Don’t Figure Configure

 

 

Do you have too many options to remember? Is it too complicated for your sales team to estimate or quote your product? Does each option offered to your customer change the pricing structure or does it require additional parts which in turn create additional costs.

Issues like these are often found in custom manufacturing environments where you make similar items with what starts out as minor options but can turn into pricey mistakes in a hurry. Let’s say you make cabinets and you offer a variety of door options for the customer to choose from. Each door option comes with its own set of restrictions option A can only be 34 inches wide after which you must add a mullion for support. That mullion adds additional parts and costs. The larger the cabinet and the larger the order the greater the opportunity for an error to occur when the sales rep figures out the quote. That’s where a configurator can save the day.

A good configurator allows for a set of standard questions that when answered in sequence creates a unique Bill of Materials for that order. The answer to the questions can lead to another series of questions. Each question traps the additional cost associated with that option and adds it to the cost of the order.  Imagine in a fast paced environment a sales rep trying to keep all the options and price changes associated with each option straight in his or her head. It is easy to see how things can get missed and profit margins can get eroded!

Configurators however must be managed and maintained, imagine the same cabinet we mentioned earlier comes in 10 different sizes and has 10 different door options as well as being manufactured from 10 different types of materials and with 10 different color options. The combinations are endless and if you allow your configurator to build a new part number for each combination your database will grow quicker than unchecked mold in a shower! With ERP123 our configurator creates a unique identifier for the order without adding parts to your inventory. Best of all any additional costs or additional materials are added to the BOM and additional steps required to produce the item are added to the routing. The end result is simple, all costs are taken into account for each combination of options and the order is priced correctly.

 

Don’t leave estimating complex combinations of options and their pricing in the hands of your sales team. They are only human and things in a fast paced world get missed or forgotten and profit margins pay the price!