Rootstock Product Configurator: Key Features and Benefits

Assembly line picture as example of Rootstock Product Configurator

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Customer expectations are always evolving. Customers have more choices than ever, and they expect personalization. They want products that are tailored to their specific needs. To offer more value to their customers and differentiate themselves from the competition, companies are offering more complex, customizable products. Hence, to address the demand and achieve mass customization, companies need to streamline their manufacturing operations and that’s where the Rootstock Product Configurator comes into play. 

This blog will outline the Rootstock Product Configurator and explain how it can support the configuration of complex customized products to improve manufacturing efficiency.

What is the Rootstock Product Configurator?

The Rootstock Product Configurator is simply a tool that allows the user to configure products based on a selection of different components. It is like a step-by-step assembly where you can choose different components to create a mix of configurations that can be used to build what is called a “configurable” product. 

The Product Configurator can be:

  • called from a Sales Order
  • called from a Rootstock Quote executed “stand-alone” 
  • exported to a Sales Order or Quote (if necessary) 

The Product Configurator establishes a list of materials, labor operations, and non-inventoried items needed to produce a custom configured product according to specific predefined rules and options. The components that compose the different configurations can be of different types like inventory item, product, service, labor, or miscellaneous (non-inventory item). All those components can be selected and combined or not with each other via the Configurator. 

Screenshot shows the Product Configurator interface for the Configuration Session of a Tesla Model S car (configurable product).
This screenshot shows the Product Configurator interface for the Configuration Session of a Tesla Model S car (configurable product).
*This example is for illustrative purposes and is not related to a Tesla Model S car’s real configuration process.

 

Rules

Let’s say a company has thousands or hundreds of thousands of possible configurations for a single product. For example, they sell a product composed of multiple components that each have their sub-selection of parts. In this scenario, the Product Configurator will be useful in searching and finding all the compatible components to build the configurable product.

As the users set up their configurations, they select different components and combine them to create their custom product, but not all components can be combined.. During the selection process, the properties of components are checked for compatibility. There may be restrictions depending on the components that are selected. Those restrictions are called configuration rules. They may be applied because of security, technical feasibility, or production concerns. 

The Rootstock Product Configurator has three types of configuration rules: 

  • Exclusion: Configuration Exclusions allow the user to establish “incompatible selections.” 
    • Example: If Selection A (Standard package) is selected, it can be used to then disallow the selection of Selection B (21’’ Wheels), because Selection A (Standard package) can’t be used with Selection B (21’’ Wheels).

      * This example is for illustrative purposes and is not related to a Tesla Model S car’s real configuration process.

      Example product configuration using Tesla Model S - standard package, wheels
  • Requirement: Configuration Requirements requires the user to make a selection based upon a prior selection. The required selection is then marked as mandatory.
    • Example: If Selection 1 (Premium package) is made, Selection 2 (21’’ Wheels) is automatically selected (and cannot be deselected) because, to use Selection 1 (Premium package) , Selection 2 (21’’ Wheels) is required.

      *
      This example is for illustrative purposes and is not related to a Tesla Model S car’s real configuration process.
      Example product configuration using Tesla Model S - premium package, wheels
  • Recommendation: Configuration Recommendations will show the recommended options to the user according to its prior selections.
    • Example: If Selection X (Standard package) is made, Selection Y (Autopilot) is then marked as ‘recommended’.

      *This example is for illustrative purposes and is not related to a Tesla Model S car’s real configuration process.


      Example of configuration recommendations using Tesla S model as example standard package and autopilot

 

Key Features

To reflect businesses’ specific processes requirements, the Rootstock Configurator is fully customizable with some key features:

  • Ability to pre-define Configuration Group structures, with recommended, required and/or dependent Selections. Each Selection can contain sub-selections and have its own set of Components (Inventory Items, Labor Steps, Service Items, Entitlements, etc.).
  • Ability to create Configuration Sessions. At each session, the user can select from those pre-defined structures.
  • Ability to export Configuration Session details to a Sales Order, which can then trigger the generation of Work Orders with Components and Operations sourced from the Configuration Session.
  • Ability to create one or more Sales Order Lines as part of the Configuration Session export, all within the same Sales Order Header.
  • Ability to generate accurate and flexible pricing with up to three pricing methods based on the Component Type.

Key Benefits

The Rootstock Product Configurator helps manufacturers improve the efficiency of the quote-to-production process by reducing waste and improving productivity. Its use can reduce lead times, eliminate errors in the configuration process, and contribute to increased revenue and margins.

Accelerate quote-to-production process

In many industry sectors, faster turnaround time on quotes can be a significant competitive edge. The Rootstock Configurator can drastically reduce the time taken to make an estimate. It also makes Sales Order processing easier because it can export the configuration with all its components directly to the Sales Order or Quote which it was created from to create Work Orders. Automating the creation of Bills of Material (BOM) and routings accelerates the manufacturing process.

Maximize quality and accuracy

The Rootstock Configurator helps eliminate costly and time-consuming manual errors. By using predefined Configuration rules, the Rootstock Configurator can determine which components can be combined to build valid configurations and accurate pricing, ultimately leading to increased revenue and profit.

If you have any questions regarding the Rootstock Product Configurator or would like to implement it for your company, feel free to reach out to us, and it will be our pleasure to help!

 

 

 

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