CCE nv

The item configurator, what's in a name?
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The item configurator

The item configurator was a much-discussed term at CCE, amongst our customers and prospective customers over the last few years. What does this tool stand for? What are its application areas? What are the advantages? These questions were covered frequently during sales discussions and demonstrations.

The answer to these questions lies in the name of the tool. This application configures or assembles items in order to turn finished or semi-finished products into one item. It is like preparing a dish; you need certain ingredients in certain quantities. A dish consists of different ingredients, which in turn consist of ingredients. If you want to prepare a dish you simply take the recipe and you will see a summary of the required components. In principle, the item configurator works in the same way.

In certain sectors like the furniture and textile branch, the wood and joinery sector and the nonferrous sector, colours, sizes, degrees of finish, patterns, item variants, or fabrics are extremely important for a correct follow-up of the workflow and materials. CCE nv built the item configurator into its ERP package especially for these sectors. The furniture and textile sectors are simply examples of implementations; the item configurator is not limited to these sectors. This application is a must for every company that works with a diversity of items and designs.

Let's take Perfecta as an example: for the production of one piece of furniture there are several options, namely the epoxy colour, classic dimensions (with variations if the company produces non-standard sizes), the fabrics, colours, degree of finish, etc. You immediately notice that this results in an immense quantity of variations. Without the item configurator you need a separate item for every possible design. This makes the item file extremely large and difficult to manage. The number of items can be simplified by a factor of 10 thanks to the item configurator. Talk about gaining time and money...

This tool's application area is not limited to the furniture sector. In principle the item configurator can create an important competitive advantage for every company that deals with item variants, irrespective of the sector. We offer Werkhuizen Timmerman and Duson-Joly as examples. Werkhuizen Timmerman produces windows and doors in wood, aluminium and PVC. They also have diverse variants such as size, thickness of glass, finish, various models (hinged window, tilt window, etc.), models in PVC, wood or aluminium, etc. You notice that this company has the same problem as Perfecta, yet it is a different industry. The same is true of Duson-Joly, which makes kitchens and bathroom furniture.

The item configurator can also play an important role in the food industry, for example the recipes of ready-to-eat dishes. A dish consists of different components so technically we can speak of a bill of materials or item lists. In principle, the item configurator can be applied for every item with variations. For example, a meat processing company that delivers to wholesale distributors. Warehouse distributors make demands qua packaging, labelling, etc. The supplier has tens of variants for one item (packaging, quantity, UVD, labels and barcodes, etc.) and they all differ from customer to customer.

Why is the item configurator so important for your company?

Items and products are key tables in an ERP system. They are the basis of your enterprise and must be followed correctly in order to achieve an optimum result.

The item configurator is an option in LISA, but extremely important for industries where item variants, colours, patterns, sizes, etc. are of primordial importance. The item configurator makes it possible to drastically reduce the number of items. By reducing the number of items a lot of the complexity related to managing these items disappears. As a result you save time and money. That is why the item configurator is essential in your company.

You see that this tool offers many opportunities for the future and that this is only the beginning...

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