Product configurators bring benefits, from the drive thru to the factory floor

Article by John Mignardi updated February 17, 2016

Article

Do you enjoy grabbing a coffee or burger at the drive thru? Other than waiting in line, it is fairly easy to specify what you want, customize to your preference, get the price, make the purchase, and pick up your order. You never thought much about it, but the process and convenience is much like working with a product configurator.

Starbucks Drive Thru

Starbucks Drive Thru

Using a Product Configurator

When was the last time you bought a car? I first used a product configurator when I was researching for my new car. The simple online system allowed me to “build” my own vehicle; at each stage, as I added and subtracted options, I saw the associated cost, including my future monthly payment for the specific vehicle I wanted. The process was quick and easy, and gave me the information I needed – all while in the comfort of my own home using a simple tablet.

Product Configurator

Car Configurator

You are using product configurators all the time as a consumer, and they have vast applications in the business-to-business environment. A configurator simply guides you through the process of creating a customizable product while it updates and displays pricing for the various options.

DriveWorks helps manufacturers manage entire product configuration process

Javelin Technologies is enabling manufacturing companies to offer this easy, interactive experience to their dealers, sales force, or end customers through advanced product configuration technology powered by SOLIDWORKS and DriveWorks. DriveWorks is being used by manufacturers of conveyors, bearing assemblies, material handling equipment, furniture, elevators, windows & doors, and more.

Much like the drive thru or car shopper, the business customer (whether dealer, salesperson, or end product user) can instantly receive the price of the product upon completing a specification. Unlike a restaurant or car dealer, however, a manufacturing company typically needs to create a set of drawings and other information to produce the product once the quote becomes an order.  In addition to being the specification interface, DriveWorks will also automatically generate:

  • 3D models,
  • 2D drawings,
  • Bills of materials,
  • Cut lists,
  • And other manufacturing content necessary to fulfill the order.

Javelin customers have reported that they have reduced the process of generating drawings and quotes by as much as 90% or more.

Configurator Downloads

Configurator Downloads

DriveWorks integration with business management systems

DriveWorks will also electronically communicate with a customer relationship management (CRM) system to connect the order to a specific dealer or customer. DriveWorks can also “push and pull” information from an enterprise requirements planning (ERP) system to initiate materials ordering and generate work orders for production in the shop.

Want to try a DriveWorks powered product configurator for yourself? Check out the test website www.configuremyproduct.com, where you can configure a lift table, wood cabinet, trailer body, or picture frame. Have questions? Learn more on our website and/or call me at (877) 219-6757 x217.

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John Mignardi