and Sales price on the order line may be updated as a result of the configuration process when accepted.