As an order-driven company, you understand the need to be able to respond to specific needs through customized solutions, with increasingly shorter turnaround times. Translating that flexibility to your production is the key challenge, which is exactly where the root of the problem lies.
Each new, customized option represents a complete configuration that needs to be worked out in all product versions. This is impracticable and extremely error-sensitive. One line of outdated information in a configuration means an exponential rise in production costs. Expensive repairs, late delivery, products that may even turn out to be infeasible or that prove to be incorrect after delivery to the customer. Returns, claims for compensation, canceled orders, lost customers and bad press. Problems can take on extreme forms. It is a permanent risk, daily pressure.
Perhaps you are looking for a solution to reduce the number of variants, but this would mean missed opportunities and revenue. After all, you can do them, just not deliver them. Meanwhile, you watch small-scale competitors cherry-picking the business with customized, innovative solutions. This does not feel right looking towards the future.
Or, as an engineer-to-order business, do you not work out configurations in advance? Do you customize everything once with the engineers keeping you afloat? How does this fit in with production flow and time investment? Can you continue to compete in terms of cost? Does your price/quality ratio remain where it needs to be? And can you keep pace with the increasingly rapid evolution of needs in the market? Or are you becoming more and more concerned about this?
Solution: smart design of your configuration management
In that case, smart configuration management is the solution. Sofon can help you by means of software modules that are in keeping with your CRM and ERP systems. The essence is that you do not define a complete configuration for each variant, but their building blocks (the concept, the logic) instead.
Each building block is a piece of knowledge of your engineers. Herein you describe:
Suppose you offer a car with an optional number of doors: 3 or 5. The bill of materials for the car with 3 doors states folding front seats. In the 5 door version, the front seats are fixed. The correct products for the front seats therefore depend on the option ‘number of doors.’ You do not need to prepare separate bills of material for three door or five door cars. The same applies to other parts that vary, depending on the selected options, including for the left and right chairs individually.
- how to build the new option.
- the impact the new option has on your product/service (relation).
- what (legal) regulations apply to the new option
Based on this knowledge that has been recorded, the Sofon software automatically translates each order into the required materials and instructions for production. This way you can quickly, correctly and reliably assemble each customized product. No more time-consuming configurations per variant, no more endless checks.
After all, a single concept covers endless variations. You only need to maintain and test a number of concepts. If they are correct, anything thereafter will be too.
And this does not involve knowledge that is alien to the business. Through our software, you record the knowledge of your engineers that they hold anyway in order to deliver your products/services. They also know what the vital checkpoints are. We simply help you make smart use of your own expertise.
- Production receives clean orders: products/services are checked in advance. They are feasible, permitted and deliverable and cannot disrupt the production process.
- Production is stabilized and calm. This enables automatic control of production, flow and standardization.
- The risk of repairs, exceeding delivery times, returns, claims for compensation, canceled orders, angry customers and an unfavorable reputation for your company will be minimized. This in turn generates substantial savings and ensures that you do not miss any proceeds unnecessarily.
- You are able to deliver customized products/services, despite a standardized production process.
- Controlled order-driven production increases the flexibility of your business.
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In addition to smart configuration management, you can also make your variant management
smart. This saves you a lot of time and makes you attractive in the market, because it enables you to respond to any customized requirement.