The impact of product configurators on lead times in engineering-oriented companies

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    Abstract

    This paper presents a study of how the use of product configurators affects business processes of engineering-oriented companies. A literature study shows that only a minor part of product configuration research deals with the effects of product configuration, and that the ones that do are mostly vague when reporting the effects of configurator projects. Only six cases were identified, which provide estimates of the actual size of lead time reduction achieved from product configurators. To broaden this knowledge, this paper presents the results of a study of 14 companies concerning the impact of product configurators on business processes related to the creation of quotes and detailed product specifications. The study documents impressive results of the application of configurator technology. For example, in the data retrieved the use of configurators was estimated to have implied up to a 99.9% reduction of the quotation lead time with an average estimated reduction of 85.5%.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalArtificial Intelligence for Engineering Design, Analysis and Manufacturing
    Volume25
    Issue number02
    Pages (from-to)197-206
    ISSN0890-0604
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    Keywords

    • Product Configuration
    • Configurator
    • Sales Configuration
    • Lead times
    • Process Reengineering

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