In this case study, drawings and quotes from other suppliers were automatically collected and used to offer spare parts to the customer. In addition, sales productivity increased by making the design and the proposal process faster and more flexible.
The product management improved the customer response time significantly by using a configurator. The 3D modelling and engineering design process for spare parts now takes less than 15 minutes, compared to 90-100 hours before.
Key to this efficiency was a joint team effort in understanding the current process flow which involved a considerable amount of repetitive, and – as it turned out – redundant engineering work.
Standardization gives flexibility
Initially, the product managers were hesitant about the project since it took some time to see the connection between configuration and to spare parts. The product manages needed to understand how the tool was used due to the amount of individual configuration options.
Product specialists and managers wanted to make the proposal process faster and more efficient and therefore considered standardizing the design of certain, common components.
In the process “as-is”, there was a team of specialists involved in the quotation process to provide subject matter expertise. They discovered, however, that the product configurator could deliver standardized solutions in targeted areas.
A typical general arrangement drawing for spare parts is now generated automatically by the configurator. The 3D models are generated by the parametric platform and converted into 2D as legal documentation.
Increased global collaboration drives productivity
The configuration platform could create additional opportunities to enhance productivity across the global organization in the large engineering company. By entering design parameters into the configurator, the spare parts team is increasing collaboration across functions and geographies.
Subsequently, a next step has commenced with the ambition of standardizing more design types and options in the broader supply chain network. Suppliers could be provided with information for preliminary proposals such as e.g. quantity of parts, total tonnage, and complexity to initiate their pricing activities.
Sharing knowledge to increase productivity
Implementing the configurator is a perfect example of how engineer-to-order companies can increase their efficiency by capturing knowledge and tools across the entire organisation. The spare parts division is typically located in a completely separate organisation, however, makes use of the same knowledge as in new sales.
Engineering companies have a great opportunity to leverage the use of configurators in additional business areas and for additional products. This will strengthen their value proposition towards their customers, while also making the company organizations more productive internally.