Every piece of furniture involves a small or large degree of customization to suit the specific requirements of the customer who’s buying it. For furniture manufacturing companies then, it is no more a value proposition but a necessity to offer customization for each furniture product that they sell. But the actual complexity lies in comprehending these custom orders and responding to customers with a proper quote that can help in winning more business.
Further, processing these orders is a big challenge in itself. Specifying drawings and production documentation for each new custom order consumes significant time and keeps engineering teams occupied in performing repetitive tasks. The overall impact of these processes is on delivery then, keeping manufacturers on their toes all the time to ship the product on the committed dates.
Such issues however can be resolved by implementing CPQ (Configure-Price-Quote) solutions such as DriveWorks. The tool seamlessly integrates sales and production processes for configurable products such as furniture in this case, and allows the manufacturers to remain efficient in designing, manufacturing and quoting customers.
While most furniture manufacturers do have their home grown configurator or a custom spreadsheet that they utilize to configure and quote for every custom furniture order, these are mostly unreliable and involve a lot of manual repetitive labor. Every new change in the design would require changing the BOM list and update the documentation and quote manually, leading to greater chances of errors and manufacturing delays. These tools further do not allow the dealer network to make their own quotes.
Additionally, manufacturers have to depend on programmers all the time to maintain the software and configuration rules. DriveWorks on the contrary is an easy-to-use tool that can be utilized with leading CAD platform – SolidWorks, to generate robust sales and production deliverables.
Some of the key features of DriveWorks include:
- Completely integrated with SolidWorks to automate generation of CAD models, drawings and manufacturing documentation such as cutting list and DXF’s
- No programming skills required
- Provides product configuration facility both for customer and sales team depending on the rules established by the design and engineering team
- Web-based configurator allows taking the engineering know-how outside the production team to help deal networks in developing quote on their own
- Automatically generate quotes based on selected furniture configuration
- Integrates with company’s existing CRM and PDM systems
Implementing DriveWorks to improve production and sales deliverables do require intensive exercise of capturing the product knowledge to determine design logic, configuration possibility and standardization. Usually, this can be done by allocating the trusted and experienced engineering team or through a DriveWorks Authorized Service Partner, who can handle the implementation more efficiently.
Based on the knowledge captured, a master SolidWorks CAD model and drawing logic can be developed which will be utilized by DriveWorks for generating models, drawings and other documentation for each custom furniture order. This automation is possible by developing logic rules for each configurable component of the furniture.
A front-end user form then is only required for the customer, dealer or a sales team to feed information in order to generate models, drawings and quotes automatically.