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5 Top Features Manufacturers Should Look for In Product Configurators

Manufacturing is a highly competitive industry that’s only become more challenging during the last decade. The ongoing labor shortage has been exacerbated by the supply chain disruption that began in 2020, and a skills gap that continues to slow progress. Manufacturers need a way to stand out from competitors with special offerings to mitigate the financial impact of these industry-wide challenges.

One way to do this is through product customization options. One-size-fits-all products are easier to mass produce, but they leave substantial revenue on the table from buyers shopping for specific configurations. That’s where product configurators come in — a special class of software designed to streamline the sales process for customized parts, components, and equipment.

5 Features to Expect From a Product Configurator

The product configurator software market has exploded in recent years as customization becomes more popular. But not all platforms are created equal. Here’s what to look for as you evaluate potential solutions.

1. Clear Bill of Materials

Every custom product needs a bill of materials (BOM), no matter how simple it is. It lists the individual parts that go into creating the finished product, including unit prices and final costs. A BOM clarifies exactly what’s needed or expected from customers, engineers, and other stakeholders involved in the customization process for the most accurate price possible. A worthwhile product configurator will generate a complete BOM that can be customized further to use as you sell your product.

2. Visual Models

A powerful configurator will generate models of a customized product or customers before they make their final decision. Models reduce the need to create physical prototypes and lessen the chance of costly change orders after fulfillment. Ultimately, this is what ensures the most customer satisfaction, as well as repeat business.

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3. CAD Models

Beyond the basic computer model of the product, some configurators can also integrate with CAD systems to create fully realized 3D mock-ups of the custom product. Your customer can inspect the product from any angle, with almost as much clarity as if they were holding it in their hands. A to-scale model helps customers fully approve the product before manufacturing begins, as well as gives production teams clearer guidelines to follow in their processes.

4. Safeguards

A well-built configurator allows you to program safeguards that automatically detect when a customer has product parameters you can’t deliver on. Safeguards are vitally important in the customization process and stop an impossible order from proceeding down the sales pipeline, wasting time and money. Plus, safeguards protect your credibility by helping you identify impossible customizations before they get to the production phase. Leverage this sense of authority to guide customers down a more realistic path to keep your revenue secure.

5. Easy, Professional Quote Generation

In the past, it could take days to create a quote. Many times they were hand-written or simply typed on a quote sheet. A configurator automates price calculations, allowing you to generate a quote in just a matter of minutes or hours. The configurator can automatically generate quote documents for customers based on all their input.

Compete in the Marketplace with a Robust Product Configurator

Customization can be the first step in establishing your niche in today’s competitive manufacturing market. Doing this successfully requires a powerful configurator with all of these features to ensure your customers have the best experience possible when choosing their customizable products.
Contact Revalize to schedule a demo and learn more about what our configurator and integrated SCPQ solutions can do for your company.