Order and Product Configuration

Competition is becoming increasingly dynamic and the number of competitors constantly rising. Combined with the rapid spread of new technologies, this is leading to a steady increase in product diversity. The demand to fulfill individual customer wishes as well as presence on customer markets is causing companies to expand their range of products, especially as far as individual products and small series are concerned. The market for customized products is also rising. Companies therefore have to be able to manufacture tailormade products swiftly and supply them on time.

With a flexible order management process, a company can react fast to customer demands. All processes, from bid management and the technical clarification of orders, through design and production planning, right up to the manufacturing process, are specifically orientated towards the needs of the customer. Fraunhofer IPA helps companies organize their business processes efficiently through product and order configuration as well as support them with appropriate IT measures:

  • Analysis and optimization of the order management process, from the customer’s inquiry right through to production approval
  • Evaluation of product / parts list structures; derivation of measures to optimize disposition levels (e.g. implementation of a modular system concept, modularization, etc.)
  • Establishment of continuity in process and information flows between sales, development and production departments
  • Reduction in the number of manual interfaces and elimination of data redundancy
  • Support in selecting software tools for product configuration (configurator): e.g. technical configuration, preparation of parts lists, sales configuration, etc.

The systematic implementation and usage of a configuration solution enables major potentials to be exploited for improving the efficiency of processes. The consistent use of the data generated by the configuration offers the following benefits:

  • Reduction in throughput times and costs concerning products with a high number of variants,
  • Optimization of the flow of information between functional areas and faster coordination processes,
  • The ability to benefit from an optimized data structure in all areas of order management (e.g. procurement and production),
  • Enhanced planning reliability in production planning,
  • Reduction in stocks through order-specific provision of bought parts,
  • Reduction in administrative and operative efforts in work preparation processes (e.g. automated generation of parts lists and allocation of work schedules) as well as
  • Avoidance of time-consuming and cost-intensive special designs and errors (e.g. through ensuring technical feasibility).

Our methodical procedure and extensive experience in designing, selecting, implementing and optimizing business processes make us a reliable partner to help you implement your configuration solution.