Product Modularity: How Can I Create Modular Products?



Modularity in Practice: A Simple Example

One place where product modularity is already being extensively applied is the automotive industry. Chances are you’ve already played with a configurator choosing an engine, color, rims, and upholstery. There is plenty to choose from, but all within the framework set by the manufacturer. So you do indeed choose your configuration, which can then move through production in a standard fashion. This allows you to automate your pre-production and production process much more efficiently, especially if you record all the necessary knowledge and logic from engineering and production in the pre-production process. This allows you to ask your customer targeted questions and makes your sales process predictable. In this way, you open the door for scalability and efficiency, and you achieve much more with the same people!

Getting Started with Product Modularity

If you want to make your product line modular, you should always start with a single product: preferably your best seller. Because with a product you sell most often, you can test and fine-tune the process more frequently, which ensures that errors are fixed as soon as possible. Creating a better process for a product that you sell often also saves you the most time. Moreover, you'll earn back the investment involved in the step towards product modularity more quickly. At the same time, you ensure that your customer’s wishes are optimally aligned with your solution, thereby meeting their needs much better.

It's extremely important that you involve people from sales, engineering, and production. On the one hand, it has to be clear how sales are done, but on the other hand, everyone has to know how this translates into what has to be produced.

Defining the Building Blocks

If you have sales, engineering, and production at the table, you start by defining the modules. What do they all think a module is? What questions does a salesperson ask customers and how does that get to production? By finding answers to these questions and logging them directly and correctly, you take the first step toward the configure-to-order method.

Read all about the advantages of Configure-to-order.

How? Start with a Demo
You can’t find and log these answers in a Word or Excel document; that's destined to fail. Elfsquad CPQ is specialized software that facilitates and supports the conversation between sales, engineers, and production. Moreover, you record all the necessary information in one place from where it can be reused in many different ways. We wrote a blog about how you can put your product structures in Elfsquad CPQ. Furthermore, we show you how to capture product modularity in Elfsquad through videos and support material.

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