Firma Hout & Staal: a configurator that is just as robust as their products

Case

Furniture producer Firma Hout & Staal is a customer at Elfsquad. The implementation phase went extremely smoothly: within 10 days the configurator had been made available for its end customers. Consumers are able to fully design their tables on Firma Hout & Staal’s websites, in any way they want.

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We chose to build our configurator with Elfsquad CPQ. It was almost unbelievable that our digital sales channel was ready for end customers in only ten days!
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Jurre Derks
CEO of Firma Hout & Staal

Curious about their story? Watch the case!

Transcription:

You have to use a configurator to demonstrate all of that to the customer. We were able to calculate with square meters, apply dependencies. Which led to being able to price our products more accurately, as the possibilities are principally endless.

Introduction
I am Jurre. In 2016 I started out with Firma Hout & Staal. Eventually it grew to a business where we sell all sorts of custom furniture, completely composed in the way the customer wanted it. We have a large production hall where we create our products, and on top of that we sell many more types of products such as chairs and sofas. The main point being that the customer can compose their entire product.

Why a configurator?
So we started looking for a configurator because our collection mainly consists of products which can be completely designed by the customer. It becomes a challenge to make it visual and clear for potential customers in a short amount of time. In online marketing it is very important to trigger the customer in a short time, as otherwise they will leave for a different website. And because we have such an extensive product range, it is difficult to display them all for the customer immediately, so we chose to demonstrate all this in a configurator, so that the customer can very quickly see which options are available.
For us, the following can be applied: a table looks like just a table, but when you start counting all of the options and start multiplying them, you can eventually conclude that you actually sell six and a half million different tables, which is obviously impossible to demonstrate in a regular showroom. So you’ll have to use a configurator to demonstrate this to the customer. And not just online, but in the actual showroom we also use the configurator to show the customer what is possible, and to draw a visual image.

And of course it is also very nice to directly show a price. It is no longer needed for us to calculate by ourselves, as the configurator can do all this. Every possible calculation is doable in Elfsquad’s back end. So we are able to calculate with square meters, and apply dependencies. This is very pleasant to us, and has even led us to be able to price our products much more easily and also demonstrate them more easily than with our previous platform. Because its possibilities are endless.

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Implementation
Eventually we chose Elfsquad as a partner to build our configurator with their software. It all begins with a pilot day. For said pilot day, we have completely prepared our products: so we have taken a very good luck at how they are composed, how to calculate their costs, what we find important, what influences which picture, et cetera. This way, it became possible for us to ask questions in a very aimed manner during the pilot day. This led to the fact that we learned most there is to learn about the package during the pilot day, and could work on building our configurator right after.

Easily add new products
Originally we wanted to build a configurator for dinner tables, which have six and a half million configurations, and we made a roadmap to do this step by step. And we knew exactly what we had to do. We were very pleased with the configurator when working with the tables, so we decided to also add our steel doors to the configurator. With the steel doors we offer many options, but with a kind of standardization. So we have a number of designs, a number of colors in the glass, a number of colors in the steel, and of course diverse measurements. We ensured that this entire process, every step, we very well considered how the images should ook and how the pricings worked. Because of this, we were able to design the configurator in just one week. Then we decided we might as well also add the saloon tables and wooden kitchen benches to the configurator. And on top of that: we became so enthusiastic that with new products or ideas about for example TV furniture or dressers, could also be fully configured according to the customer’s demands. And that we also wanted to add these to the configurator.

Because by now we know most about the configurator there is to know, and exactly how the package works, how our products are built, so we have become very flexible in responding to the market.

Contact with Elfsquad
Whenever we had questions about the package or how things worked we could always rely on Elfsquad’s website. You can find practically everything about its functionalities there. Very nicely categorized in subjects, which is also a big help when filling in the configurator. A lot of problems are also supported by videos, allowing you to easily progress during the creation of your configurator. Within ten days we were able to go live with Elfsquad. This is largely because of assistance from their amazing support. They were so very adequate that with each problem we ran into, we could very quickly get back to work.

Future plans
At the moment we utilize Elfsquad’s showroom, which is extremely useful in itself. But we wanted to go even further, fully integrating the configurator into our website. Elfsquad has an API from which you can actually request all the data you need from the Elfsquad database, to then consequently display on your website. So very soon the customer will be able to view a certain product on our website, and all options or features that are available in Elfsquad or are fetched through this API can be displayed on our website. So the customer will actually not even see that they are leaving the website and using the configurator. They can then proceed with configuring their product and place it in their online basket, and purchase it right away, on our website.

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