These steps shorten your engineering runtime

As a manufacturing company, you want to help your customer as efficiently as you can. Working conform to the Engineer to Order principle is not an acceptable method anymore for creators of configurable products. The customer demands a large amount of customization possibilities, and also expects a fast delivery along with sharp pricing.

Blog 7 min.

Reducing engineering runtime is an aspect fitting developments within Smart Industries. When configurable products are designed based on each specific customer request, you are working suboptimally. In part due to integrations between configuration software and CAD software, you can fully automate your customer-specific engineering. This allows you to work Configure-to-Order. By automating this specific customer request of complex products, engineers gain more time for other projects. And their capabilities are better utilized.

In this blog, we explain all about how you can convert your Engineer to Order (ETO) process to a completely different approach. Additionally, we explain a workflow that minimizes engineering runtime. 

1. Define customization and standardization

It is important to have a good vision of which components of your product can be built modularly. These can be standardized in a later stadium. It is likely that the different modular components are already spinning through your head. Because you have been working Engineer-to-Order up until now, you quickly lose your overview.

Define your product. What does the product consist of? Which components are truly customized and which components can already be seen as standard? Where in the past customization was seen as a few factors such as measurements or dimensions of (a parametric) products, customization has now gained an entirely new definition. Customization is now seen as all of the components of a product that take you back to the drawing table. Products are built in different manners, and in turn you have to supply components that have not been built before.

2. Build a parametric model in CAD

Your engineers work with several CAD-programs. A parametric model needs to be built. By building the model parametrically, it becomes possible to automate repeated changes and specific product components. You establish certain functions and restrictions, allowing changes to dynamically adjust the model. This makes it much easier to categorize your components. 

Elfsquad can be integrated with Dynamaker, among others. You can choose the way it appears in your own showroom. The benefit here is that everything is displayed parametrically. When you change the width, the display will change along with it. Curious about how this works? Check out an example here.

3. Integrate CAD with Elfsquad CPQ

With a direct integration between Elfsquad CPQ and your CAD program, Autodesk Inventor to name one, it becomes possible to let them communicate. On the basis of a use case, we demonstrate how an integration between CAD & Elfsquad CPQ converts your ETO-process to a CTO-process, enabling a big reduction of runtime. 

Imagine. At least 80% of the desired product can be built modularly. The final 20% is customer specific, causing engineers to spend several hours on the final design. After creating the configuration model in Elfsquad CPQ, a project folder for assembly is created in the background. This assembly consists of all the modular parts of the product. The assembly is made ready when a quotation has been accepted. The aforementioned 20% for engineering is automatically followed up. From Elfsquad, an instruction is sent to the engineers. This instruction could be something like a sketch. Based on the sketch, the engineer works out the last bit of customization.

4. The integration between CRM, ERP, CAD & Elfsquad CPQ

Integration with existing applications is crucial for Elfsquad. Elfsquad integrates with over 3000 applications. You want to work towards building the perfect workflow. We explain a quite usual workflow to sketch an impression of the different possibilities. Of course, a workflow can be designed completely how you want it, to best fit the existing business processes.

  1. A sales opportunity in CRM reaches the phase ‘Create quotation’, or a similar phase depending on which CRM-package is used.
  2. The status in CRM changing triggers the configurator. A concept quotation is created and filled with all of the required data from CRM.
  3. Then it is up to the salesperson, customer, or dealer to fill the quotation with one or more configuration models. The user then rolls out the quotation after which the status of the sales opportunity is changed to the status ‘Quotation rolled out’ (or a similar status) in CRM.
  4. The customer receives the quotation through email, completely automatically, and is able to sign- or accept it digitally. Accepting the quotation triggers both the product configurator and the CRM. The status changes to ‘deal closed’.
  5. Eventually an assembly is made in the background, and put in a project folder for CAD. The bill of materials that flows from this (from the configurator or CAD) is used to feed the ERP. Stock is automatically updated, and work preparation for production can begin.

By automating as many processes as you can in the way demonstrated above, you can gain a lot of efficiency. By automating these processes, errors in quotations become a thing of the past. You work with certain product logic, where all possible combinations are put on paper.

Would you like to see how this works for you?

Have you become curious about how our CPQ-software solution could also support your processes? We will gladly tell you more about this. Request a demo. During a demo we explain all about:

  • How you sell more successfully and produce without failure costs.
  • How you connect sales and production.
  • How you easily build configuration models.
  • How you increase the average order value.
  • Why 100+ innovative manufacturing companies choose Elfsquad.
  • Why our user friendliness results in a 9+ user experience.
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