The future of product configuration
Question 1: The setup of a product configurator is usually quite complex. How should the user proceed during a roll-out? (policies, simplifications, challenges)
Response, Michael Hüllenkremer: When setting up a product configurator, modern CPQ systems use powerful modelling tools that significantly reduce complexity. The challenge lies much more in the lack of clear modularisation in a product spectrum that has grown over time. When introducing the configurator, products must be classified and functionally modular components must be defined with their characteristics and their use. Whoever fulfils these tasks will greatly improve the quality and reaction times in the offer process.
Question 2: Would you mind describing a current, successfully implemented configuration project? (Which benefit could the user generate?)
Response, Michael Hüllenkremer: At Maxon Motor, everything revolves around technically complex, customer-specific drive solutions for the aerospace industry, medical technology, robotics, etc. By introducing a product configurator, the entire offer and order process from the first enquiry online, to the offer preparation and delivery was digitalised and automated. The configurator checks for the ‘constructibility’ of customer specifications. Each variation is delivered at the latest 11 days after ordering. That way, the high expectations placed on the reaction times are met and exceeded. At the same time, the quality of the offer is improved and the considerable processing effort is saved.
Question 3: In your opinion, what are the top trends for 2020 in the field of product configuration?
Response, Michael Hüllenkremer: An increasing number of customers expect expressive, customer-specific information about products at an early stage of their decision-making process. They want to increasingly acquire these online themselves. That is why product configurators need to be able to create a budget offer using just a few mouse clicks, even for complex products. In this context, the configured products are to be visualised in real time. CPQ solutions create a consistent buying experience without any information losses. End-to-end automation will further simplify and accelerate these sales processes.