Improving Customer Satisfaction with Configit’s Configuration Tools

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By Michael Larner | 4Q 2021 | IN-6388

By offering a full scope system to work with product lifecycles, Configit is connecting separate parts of manufacturing.

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Configit Connects Customers' Disparate Functions


Often discrete manufacturers must tailor products so that they adhere to local regulations, local conditions, and individual customer preferences. One notable example is the customizations a car manufacturer needs to make for a car model to be sold in different geographic regions and the plethora of options customers choose from when purchasing a new car.

To be profitable manufacturers must achieve economies of scale by having consistency in their operations while also being cognizant of customer requirements. Copenhagen headquartered Configit was founded in 1996 and provides manufacturers with the capability to connect sales, service staff, engineers, and manufacturing teams together. A considerable impediment to digital transformation for discrete manufacturers is cross-functional collaboration. Configit’s configuration solutions look to remove data siloes and provide manufacturers with a digital thread that accommodates product customizations.

Fewer Missteps with Configuration Lifecycle Management


Configit’s client roster includes manufacturing firms (Caterpillar, CNH industrial, Jaguar Land Rover, John Deere, Kohler, and Volvo) and industrial specialists (ABB, Emerson, Johnson Controls, Rockwell Automation, and Siemens), all of whom provide complex products to customers across the globe.

Underpinning the configuration capability is Configit’s Virtual Tabulation technology which acts as a single source of truth for product information (definitions for components and features) and calculates every possible correct configuration available. This ensures that instructions relayed via customer-facing staff to the factory floor can be met. The Enterprise CPQ solution (configure, price, and quote) helps customers ensure that sales staff only quote a configuration that’s in scope as per the Virtual Tabulation technology.

Configit Ace is Configit’s Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM) solution that ties together engineering, sales, manufacturing, and service staff with benefits accruing to each stakeholder:

  • When developing products, engineers can use Configit Ace to define product structure, product variants, and the engineering rules. The aim of this is to accelerate a product’s development and launch while ensuring quality levels.
  • There are fewer errors and disconnections between sales and manufacturing teams with cost calculations, pricing, product selection logic, and quotations based on predefined information.
  • Service staff have better insights of installation and expectations regarding part performance. Teams can develop maintenance schedules.
  • The manufacturing teams can receive orders that are allied to the bill of materials and local requirements.

With predefined configuration rules, CLM has the potential to improve customer satisfaction levels as suggested configurations are permissible from the outset.

CLM Accelerates Product Development


An important aspect of Configit Ace is that it can import predefined rules from customers which are using from SAP, PTC, and/or Salesforce. The CLM solution can contribute to an enterprise-wide digital thread with integrations with Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Product Lifecycle Management (PLM), and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) applications. In fact, there is an overlap between CLM and PLM. While PLM focuses on the Bill of Materials (BOM), parts, and assembly, Configit Ace ensures compliance and communicates the voice of the customer with instructions for variation, configuration rules, added features, and packaging instructions. Going forward, manufacturers of medical and electronic devices along with manufacturers of transportation equipment are expected to be promising segments.

CLM provides opportunities for greater collaboration as customers have a single source of truth allied to predefined rules. This means that stakeholders have confidence that they can fulfil their takes as well as avoid miscommunications and misalignments between departments. By having a digital thread covering parts and final products, engineers can focus on optimizing products for different markets and launch them sooner. The greater accuracy provided by CLM means that sales staff know the possible configurations available and so can be more productive, increasing order flow in terms of sales with both new and existing clients.

Partnerships are a significant part of Configit’s go-to-market strategy. The company is partnering with Unity Software and is one of Unity's Verified Solutions Partners. Configit is supporting configurations that takes place when customers utilize 3D visualizations. The partnership enables manufacturers to define a primary set of configuration options with Configit before visualizing models and all their variants in real-time 3D. This confirms that a new product design or changes to a digital twin are feasible.

Configit also partners with PwC Germany where Configit’s solutions are allied to the firm’s digital advisory engagements. Other partners include Infosys, Cognizant, and HCL, which will also help Configit to compete with the likes of KBMax, Axonom, ThreeKit, Configure One, and Configura.

Configit isn't just a sales, engineering, or a manufacturing tool—it spans all of those departments. While customers can appreciate the benefits of having a single source of truth for acceptable configurations, each department often has its own siloed budget, which hinders adoption.