For decades, manufacturers have struggled with the balance between creating a robust, customizable product, and offering it simply and easily to customers. The two missions have long opposed each other – the more complex the product, the more difficult the product is to sell, and the more costs the company will endure in order processing, selling through channels, and creating new products.
The benefits to offering customers choice – to creating a solution that is customizable and therefore complex – are significant. Product robustness creates a competitive barrier to entry. The solution will have market appeal if it is the most flexible and customizable version available. And the corporation producing the product can achieve leverage in advanced manufacturing processes, further separating itself from the competition.
The drawbacks brought by product complexity, however, cannot be overlooked. Additional sales costs, elongated sales cycles, and difficulties selling through indirect channels can usurp any profitability gained by a product’s customizability. Internal costs such as errors in order processing and delays in new product introductions compound the problem for most manufacturers.
Working with Versata, industry-leading companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Avaya, and Herman Miller have found a way to offer complexity without compromise – customizability without costs. These companies have embraced configuration technology that allows sophisticated knowledge to be represented in a robust sales system – usable by all sales people, channels, and customers themselves.
Versata’s patented Configuration Engine – SalesBUILDER™, is the only configurator in the world that has truly solved the high-end configuration problem. Telecommunications and high-technology manufacturers have put the solution to the test for over a decade, requiring engineering level representation of products, multiple dimensions of optimization, simultaneous needs-driven and parts-driven configuration, and the need for resource provision and consumption. Supporting both build-to-order and engineer-to-order businesses, SalesBUILDER’s patented technology has set the standard for configuration capability that no other software solution can approach.
For a successful, profitable manufacturer, the configurator performs critical operating functions, serving as the artery that pumps information between engineering, manufacturing, product marketing, and sales. SalesBUILDER combines engineering rules detailing how to construct a product with manufacturing constraints on how to build it and marketing specifications on what should be sold. Finally, SalesBUILDER delivers solution-selling capabilities to every customer touch point worldwide, with Internet deployability and support for 86 languages.
For more information about how Versata can deliver substantial return-on-investment and increased competitiveness with SalesBUILDER, or to learn about industry-specific versions of SalesBUILDER for telecommunications, high-technology, and automotive industries, please contact us.