Manufacturers can encounter many challenges during production that may hinder the process if not addressed strategically. Unplanned downtime is a nightmare for manufacturers and can have a significant negative impact on your bottom line.
Reducing production time can be a powerful competitive advantage, and one of the most effective tools in achieving this is a 3D product configurator. Product configurators allow customers to be involved in the design process and create a bespoke product without any assistance from the sales team. This immensely reduces risk of errors from manual quotations and orders.
A 3D configurator leverages automated processes and integrations with third-party software such as ERP and CRM systems, which decreases the production time for custom products. It also reduces the time spent by staff interacting with customers.
A Manufacturing and Production Headache
The 2020 Salesforce State of Sales report found that sales reps only spend 34% of their time actively selling, while the remaining time is spent creating quotes and getting approvals.
Traditionally, sales teams go through numerous purchase requests and back-and-forth interactions with customers and design staff before settling on a specific design or configuration for a custom product.
This order-to-delivery process gets even more convoluted when dealing with complex industrial equipment that has numerous options, design standards, and pricing. The customer has to wade through pushbacks, redesigns, order errors, delivery updates, misunderstandings, pricing issues… and the list goes on.
Customers also have to deal with a slower delivery chain because custom product configuration quotes are based on manual one-on-one interactions, rather than automated processes and integrations with internal ERP systems.
As a result, the production time for custom products tends to be lengthy, and that's without factoring in the rate of returns. The back-and-forth exchanges and frequent tweaks to the product design can result in errors that are not caught before going into production.
Implementing a high-quality 3D configurator prevents costly returns due to design errors, and boosts customer satisfaction and engagement.
How 3D Product Configurators Reduce Production Time for Customized Products
For manufacturers and retailers hoping to reduce their production time, a 3D product configurator is a solution that is well worth considering.
A 3D product configurator provides your customers with a 360-degree visual of the product and numerous customization options to tailor the product to their taste. Instead of depending solely on generic photos, customers can adjust and view exact models of their custom design, giving them confidence in the end result.
Additionally, the production team can receive direct-to-quote orders without any interaction by a sales rep, saving the company considerable order-to-production time.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways that 3D product configurators reduce the production time of custom products.
Automated Processes and Integrations
Enabling automation across your business processes is one of the best ways to cut down time spent on manual tasks. 3D product configurators are software solutions that integrate smoothly with your existing technologies, including ERP, customer data platform (CDP), and customer relationship management (CRM).
Customers can bypass the overhead of dealing with your sales team by making their customizations directly in your configurator.
These configurators automatically generate dynamic price quotations for the custom products, track customer page interactions for marketing and sales teams, generate and deliver request-for-order documents to the production team, and update customers on the order state.
Engaging and Appealing Designs
What’s more satisfying than seeing a complete 360-degree view of your custom-made product as it would appear in reality?
The holistic visualization and customization options of a 3D product configurator encourage customer engagement and enhance the personalization experience.
For example, Audi’s first experience with a real-time 3D configurator resulted in a 66% boost in their customer engagement and customer satisfaction indicators.
This significant increase in customer satisfaction is a result of both parties no longer having to rely on the repetitive customer-sales-manufacturing interactions of a traditional sales cycle. A 3D product configurator allows customers to personalize their products and fully visualize their design so they get a better sense of what they’re ordering.
Real-Time Dynamic Quotation
This is one of the most valuable benefits of a 3D configurator. Without a configurator, the quotation process requires the sales team to consult their price sheet and relay the custom order price to the customers.
Manually configuring quotes this way leaves a lot of room for human error and miscommunication. Inaccurately quoting a custom product can leave customers feeling frustrated and less confident in their purchase. Moreover, the entire process can be quite time-consuming depending on the degree of customization.
3D configurators speed up the sales process and keep customers informed and engaged by offering dynamic pricing options and a personalized customer experience.
How EasySteel Accelerated Production Time With an Interactive Product Configurator
Cutting quotation and production time on custom products is a great way to reduce order errors, boost revenue and sales, and significantly enhance customer experience and satisfaction.
To reduce your production time, you need a visually engaging interface, better and faster automation, seamless third-party software integrations, and real-time quotation software. A 3D product configurator is a great way to meet these requirements.
When EasySteel, a handrail manufacturing company, needed to improve their production time and increase customer satisfaction, they opted for Salsita 3D Configurator as the ideal solution to achieve these goals.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about Salsita 3D Configurator and how it can help you reduce production time for custom products.