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Utilize Product Configurator to Streamline Entrance Canopy Design and Sales Processes

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Utilize Product Configurator to Streamline Entrance Canpoy Design

Entrance canopies accentuate the main entrance or any doorway and give a stylish and modern look to residential or commercial buildings. The modular design makes it possible to design and construct any shape and size of canopy depending on the requirements and space availability.

The reality at the manufacturing floor, where these glass or metal canopies are manufactured is actually far different. Manufacturers are often too much occupied in developing models, drawings and sales quotation for each and every custom order that they receive.

The result being inaccurate quote and delays that eventually leads the manufacturer losing some of the contracts from customer. Given the possibility of broad range of customization options for end customers, it is actually painful for canopy manufacturers to streamline the design and ordering processes that can ensure quick, error-free information to both the customer and to the manufacturing teams.

This problem however can be eliminated through the implementation of online product configurator, which provides a single platform both for the customer and the manufacturer to configure the canopy design and extract useful information such as drawings, models and quotes for each customized canopy.

Pre-requisites for Effective Product Configurator

Implementing a product configurator, however, requires capturing complete product knowledge to identify and standardize components. With standardization, it is possible to automate the design development of canopies to a great extent using tools like DriveWorks.

In a typical canopy design, components like vertical beams, cross beams and purlins are standard, and vary only in numbers or length depending on the application. The cladding also can be considered standard as the changes required are only in its overall length and width along with the type such as glass, sheet metal or polyester. The design for these components can be automated by using logic rules within the DriveWorks rule builder that works inside SolidWorks CAD platform.

Once the logic is established, DriveWorks Pro has the provision to develop an online configurator that can be utilized for guided selling purposes.

Product Configurator Benefits

With an online configurator in place, customers can directly configure the canopy according to their requirements by simply adjusting the length and width, type of cladding or finishing required. With real-time information and visual cues, the errors related to sizing, look and options can be eliminated.
The configurator can also be integrated with pricing information, so that the quote is generated instantly as the customer configures the canopy design according to his choice and requirements. With every confirmed order, the manufacturer simply needs to click a button to generate drawings, models and related manufacturing documentation within the SolidWorks environment. As such, the design and sales processes are streamlined efficiently, leaving very few chances of errors that can cause delays.

Apart from ease of use, product configurators serve an important purpose to engage the customer with the product that he is buying. It creates a sense of ownership and engages the customer more with the brand. From the manufacturing standpoint, there is a dramatic reduction in time and cost, as resources are free from doing repetitive design tasks.

Online product configurator further adds value to the canopy manufacturing business and provides an opportunity to differentiate themselves from the competing market players.

About the Author: Gaurang Trivedi is engineering consultant at TrueCADD. Besides, donning multiple hats, as a website manager and marketing in charge, he also oversees the editorial content, coordinating and managing the website, its news sections, blogs and social media promotions as well.