The ability to configure manufacturing products on the fly according to certain customer needs is an essential element of any engineer-to-order, configure-to-order, manufacture-to-order, and assemble-to-order type of manufacturing. There is a class of software applications dedicated to performing the task of transforming customer technical product requirements into customized bills of material, and, sometimes, extending to the creation of sales and manufacturing orders. Such applications—generally called product configuration software, or product configurators—allow users to select options needed based on predefined logic, or create a custom product with new parameters.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages specifically designed to control manufacturing that are capable of product customization usually include a configuration module developed by the vendor or by third-party application specialists. TDCI is one of those software vendors known for its product configuration solutions. In fact, its product range goes beyond pure configuration and extends to sales strategy solutions; data visualization tools; configure, price, quote (CPQ) tools; and supporting documentation generation. TDCI’s product configurator, BuyDesign, is being offered by ERP vendor Infor as a standard configuration instrument with Infor ERP XA.
In today’s news from TDCI, three more Infor ERP XA customers have decided to implement BuyDesign.
These moves are expected and logical, based on at least two observations. First, the whole manufacturing industry is shifting towards customized products—there is evidence that the average consumer is getting tired of mass production and at least sometimes prefers to purchase a unique product, even if it’s more expensive. Second, TDCI specialized software is fully integrated with Infor ERP solutions and is a part of Infor’s standard offering for multiple Infor ERP products, including ERP XA. (To be clear, TCDI configuration instruments are also available for and integrated with software from some of Infor’s competitors—Oracle and Microsoft.)
To summarize, apparently more and more manufacturing businesses are realizing the significance of product customization functionality and, as a result, the importance of having the right software product to provide that functionality.