Do you offer your customers a configuration tool that allows them to specify a set of customizations to your standard products? If not you are not only missing out on a great way to assure that every task that makes its way to your manufacturing floor has all the specs needed to make a finished good, you may also be missing out on a marketing benefit that ties your customers to your products. At ChicagoTronics, we have used a variety of configuration tools both as a vendor and with our contracted vendors. We’ve found that they make partners closer because everyone likes a process that is predictable and familiar. Everyone also likes to be able to go back and confirm that they ordered what they thought they ordered and that the product that showed up matched their specs.
There are a wide variety of configurators that you can add to your website now. A google search for “configurator tools” will generate many pages of results. Most offer a way to create a custom configurator for your products without creating software from scratch. Once an array of choices and decision trees is set-up, you simply provide customers login and password credentials and wait for the standardized orders to flow in. Make sure you select a software provider that generates a concisely formatted order and bill of materials for your manufacturing manger. The best systems also produce an on-the-spot quotation letter for your customer with a neatly organized recap of their order and pricing details, including a schedule of discounts for volume purchases of the same part.
These tools may seem like substituting computers in place of personal relationships but over time your customers will recognize them as great record keeping and time saving tools. They will be able to get pricing faster, keep records of goods purchased and save configurations for future quoting and production. And once they’ve learned how to use the tool, it will be much easier for them to use it for a quick solution than creating a spec sheet to send to multiple vendors for a bid. Consider rewarding them for usage of the tool with shortened timeframes and automated order discounts to further build loyalty to your configurator.
To learn more, just contact us. We will be happy to share more details on configurations and how they can help your business.