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HOW TO MANAGE VARIANT CHAOS A N D C O N F I G U R AT I O N P R O B L E M S

T HE STRENGTH OF

PGC PARAMETRIC GRAPHICAL CONFIGURATION

The New Revolutionary Path to Success Find the help you need to create your dream space. PGC provides the technology to plan and visualize environments before they become reality.

SUNE RYDQVIST J O H A N LY R E B O R N GÖRAN RYDQVIST


Our deepest gratitude to Matti T. Martela, whose farsighted acceptance of PGC technology made this journey possible.


Contents Foreword Abbreviations 1 Introduction .......................................................................1 2 Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC) ...........................7 Complexity Reduction .........................................................8 Connections Imply Change ..................................................9 Right and Left Components ...............................................10 Automatic Placement of Components ..................................11 Components that Adapt to their Environment......................12 Most Appropriate Placement ..............................................12 Projection in Elevations ....................................................13 Projection Directly into 3-D Views ......................................14 Color and Material Options ................................................ 15 Technical Calculation ........................................................16 Other Technical Calculations and Automatic Functions..........18 Automatic Dimension Measurement ....................................18 User Friendly Programs .....................................................19 Summary ........................................................................20 3 Why PGC ..........................................................................23 Technical Design ..............................................................23 Other Effects ...................................................................24 Immediate Effects ............................................................24 Strategic Effects...............................................................24 The Connection Between Economies in Scale and Sales .........25 How PGC Affects Profitability ............................................. 26 4 Effects of Increased Customer Demand ..............................29 Modularization and Variant Management .............................29 How Market Demands have Changed ...................................29 Handling Limits ...............................................................30 Companies Must Deal with New Market Demands .................. 30 Lean Office ......................................................................31 5 Industry Sectors that Utilize PGC ......................................35 Interiors for Public Environments .......................................35 Kitchens .........................................................................36 Shelving and Filing Systems, Portable Files..........................36 Industrial Workspaces .......................................................37 Pallet and Shelving Racks ..................................................37 Conveyors for Material Handling ........................................37 Construction Products .......................................................38 Technical Manufacturing Industry ......................................38


contents

6 Analysis of Different Configuration Methods .....................41 Query based Configuration ................................................41 CAD based Configuration ...................................................42 Parametric Graphical Configuration.....................................42 Configura CM ...................................................................43 Quotation and Order Preparation ........................................44 Characteristics of Different Configuration Principles .............45 Floor Planning and Advanced Drawing Assistance.................46 Automatic Dimensioning ...................................................46 Combination Configuration................................................46 Infinite Variant Management .............................................47 Automatic Calculation ......................................................47 Visualization ...................................................................47 PGC — The Navigable Path ................................................48 7 Processes..........................................................................51 Make Your Company More Effective ....................................52 The Order Process .............................................................53 PGC ................................................................................53 Marketing .......................................................................54 Product Launches .............................................................55 Globalization ...................................................................56 Product Development ........................................................57 Utilize and Raise the Level of Performance .......................... 58 8 Communication Between Different Systems .......................61 Connections to Business Systems .......................................61 Integration......................................................................62 Collaboration with AutoCAD ..............................................62 Collaboration with MS Word and Excel ................................62 PDF ................................................................................ 62 9 Income and Costs .............................................................65 Costs ..............................................................................65 PGC Provides Savings ........................................................65 Correct Specifications .......................................................66 Design Work ....................................................................66 Shorter Response Times ....................................................67 Increase in Income ...........................................................67 A Completely New Working Method ....................................67 Cost and Income Analysis ..................................................68 Savings when New Employees Receive Training .................... 69 Costs for Errors ................................................................69 Increased Sales ................................................................70 Costs ..............................................................................71 Summary ........................................................................72 ROI (Return on Investment) ..............................................72


contents

10 Customer Adapted Systems ..............................................75 Component Based System Products .....................................75 The Most Effective Way to Realize a Project for Customer Adaptation in PGC ..............................75 Sales Channels .................................................................76 Catalogue Management .....................................................76 11 A 7-Point Introduction Program .......................................79 Background .....................................................................80 Company Management’s Role in the Adaptation Process ........82 Management Must Demand Results .....................................84 1 Requirements Analysis ...................................................85 2 Consequence Analysis ....................................................86 3 Secure Support..............................................................87 4 Clear Organization and Dedicated Project Management .......88 5 Secure User Participation................................................89 6 Measuring Additional Value and Communicating Usefulness .......................................90 12 PGC Success Stories ......................................................... 93 Marbodal AB - Sweden ......................................................94 Kinnarps AB - Sweden ......................................................96 DeLaval International AB - Sweden ....................................98 Spacesaver - USA ...........................................................100 Bott - Germany ..............................................................102 Hoyez - France ...............................................................104 Flexlink - Sweden...........................................................106 Electrolux Wascator - Sweden ..........................................108 ISKU OY - Finland ..........................................................110 AB Ph. Nedermans & Co ..................................................112 S-Line Office AB .............................................................114 ELFA AB - Sweden ..........................................................116 13 Configura CET ................................................................119 Areas of Usage for CM and CET .........................................120 Two Platforms ................................................................120 Development Platform ....................................................120 Included in the CET Development Platform ........................121 Delivery Platform ...........................................................122 Extensions ....................................................................123 Configura CET Infrastructure ............................................123 Configura CET Extension Center .......................................125 Configura CET License and User Management .....................125 Configura CET Service Model ............................................126 What a CET Platform can Mean to Your Company ................126


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14 It all started in 1990 .....................................................129 Before Configura ............................................................129 Configura was Founded in 1990 ........................................130 Development and Sales ...................................................130 Breakthrough in Office Furnishing ...................................131 New Customers ...............................................................132 Founders, Board and Management ....................................133 Continuity in Development and the Board .........................133 New Economy, Dot-com Bubble and Market Slump ..............133 Internet ........................................................................134 Configura CET ................................................................134


Foreword There is a new way to manage the growing complexity of componentbased products efficiently - Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC). This book is primarily intended for the management of sales and production companies. The intention is to explain what PGC is and how it works, as well as to increase the understanding of how modern, high-tech computer technology affects the profitability and efficiency of your company. This book is also important for individuals who work directly with products built from components into systems such as designers, salespersons, architects, product developers, and engineers. There is a great deal to gain from a greater understanding for what is possible through PGC technology. An increasing number of products are being built from components into systems. For that reason, there is a constantly growing need for computer support for product specifications. Additionally, there is a strong demand for floor planning and visualization of products and environments before actual implementation. There are several CAD based configurators on the market today. They are all based on the initial selection of a part number. As the amount of part numbers grows, the configuration and planning of system products soon become very cumbersome, time consuming, and technical. PGC is a new approach where product rules and behaviors are built into the PGC software, which then automatically selects correct part numbers. All of the inherent complexity gets managed by the PGC software and the user can concentrate on creative design instead of technical details. Read more in Chapter 2, Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC).

Reduced Costs - Increased Income. In order to increase profitability, several working methods have been developed; for example, BPR, TQM, TPS and Lean Office. All of these methods are valuable, yet defensive, and aim to decrease costs. BPR requires initiating completely new business processes, which is usually impossible without new technology support. PGC is indeed a new technology, which enables radical simplification of the entire sales process. The uniqueness of PGC is that costs decrease and income increases. PGC renders BPR, TQM and Lean Office possible. Through this book we want to share experiences from our work of introducing PGC into various organizations. We draw on 15 years of experience, fundamentally changing and improving our customers’ sales processes. Read more in Chapter 11, A 7-Point Introduction Program. A big thank you to all of our customers for productive collaboration. Linköping, June, 2005 Sune Rydqvist Johan Lyreborn Göran Rydqvist


Abbreviations API = Application Programming Interface BPR = Business Process Reengineering CAD = Computer Aided Design CET = Configura Extension Technology CM = Computer Language developed by Configura Sverige AB CRM = Customer Relationship Management ERP = Enterprise Resource Planning MRP = Material Requirements Planning PDF = Portable Document Format PGC = Parametric Graphical Configuration TPS = Toyota Production System TQM = Total Quality Management XML = eXtensible Markup Language .txt = text file


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Introduction Imagine that you are going to build a new house, plan your dream kitchen, furnish an open-plan office, create the perfect material flow in an industrial area or perform complicated technical calculations. You quickly realize that expert assistance is needed, experts with many years of experience. Wouldn’t it be great if a computer program could assist you in obtaining this expertise quickly? Such programs already exist. The technology is called Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC). PGC provides information concerning how the different parts can be combined, what their relationship is to one another and which limitations exist, in addition to automatically calculating and providing costs, specifications, and other information necessary for production, assembly, and ordering. PGC technology has now been in existence for 15 years. It was developed at the same rate as computers in general over this period of time, a phenomenal rate. A simple example can illustrate what is meant. These two symbols represent 50 different table tops. Once placed, the program chooses the appropriate table top.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Introduction


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This group takes less than one minute to design. Colors and materials may be exchanged on individual parts or on the whole group with a few simple clicks.

All documentation is created automatically and is continuously consistent and up to date.

Introduction

Parametric Graphical Configuration


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Glass panels can be inserted on the top, or wherever desired. One click of a button is all that is needed to exchange a dense module for glass or vice versa.

The simplicity of exchanging components, materials and colors provides convenient possibilities when evaluating different alternatives.

Electric panels can be inserted as desired. One click on the electric switch indicates if electricity is connected everywhere desired, as well as how electrical lines are drawn. This is how PGC is utilized. Simply and intuitively. The program assists and supports its users, who soon become experts. This is technology with unlimited potential.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Introduction


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The Right Choice Many companies in different industries wrestle with configuration problems on a daily basis. The need for PGC is increasing at the same rate as more and more products are being system built. These are some of the industries that have a great need for PGC solutions: Interiors for public environments Most modern interiors are system built. Effective floor planning and workspaces that are adapted to individual and company specific needs are critical for success. Kitchens The kitchen setting as workspace and gathering area is becoming increasingly important in homes. Shelving and filing systems In this type of premises, it is important to maximize space, and when all the rooms are to be furnished differently, no one solution is like the other. Industrial workspaces, shelving racks, pallet racks and conveyors The same challenge exists here as with office furnishing. A positive and effective work environment demands properly adapted product solutions. Construction industry A number of spatial systems are utilized in the construction industry which would greatly benefit from using PGC; for example, partitioning, glass sections, entry doors, ceilings, flooring, etc. Technical manufacturing industry Many manufacturing processes are performed on different types of machines and conveyors. These constructions are easily projected with the assistance of PGC.

Introduction

Parametric Graphical Configuration


2 Parametric Graphical Configuration


Design complexity is greatly reduced through automatic calculations and rules managing product behavior and item numbers.


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Parametric

Graphical Configuration

There is only one known way to calculate and visualize complex, system built products easily: by utilizing the help offered by PGC software. This type of software manages all the rules and limitations that are required by a system-built product. The PGC software has no difficulty keeping track of quantities, prices, weights, volumes, how different parts fit together and much more. For creative solutions such as floor planning and color schemes, however, human creativity is needed. All of the inherent complexity gets managed by the PGC software and the user can concentrate on creative design instead of technical details. This is what PGC users gain. Here are a couple of examples: Example 1: A kitchen supply company has over 56,000 different item numbers in its product range. In addition, countertops with different measurements and in different materials are available. The variety of countertops is virtually infinite. This almost endless variety is reduced to 80 graphic symbols with PGC. The countertops are generated automatically, dimension measured with necessary notches set out.

Graphic symbols in a component panel for kitchen planning.

Example 2: A company that offers office furnishing for companies has 3,000 articles that can be delivered in millions of varieties. All of these articles are represented by 400 graphic symbols, logically divided into about ten panels.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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Complexity Reduction Below is a symbol for a base kitchen cabinet. This symbol is set out on the drawing and adjusted by stretching and material options to show these variants. Each symbol on the component panel represents a large number of items and variants. In this case, 42 different cabinets with separate item numbers are shown. The user selects the appropriate cabinet, while the program keeps track of part numbers and price.

A symbol for a bottom kitchen cabinet

results in all these different cabinets

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Parametric Graphical Configuration

Obviously, anyone who is supposed to learn a product range of several thousand articles with millions of variants would need several years to accomplish this. It is significantly more effective to teach a computer program the product range once and for all. The program does not take vacation, and it never gets sick. The program is always available to assist with technical specifications.


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Connections Imply Change Many table systems are constructed with a table base that can be added to and changed, depending on which type of table group is desired. Work tops are then mounted onto the table base. Valid rules for allowed changes are built into a PGC-system. See the following example: When the two tables are freestanding, each one has two legs and a wide foot base. When the two tables are connected, look what happens. The table still has two legs. With traditional management of such a configuration, this table would receive its own item number. The PGC user need not consider this issue as the item number is created in PGC, based on the manufacturer’s specifications. The possibility for misunderstanding and error is removed. All the groups allowed by the system are created in the same manner. Combinations that are not allowed are rendered impossible, and/or they are marked as impossible. The user can now create the best solution for the customer, as well as easily provide alternative suggestions.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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As PGC builds in behavior (both allowed and not allowed) improvements are created that eliminate the need for technical design. See the following pages for how other characteristics in PGC function. This mode of operation is unique for PGC and it provides great possibilities for improved customer service and increased profitability.

Right and Left components Many products are produced in right and left executions. Users of PGC only need to point with the arrow cursor (----> ) in the desired direction for the correct execution. The correct item number is automatically created in the compilation for production.

PGC

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A group has been created and is shown here both as a plan and as an image. If this is a group that you use often it can be saved as a favorite for later use. However, it is often quicker to re-draw a group than to find the right one among several favorites.


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Automatic Placement of Components In PGC, components can be placed automatically, which is a great advantage in large facilities. The same is true for handwheels, fronts and shelves that are automatically placed on portable files.

If the user would subsequently like to change certain sections, he/she enters them to remove or add shelves and/or fittings. The same principle is used with pallet racks where most are the same type, but some need to be altered for other uses.

Plan drawing for pallet rack

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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Components That Adapt to Their Environment A symbol on the component panel can often be used when the component must be adapted to different sizes. This is how a symbol is used for shelves where there will be three different widths and five

Five clicks on this button, and the shelving is complete

Most Appropriate Placement In order to easily create attractive and well executed drawings in PGC, functions can be built in that aid the user with placement in groups. Shown below is an example of three chairs placed around a round table. If two more chairs are added, placement changes automatically.

PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration

different depths combined, this means 15 different shelves with as many item numbers.


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Projection in Elevations Many products are best seen from the side to allow the viewer to determine if the desired configuration has been achieved. For this purpose, there are sections in PGC that appear automatically so that projection can continue by allowing shelves, cabinets, fittings, etc. to be added. It also becomes clear what the choice of materials and colors are, and if they are appropriate.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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Projection Directly into 3D Views Projection can also be done directly into 3D. This is a valuable characteristic of PGC, as it substantially facilitates for the person doing the projection and the customer in terms of being able to determine if the right product and color are being used. Changes are made in the same simple manner by clicking to remove and add components.

Projection in 2D

Or directly into 3-D view

PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration


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Color and Material Options It is possible to change colors and materials at any stage during projection in PGC. In the case of the kitchen below it is possible to concentrate on functionality first as kitchens are important workplaces. Performance, materials and colors can be chosen thereafter.

In the displayed application, choices are made by clicking among several different standard configurations. It is then possible to adjust appearance, color and material of all of the detailed components, such as countertops, baseboards and plinths.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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Technical Calculation Many products require that a technical calculation be made for a satisfactory configuration. Technical calculation can be advantageously built into the program. This results in the disappearance of

calculation errors, and those with a less technical education can still perform configuration work.

Cable dimensions

Plan drawing

Section

3-D rendering

PGC

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The system automatically chooses the fan closest to the red cross

It is also possible to choose a fan manually

The images show a system for fume extraction. The PGC-system automatically calculates the dimensions for necessary channels, as well as what strengths the motor and fan must have.

This company (Nedermans) also produces high pressure constructions, where the amount of air as calculated by the program determines the size of the construction’s aggregate.

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PGC


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Other Technical Calculations and Automatic Functions Many calculations can be left to PGC. Naturally it calculates price. Different discounts and discount systems can be entered. Net contribution can be calculated. Each company has its own individual calculation models that are transferred to PGC.

Other Calculations That Can Be Performed How much does this construction weigh? How heavy can this pallet rack be loaded? How many trucks are needed for this delivery? How long will assembly of this construction take?

PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Automatic Dimensioning Dimension measurement in PGC can be done automatically. This is an important function in certain contexts, for example, those involving kitchen countertops. Countertops are often made from expensive materials so it is important that dimension measurement be done properly. When using automatic dimension measurement, all the measurements are added. Unnecessary measurements are easily removed with a click.


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User-Friendly Programs Every supplier strives to create a user friendly program. Some programs are more difficult then others. Experience shows that advanced computer programs require an extended period of training for them to be used to maximum effect. In many cases it takes months or even years.

Every step provides at least one ten-fold reduction. 10*10*10 > 1,000 times. There are no shortcuts for configuration problems; PGC helps its users by being flexible and allowing complete customer adaptation. With PGC sales of your own unique products will increase.

How can a user friendly program be designed? The answer is: complexity reduction. The only method is to reduce complexity in different ways. How is complexity reduced? From the beginning the initial applications in PGC reached our highest standards and surpassed customer expectations. Reduction occurs in 3 different steps:

PGC is fun to use. The program inspires operators to provide more alternatives, which increases customer service. This is a great strength of PGC, as is the ease with which changes can be made.

1. Context configuration. The first step available is to remove product groups, or parts of product groups. For instance, an interior designer of a school may choose to remove products intended for an office setting. 2. Parametric objects. The next step is to utilize parametric objects. A parametric object can describe many variations of a basic form. See the cabinet example on page 8. 3. Rules. The third step is to implement rules for how different components are related to one another.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

PGC


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Summary As described earlier in this chapter the behavior, possibilities, and limitations of a product series can be programmed into PGC. This is what makes PGC unique and so much more than just a CAD program or a calculation program. PGC enables the realization of all these possibilities. The number of choices is limited to basic parts of a system and provides far reaching possibilities for the user. Anyone can immediately begin using PGC, as the program guides the user the entire time. Training in PGC is necessary. But it can be concentrated to areas that teach the user how to speed up use, collaborate with other systems, use drawing modules and make beautiful, realistic images. Instead of long periods of product training for new employees many companies use PGC to educate new recruits in product know-how. The new

PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration

employees are put in front of a computer to work through the program. This way they not only learn about PGC, but also about the product range and its possibilities. In order for the entire potential of PGC to be utilized, the program must be adapted to the individual company’s products. No respected corporation wants to produce exact copies of another business’s products. Instead, companies aim to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Adaptation in PGC is an investment as explained in-depth throughout Chapter 9 Income and Costs. For your product range to reach its full potential on the market, design complexity must be reduced. No product range is so large or so complex that it cannot be simplified to a user friendly level with PGC.


3 Why PGC


PGC eliminates the time-consuming technical design (75%) and lets the user concentrate on the creative design.


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Why PGC

The problem faced by the company was to get economy of scale into production and to satisfy individual customer demands. Technical design needed to be improved or preferably eliminated altogether. The introduction of CAD and calculation systems was insufficient.

Technical Design

A leading American company within the field of office furnishings noticed costs for their design department were constantly on the rise due to increased customer demand for individual solutions and increased customer demand for more advanced products. An analysis of the design department’s work showed that 15% consisted of aesthetic and functional design, floor planning, choice of colors, and choice of products. 75% was technical design for preparing quotations, setting price and specifications for detailed products. 10% was other time (internal time, training, etc.).

Technical design primarily consists of specifying the quantity of different item numbers, deciding upon correct item numbers, and calculating quotations and order confirmations. This type of task demands sound product expertise, concentration, and accuracy. No matter how much product know-how is possessed, or how concentrated and accurate a person is, this work is time consuming. It is inevitable that large and small mistakes sometimes occur. The analysis also showed that if aided by PGC technical design could be eliminated on the condition that the product was modularized. Variants could be managed and product rules were introduced and described.

The design department had a CAD system for floor planning and visualization as well as a specially designed calculation system. An attempt to get customers to assist in financing design work was unsuccessful. Low hourly rates for design work were only accepted by a few customers. The company was forced either to raise prices or find other solutions. The analysis showed that USD 150M could be saved if technical analysis was eliminated.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Why PGC


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Other Effects When it became clear how great an effect technical specification had on the entire sales process, thoughts began to turn to how it could be eliminated, and what it would entail. It was clear that the only option was to introduce better computer support. The CAD and calculation systems that were being utilized were insufficient. What was needed was a computer program for configuration that could also be used for floor planning and visualization. In order to handle difficult configuration, product rules including behavior and limitations needed to be built into the program. Several advantages could then be reached.

Immediate Effects Pure time gain. In addition to the 75% for technical design, PGC is at least twice as fast as CAD systems. Fewer mistakes. When PGC is connected to the business system, elements of error disappear. Calculation errors and other mistakes due to human error also disappear. Increased sales. Quicker response to questions and better service to customers result in more sales. Developing a web version for configuration and sales over Internet becomes possible.

Why PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Strategic Effects Simplified training of salespersons and designers. By using PGC themselves, new employees can quickly learn the product range and its possibilities without concerning themselves with item numbers. Product launches are easier to carry out and can occur on all markets simultaneously. When a newly developed series has been entered all markets gain access at the same time. It is easier to sell products in new markets when language independence is achieved. Different languages may be entered into PGC, which means the user may use his/her own language.


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The Connection Between Economies in Scale and Sales

This book is an exposition of how PGC functions. It explains how to work with the technology, different business processes, how companies within different industries implement PGC, and how it alters the sales process.

Parametric Graphical Configuration

Why PGC


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How PGC Affects Profitability

Aided by PGC, income can increase while costs decrease bringing about improved economic results.

Why PGC

Parametric Graphical Configuration


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4 Effects of Increased Customer Demand


Changing marked demands is the driving force behind development.


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Effects of

Increased Customer Demand How Market Demands Have Changed In the past, product production has been focused on mass production. Customers purchased what best suited their needs from what was available on the market. In today’s modern information society the situation is completely changed now customers demand products that are individually adapted, user friendly, and optimally fulfill their needs. In order to unite new customer demands with large-scale effective production, products must be managed as variants of a basic model and/or be modularized. Modularization entails products being built from a quantity of standard components. For many products and product combinations, both modularization and variant management are necessary so that market demands can be met.

Modularization and Variant Management Variants of standard products are common for many companies. Variants can be different colors, materials, lengths, widths, depths, etc. The same office chair can be varied with or without armrests or headrests, different back heights, different upholstery choices in cloth or leather, and different colored frames. There are a variety of options. As each parameter substantially increases, the quantity of variant choices reach into the millions. Products that are assembled from given components in new configurations have a good chance of meeting customer demands for individually adapted solutions. The production demand for rational management can also be satisfied with component based products. It is common that products and product groups are built based upon this principle. Material handling systems, interiors and a multitude of building products can be named as examples. Most component based products are also produced from different variants. What these products have in common is that a drawing is required for every delivery so the product can be priced and produced.

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Handling Limits The greatest difficulty associated with component based products and product variants is the boundary for what humans can manage. Several questions are important to ask: Can all the combinations be correctly calculated? Can the salesperson always suggest the best solution? Can the customer understand the proposal? Can the architect easily test different solutions? Are the products correctly produced and delivered? Item numbers are the prevalent aid in unambiguously describing a product and communicating with ERP and other data systems. When the quantity of items is large, it becomes difficult for humans to make the right choice. The risk for incorrect choices and input increases.

Companies Must Deal With New Market Demands Item numbers that unambiguously describe a product are an excellent aid and can be stored on computer printed circuit boards. A human can only memorize so much before the task becomes impossible. People should do aesthetic design. Computers should take care of technical design. PGC has been developed to handle difficult technical design. The results are the many advantages that are described in the following chapters.

Item number series are often formed as combinations of letters and numbers to provide the user with clues as to which item is being referred. When new variants are added and become abundant, complicated maintenance issues can occur. In order to facilitate management of component based products, groups that have been completely configured usually receive their own item numbers. This increases complexity and there is a risk that there are no completely configured groups that entirely suit the customer, which results in lost quotations.

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PGC users do not need item numbers or designations. All work is performed with the aid of easy to grasp graphic components that know which executions are possible and how well suited they are to other components. PGC takes limitations and dependencies that are relevant to the real product into account. Examples of dependencies are components and mountings in different combinations that are to be removed or added. Limitations can be in height, length or depth. Other forms of builtin knowledge can be color or technical limitations (for example, durability and air flow). PGC handles regulations related to the product that ensure the program will be user friendly and error free. Drawings and lists that are produced in PGC can be printed out with complete dimension measurements and quantities. Data can also be sent electronically to ERP systems or to production machines.

Lean Office Lean production is a tested, systematic concept that eliminates or minimizes unnecessary waste and work within industry. The term was coined by Toyota, whose production system TPS is based on review of the company’s processes with the objective of eliminating all waste.

Often there are few steps in the process that provide value to the customer. To improve the steps themselves seldom results in positive effects. The greatest possibilities are realized by removing or reducing the steps that do not provide value. The same principles can be used within administration. This new concept is known as Lean Office. When work is done at a desk, in front of a computer, at customer calls or in conference rooms, the work flow is more difficult to monitor than it is in a workshop. When charting processes two things are discovered. One is the multitude of non-value creating activities. The other is that many processes are recurring and therefore possible to standardize and improve.

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Here is How Results are Created in a Cost Effective Flow Begin the task with five steps: 1. Determine what the customer’s processes are and what is important to the customer. 2. Separate the recurring processes from the unique one-time processes. Deal with the recurring processes first. 3. Chart work flow. What provides value? What does not provide value? 4. Think creatively in terms of how to improve the processes.

The most difficult task is to adapt the culture to become one which demands success. Change must begin at the top and all employees must be involved. The objective must be to create long term work that provides exceptional value for customers and society. In Chapter 7 Processes, more can be read about different business processes, and how a graphical configurator affects these. In Chapter 11, A 7-Point Introduction Program, the adaptation process for success when creating an improved and developing organization is discussed.

5. Start. Learn while doing.

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5 Industry Sectors That Utilize PGC


System built products are of increasing importance in many areas.


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Industry Sectors that Utilize PGC Many companies in different industries utilize PGC in their daily order processes. Those who first discovered the advantages of PGC work within project sales and often need to configure new solutions for their customers. They have a great need for floor planning and work with multiple quotations, both large and small.

Many companies in this industry market their products through an independent reseller network. Resellers often have one main supplier and several subcontractors for supplementary products. There is a library function in PGC so that even products that are not adapted in the program can be added and included in quotations.

There are many industries beyond those discussed below that can greatly benefit from PGC. The platform for implementation is powerful and flexible, which is why solutions for many other companies within other industries are both possible and desirable.

Users within this area are:

Interiors for Public Environments This is a prioritized area for PGC. Companies within this industry have great need for both floor planning and visualization. Furthermore, many companies develop system built workplaces that consistently require configuration in order to suit customer needs.

In Sweden: Kinnarps AB including the Klaessons, Materia and Scandiform subsidiaries, Glim책kra AB and S-Line Office AB In Finland: Martela OY and ISKU OY In Norway: Fora Form AS In England: Workspace Office Solutions Ltd. In the USA: Haworth, Inc.

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Industry Sectors that Utilize PGC


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Kitchens Planning or remodeling a kitchen is a difficult task. The kitchen is the most important room in the home, and it should function as not only a workplace but as a pleasant gathering space for the entire family. An entirely new and revolutionary kitchen application was built for Marbodal AB. This PGC application has been built in Configura CET. In the application, it is possible to plan directly into a 3-D view which provides the customer and/or operator with a better overview of the kitchen’s development. The program can deal with information that no CAD or kitchen design program has previously been able to handle. For example, countertops in any existing material can be dimension measured including notches allowing information to be sent directly to the producer electronically. Read further on Configura CET in Chapter 13.

Shelving and filing systems, Portable Files Shelving systems for storage are used in many contexts. It is important to utilize available space to a maximum making portable solutions popular. Such shelving systems contain a multitude of components in addition to shelves and ends such as rails, driving devices, handwheels, etc. Rooms where the components are placed are different sizes, making it essential that floor planning and configuration possibilities exist. Among those who utilize PGC are: In Sweden: Lunqvist Inredningar Eftr. AB In the USA: Spacesaver Corporation, TAB Products Company, Datum Filing Systems, Inc. In England: Rackline Systems Storage Ltd. In Denmark: Nordplan AS. In Austria: Forster Verkehrs- und Werbetechnik GmbH

Industry Sectors that Utilize PGC

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Industrial Workspaces

Pallet and Shelving Racks

Planning for industrial workspaces is quite similar to office planning. However, the fittings for these workspaces vary a great deal because of the diversity of the products assembled within the space.

Many companies need large stocks. The warehouses need to be planned carefully so that product flow is as smooth as possible. Several companies who furnish warehouses with pallet and shelving systems use PGC.

Wilhelm Bott GmbH & Co.KG in Germany use PGC for planning interiors of work vehicles for plumbers and glaziers. Nederman, whose main products are within flue-gas cleaning, also use PGC to plan interior projects.

In Sweden: EAB In the USA: Burroghs Corporation, Ridg-U-Rak, Inc. In England: Rapid Racking Ltd.

Conveyors for Material Handling Conveyors are used in many different industries. This requires careful planning so that work can flow efficiently. Conveyors are often built on different levels, which is why 3-D images are useful for understanding and planning flow. A need to simulate material flow often arises in relation to conveyor solutions. It is possible to export configuration solutions from PGC to external simulation programs.

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Construction Products There are many products within this area that have a great need for calculation, configuration, planning and visualization. Manufacturers of entry doors, windows, partitions, glass sections, and ceilings can significantly develop their organization with assistance from PGC. Hoyez SA in France produces movable walls and sections for office and industrial premises.

Electrolux is a large manufacturer and supplier of laundry equipment for apartment buildings. There is not a great deal of configuration needed as it is mostly single unit products that are concerned. A well implemented plan and attractive pictures are important. A study showed that planning work was done in half the time when aided by PGC in comparison to previously utilized CAD solutions.

Technical Manufacturing Industry DeLaval is a large Swedish export company that can trace its history back to Gustaf De Laval, who in 1883 founded the Separator company. DeLaval currently markets milking systems all around the world. These systems can be adapted to different types of livestock and to different sized facilities; everything from small facilities to large-scale production. DeLaval has equipped its offices and salespersons with PGC. The program is used in projecting new systems and as an electronic product catalogue. Orders are sent from PGC directly to the company’s business system.

Industry Sectors that Utilize PGC

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6 Analysis of Different Configuration Methods


Configuration, planning and design is a very difficult task, unless it is supported through automatic rules and calculations.


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Analysis of Different Configuration Methods Configuration of component based products is often difficult and time consuming work. The work itself can consist of relatively simple tasks, where alternatives are relatively few and the variants limited. However, there are many systems that have millions of alternatives and variants. Configuration work is considered typical engineering work, while floor planning and aesthetic design have been done by specialists such as architects. After the breakthrough of the PC, many wondered how computer power could be used for configurations. This has turned out to be a huge challenge for software companies. There are three angles of approach.

for an individual product. The operator must decide upon all the accompanying and added parts that are necessary for a product combination. For example, table tops that are included in an office workspace must be supplemented with an assembly mounting and the withdrawn/removed legs to be complete. No support is provided from a query based configurator. Query based configurators also completely lack support for floor planning and visualization. The greatest part of both technical and aesthetic design is left to be done.

1. Query-based Configuration This procedure is built upon a number of questions being answered. For every answer, available alternatives are shown until only one alternative is left, which then displays an item number. Example: Quantity: 1 Base item: Optima Corner A Side table (r, l): l Length: (1, 2, 3): 3 Width: (1,2): 2 Answer: OPT-345 This method is utilized in many ERP systems and has the advantage of using the ERP system’s database directly. A query based configurator only supports the process in choosing item numbers

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2. CAD-based Configuration When CAD programs became accessible to PC’s, development of CAD based systems for floor planning and aesthetic design began. Symbols for many products were developed and made accessible to resellers, consultants and architects. Symbols simplify work planning in an essential manner, but have limited value in terms of calculations and specifications. The program can only calculate symbols set out on the drawing that are associated to an item number. This limitation to an item number means that it is not really possible to speak of configuration in this context. All technical design is left to be done; it is this technical design that has been shown to take up 75% of an operator’s time.

Analysis of Different Configuration Methods

3. Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC) Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC) is the only known method that completely solves the problem. Parametrical also means rule driven in this context. The number of symbols is limited because they can be changed on the drawing surface manually or automatically. Behavior and limitations are built in. Complexity is reduced by a factor of at least 100. A parametric graphical configurator becomes the technical support that previously required long experience and engineering knowledge. PGC can also be simplified through product range choices. If a company has a large product range that is intended for different application areas, the user can first choose the area with which he/she wants to work and the system will then disregard all the others.

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The disadvantage of PGC is that it demands rather comprehensive programming before it can be fully utilized.

Groups That Are Provided With Their Own Article Number

Configura CM

One method used for configuration is the formation of completely configured groups that have their own item number. Such groups almost never fulfill the complete needs of a customer. The quantity of configured groups soon grows to such proportions that the method is untenable, and only increases the complexity of the process.

The Configura CM programming language has been developed to reduce work and effort related to programming in an essential manner when adapting the program to a specific customer. Programming proceeds 5-10 times as quickly as it would have with traditional programming languages and development environments. Read more on this in the chapter on Configura CET

It is possible to save groups as favorites if desired, but the PGC user soon discovers that it is quicker to re-draw a group than to find the right one among saved favorites.

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Quotation and Order Preparation To create attractive and complete quotations, a long line of activities that contain both aesthetic and technical design are required. When quotations become orders, the technical design most usually needs to be repeated.

Calculation programs for price calculations. Word processor programs and image representation programs for printing. None of these can perform the technical design, that must be done manually.

Before computers, the only tools available were pens, drawing boards, pocket calculators and typewriters. Now there are different programs for different tasks. CAD programs for drawing and floor planning.

In PGC, all the functions needed for creating quotations and order preparation are integrated. The important configuration function is also included meaning technical design is automatically and correctly implemented.

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Characteristics of Different Configuration Principles

Simple Count With simple count, calculation designates set components on a drawing without consideration to configuration changes.

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Floor Planning and Advanced Drawing Assistance For floor planning to be performed quickly and simply, PGC has many functions that facilitate work. Automatic placements and configurations are performed when groups are being drawn, making work easy to complete. Performance tests with only a single unit product drawing with CAD applications show that this type of work proceeds twice as quickly with PGC.

Combination Configuration The most positive aspects of PGC are demonstrated when new groups need to be configured. Completely configured groups can be saved in favorites. This option is seldom utilized as it is often quicker to re-draw desired groups than to find a specific one among saved favorites.

Automatic Dimensioning Many calculations can be made easy by PGC. Countertops and wire sizes can be automatically altered to fit the desired application of each along with many other similar calculations.

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Infinite Variant Management

Visualization

Variants of standard products are common. Variants can be different colors, materials, lengths, widths, depths, etc. Manufacturing windows is a good example of the complexity of this problem. The customer’s wishes create endless variations of height and width, frame colors, types of glass, and locks and fittings. It is easy to understand that there are many possibilities for variety. As each parameter substantially increases the number of variants, they soon reach into the millions.

Image and 3-D generations in PGC are done in a completely integrated module. There are many possibilities to choose from including different angles, height limitations and detailed images. Those knowledgeable in photo technology can create high quality pictures to be used in brochures and other marketing material.

Automatic Calculation Since PGC works with basic components, the program always calculates the quantity, size and price correctly. This is a great advantage as results can be sent electronically to ERP systems. Human error in calculations and input are eliminated. This is not entirely possible in CAD systems as they are limited by item numbers for completely configured groups.

In addition to pictures, other types of drawings can be created. Automatic elevations, dimension measured assembly drawings and manufacturing drawings can be created from plan drawings. For example, when planning a kitchen it is possible to obtain drawings that show the different walls in elevation, countertops, and decorative baseboards in addition to planning and drawing pictures.

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PGC — The Navigable Path Item numbers that unambiguously describe a product are an excellent aid, and can, of course, be stored in computer memory. A human, on the other hand, can only memorize and remember a few. When the number exceeds a certain boundary, the task becomes impossible. 1. People should do aesthetic design. 2. Computers should take care of technical design. PGC has been developed to handle difficult technical design. The results of this are the many advantages that are described in the following chapters.

PGC considers the limitations and dependencies that are relevant for the real product. Examples of dependencies are components and mountings in different combinations that are to be removed or added. Limitations can be in height, length or depth. Other forms of built-in knowledge can be, for example, color or technical limitations (for example, durability and air flow). PGC manages regulations related to the product and ensures the program is user friendly and always free of error. The best way to be user friendly is to reduce the complexity. Parametric Graphical Configuration was designed to do just that.

The user of PGC need not know any item numbers or item designations. All work is done with assistance from easy to grasp graphic symbols that represent different components. Components that know in which executions they can exist, how well suited they are to other components, etc.

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7 Processes


All companies require several processes to run. The foundation of business is the order process.


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Processes Several different processes are constantly going on in any given company: sales process, product development process, marketing process, etc. A process can be defined as: A logical chain of recurring activities that add value in terms of reaching specific results for internal and external customers.

By analyzing a process and asking the question ”Can anything be done differently”, great steps forward can be taken. When a process has been analyzed, the next natural question is ”Are there IT solutions that can help us change this process?”

Important distinguishing features of a process are: they are often invisible and complex results are often abstract and sometimes unique they are often not well defined work is seen as an event and not as a process measurement is seldom done there is seldom a specified person responsible for the process

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Make Your Company More Effective In order to meet the demand for customer adapted products and quick turnaround time, an increasing number of companies are concentrating their renewal work on improving their internal processes. Modern IT technology has enabled many new options for altered and simplified processes. Development has proceeded at a furious rate, which in turn has resulted in setbacks. However, development cannot be stopped. Many speak of the new economy. This is not wishful thinking, it is reality. Changes have been big and are going to be bigger.

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PGC is a high-tech innovation at the absolute forefront of research within IT. PGC is changing and influencing many companies’ processes. Some of the processes that exist in all companies with component-based production will be discussed in the following pages. In companies that wish to grow and develop, management bears a great deal of responsibility in terms of reviewing processes on a continuous basis, suggesting and accepting changes, as well as fully committing themselves to the work of change. Implementing PGC raises a company to a new level on the ladder of competence.


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The Order Process For companies that sell component-based products, quotation and calculation work is of central importance. Activities such as sales, manufacturing and assembly are completely dependent upon close collaboration and services from the key people who perform the quotation and calculation work. The image below shows the order process for these companies. The central role of quotation and calculation work is clear. For manufacturing companies with resellers, parts of or the entire function can be moved to reseller level. During periods of heavy workloads independent consultants are often engaged. The figure demonstrates how customer contact affects the process. A need is established by the customer or salesperson. Inquiries that consist of oral and written prerequisites arrive to the quotation and calculation department. These people are usually not in direct contact with the customer, which means that misunderstandings can easily occur and result in delays and incomplete proposals. In addition, backlogs with bothersome delays and forgotten prerequisites often result.

When the quotation becomes an order, a great deal of work must be repeated. The quotation and calculation department prepares material specifications and drawings for production and assembly. When preparing quotations, rough estimates are often used. Now specifications must be exact. Administrative lead time is often long. The result is often a delayed delivery time of several weeks leading to capital being tied up and orders being lost.

PGC Many work tasks disappear or are reduced through the use of PGC. As the image demonstrated, drafting work is done in a fraction of the time. Calculation is completed at the same time that drafting is completed. All tasks related to the quotation and order confirmation are done.

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Marketing Delivery documents, assembly drawings and the basis for invoicing are completed, as is production preparation. If the program is electronically connected to an MRP/ERP system, all that is needed is a click of a button for the order to enter the production phase. The entire sales and order process has been changed. Backlogs at different levels are removed. To prepare a quotation for the customer becomes a pleasant task rather than heavygoing work. Administrative lead time is reduced to a minimum. Calculations are exact, which is a prerequisite for accurate deliveries.

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Completely new marketing possibilities are available with PGC. Drawing and photography have been used for visualization for a long period of time. With PGC, pictures can be produced for catalogues, price lists, advertisements and flyers, and at a significantly lower cost than what has previously been possible. Artificially produced images also provide greater options when creating special effects, showing settings that are difficult to photograph or do not exist. PGC becomes an electronic product catalogue. This catalogue shows all the products, combinations and variants that the company has to offer.


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Product Launches The time that passes from the point a new product is ready to be sold until it reaches the market is often decisive for its success. New products that are sold in combination often meet initial resistance as they are perceived as being complicated. This is also true of well thought-out systems. To learn how they function, how they are best utilized and how they are calculated always entails work that there is little time for. This results in more time passing before marketing the new system can take off.

For a new product that is adapted in PGC from the beginning, introduction is much simpler. PGC trains users in product know-how and product use, and the options offered by the new product line can be directly utilized. Launching of the new product line can be done simultaneously on all markets shortening the time of introduction. The new product becomes a winner.

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Globalization For organizations with activities in several locations and in several countries, new possibilities are created to transmit current product information electronically to co-workers on the frontline. Order information goes directly from the different points of sale to headquarters, where upon verification it can be directly distributed to a production facility. Information transmission can be done quickly and correctly with no manual steps. Co-workers at the frontline have constant access to current product information. They experience the order process only through the user friendly interface. The other parts are dealt with automatically, electronically and with great certainty. An electronic connection means that major design assistance can be provided to a traveling representative with a laptop, giving him access to the entire capacity of the headquarters. Most projects are probably best handled by local salespersons. They use electronic connections to transmit orders and to receive current information. PGC fundamentally supports multiple languages. During the customer adaptation stage, desired translations are entered and different currencies can be added (with a conversion factor). These characteristics make PGC a valuable coworker in international expansion. As language difficulties disappear, the risk for misunderstanding is reduced and business dealings are facilitated.

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Product Development The absence of PGC has meant that many companies that sell component-based products have been forced to reduce to single unit products, or a few static groups. This is because of the systems’ inflexibility, which makes quotation calculation and order preparation difficult to perform without aids. Orders based on single unit products often result in unnecessary components being produced and delivered. This creates disadvantages in the form of deteriorated functionality and increased price.

Why do most tables have 4 legs? Typical office furnishing includes several tables placed to provide necessary workspace. If these tables are linked in a system, only 4 legs are necessary. Many leading office furnishing companies have utilized this principle and developed solutions where workspaces and storage units are hung up on the walls, and where electrical supply and communication lines have been integrated into the walls. With PGC, calculations and specifications are no longer a problem.

Using PGC allows the company’s product developer to think of systems in a new way. Why are all kitchen cabinets built in the shape of boxes? Can’t we produce kitchens with more effective use of space? This would save a great deal of material as well as space that could be used for storage. The freed up space is estimated to be 15-30 cm for a normal kitchen.

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Utilize and Raise the Level of Performance For companies that produce advanced system products, there are always new customer demands that cannot immediately be programmed into the system. Such demands are often a one-time event. This type of demand is usually met by technical specialists within the company. If there are too many requests requiring the specialists’ involvement, a bottleneck occurs.

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In addition, it is poor housekeeping of special competence to utilize these specialists for simple solutions. With PGC, all employees quickly reach the 80% level. The result is that the most competent employees can completely concentrate on the advanced level that makes up 20% of deliveries.


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8 Communication Between Different Systems


Create an unbroken chain of information from customer to manufacturing.


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Communication Between Different Systems Having IT systems that can communicate with one another is essential for modern companies. PGC must be linked to the business system utilized by the individual company so that the chain of information can continue electronically without break.

Connections to Business Systems

It is an advantage if all the company’s systems are connected by way of a server and all data communication is done through the server. Companies with global sales and production in several countries may have different systems. Through a combination of the above approaches they can collaborate with PGC.

Connection between PGC and a business system can be realized in different ways. A common solution is this: In this set-up, all communication is done via a Biztalk Server (or other server) with XML (eXtensible Markup Language) or another format.

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Integration Integration can be even further enhanced through incorporating part of the business system logic into the PGC software.

An imported drawing can be used as a background, as well as be reduced or changed. It is also possible to convert an AutoCAD drawing to a PGC drawing.

This is an advanced solution which allows the PGC client to download calculation models and price data straight from the business system.

Furthermore, it is possible to export PGC drawings to AutoCAD drawings. Entity= AutoCAD term for an object (block or smaller parts) in a drawing.

Orders are communicated directly and confirmation is returned with delivery times and other information to the person who placed the order.

Collaboration with MS Word and Excel

See Kinnarps AB in PGC Success Stories, chapter 12, for a successful implementation of this concept with the Movex business system.

Data from PGC can in certain instances also be transferred to Word and Excel.

Collaboration with AutoCAD

All PGC documents can be converted to PDF documents. The PDF documents can then be sent by e-mail, published on Internet or on an extranet.

AutoCAD is the market’s leading application for creating building and construction blueprints. PGC supports import and export to AutoCAD formats DWG and DXF.

PDF

PDF= Portable Document Format

Imported blueprint information can be changed in different ways. Undesired layers can be removed. Colors on different layers can be changed. Entities can be moved, rotated or removed.

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9 Income and Costs


PGC uniquely supports both reduced costs and increased income to improve profitability.


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Income and Costs Many companies that have both complex and simple configuration needs use PGC in their sales process. This results in costs and savings as well as increased revenues.

Costs Sales for companies that use PGC varies from $2.5 million up to $1 billion. In 2003 their costs for service and licensing ranged between $1,250 and $700,000; from 0.1 per thousand to 2.3 per thousand of their sales. If the assumption is made that internal costs (for their own hardware, service, etc) reach a corresponding amount, the cost of using PGC in the sales process is at most 4.6 per thousand of sales. The lowest cost for PGC is 0.1 per thousand, and the highest cost is 2.3 per thousand of sales. The costs for hardware and software are approximately the same.

PGC Provides Savings The most obvious way to measure savings is to consider the situation that arises when electronic data is directly transmitted to the business system instead of quantities and item numbers needing to be entered manually. An office furnishing company with sales of $187-250 million can be used as an example. They normally need 20-30 full-time employees for the work of entering relevant data into the business system. The savings here is as much as $1.6252.5 million, that is 3-4 times as large as their total cost for the program. Reduced personnel costs for order placement save 3-4 times the total cost.

The figure of 4.6 per thousand must be seen as the maximum cost, and is relevant only to companies that often change product lines. For example, an office furnishing company generally introduces a new series every year, while a company with products that do not follow trends to the same extent requires fewer updates to the program.

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Correct Specifications The most important savings that arise from PGC is that lack of errors in specifications significantly reduces the number of complaints. The sum of these costs is, for most companies, unknown and often considered inevitable. A conservative estimate is that they amount to between 3% and 5% of sales. Electronic transmission of orders to ERP systems can save a great deal in terms of sales percentage.

To be aware of this problem is a prerequisite for success. In order to gain insight into the extent of these costs, measurement is necessary. If measurement is done before introduction, and then followed up after introduction, surprising results will be obtained. Following are two examples of what error reduction can entail: An office furnishing company examined how their sales force worked and discovered that half of their time was spent dealing with complaints. Many complaints took time away from selling.

After introduction, this amount of time was significantly reduced. The sales force could instead search for new customers and increase its capacity. A construction company often negotiated on the purchase of gypsum boards. Gypsum boards are an inexpensive building material, approximately $2.50/ sq m. The boards are ungainly and are easily damaged during handling at construction sites. The construction company began to consider if the boards could be packaged per apartment and in another format. In order to see if this would be economically justifiable, they first examined what the boards

Income and Costs

cost when they were put up. The price determined was $22.50 per board. After trial deliveries under the new system the price had dropped to $16.25 per board despite a general increase in price from the supplier. The gypsum board supplier was satisfied as he received his requested price. The construction company was satisfied with this innovative idea. The specification for the quantity of boards needed for each apartment can be done manually, but it is done in a fraction of the time with the right tools, and the results are more certain. A new way of specifying resulted in significant gains for both companies.

Design Work An investigation that was presented in Chapter 1 demonstrates that 75% of work related to drawing, calculation and quoting/preparing orders can be eliminated. The cost for this company combined with the reseller’s cost reached $160 million. Converted to percent, the eliminated cost is 8% of sales. The eliminated cost can vary depending on the company and activities, but is always significant. An example: The time spent creating quotations and specifications is reduced to at least half.

A company that delivers equipment to laundry facilities introduced PGC to its Swedish organization first. Two employees were designated to work on the task full-time. After introduction, one person was all that was needed to carry out the work. As this became clear to company management, they decided to introduce the program globally.

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Shorter Response Times Quotation requests from customers should be treated as perishables. Customers that quickly receive answers and thoroughly prepared proposals tend to think of the quoting company in a very positive light. This is also true when alternatives, modifications and large changes are desired. The companies that can fulfill customer wishes in this manner have a great advantage over competitors. The significance of price is pushed into the background.

Increase in Income An increase in sales can depend on many factors. The most important parameter is customer satisfaction. It is perhaps here that PGC contributes the most: substantially increased quality of quotations, swiftness in answering requests, bids with images so that the customer can fully understand the delivery and faultless deliveries.

A Completely New Working Method Working with PGC will have a big impact on the user. Creativity can fully bloom. No looking in catalogues to find item numbers, appearance and prices. No tedious calculations to obtain a price. No guessing or rough estimates. Full concentration on functionality and aesthetics. Following is an example of how a kitchen can be projected in collaboration with the customer:

functionality is concentrated upon first: where should the stove, sink, dishwasher, refrigerator and freezer be placed? How much storage is needed? Should there be an island in the kitchen? Is there room for a kitchen table? It is possible to see the kitchen take shape both as a plan and as an image during the entire projection during the entire design. You can use both views in your work. Dimension measurement is done automatically. Satisfied customers are the best advertisement.

When you and the customer agree that the function of the kitchen is satisfactory, you move on to aesthetic aspects. Now the strength of PGC really comes into play. A material elector allow for trying out different design styles - wood for cabinets, color for different parts, material for countertops, moldings, and different types of baseboards. This is a unique capability of a PGC system - it is possible because there are no early choices of specific article numbers. Instead the design is created through specifying properties like width, depth, and material for generic objects. The material elector changes some of these properties wherever possible and new article numbers are generated instantly. The result is a visual change to great effect. The price is updated the entire time so that the customer can see what the different choices cost. All changes are also immediately seen in the generated image. This is to create customer satisfaction. Customer wishes are in the place of honor.

First the room is traced out. Windows, doors and installation points are established. This preparatory work is quickly done. Then comes the design of the kitchen. The kitchen is a home’s most important workplace. That is why

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When design is complete, all the documents are accessible for printing or for electronic transfer. The customer receives a detailed quotation including pictures and other visualizations. After ordering, all the data can be directly transferred into the business system electronically. Drawings of countertops can be sent to the manufacturer either electronically or on paper with completed dimension measurement including notches and exact measurements. Users can concentrate on functionality and aesthetics instead of products and learning programs.

Calculation explanation: The number of working hours per year is assumed to be 1,650 h * 12 salespeople = 19,800 h. Number of hours related to quotations is 20% = 3,960 h. Additional time is used for travel, customer visits, etc. Time for order preparation is calculated to be 4,125 h. Time reduction for technical design = 75 % of 8,085 h = 6,064 h.

Cost and Income Analysis Before a decision to purchase is made, a cost and income analysis should be made. A presentation of how such an analysis can be organized follows. The analysis is for a company with products intended for public environments.

Income Savings When Quoting and Handling Orders There are four primary effects of PGC: A. Fewer manpower hours needed for quotation and preparation B. Reduced costs when training new personnel C. Reduced costs for errors in specifications D. Increased sales Quotations: A. Internal sales and support: the sales department produces most of the drawings, calculations and quotations on its own by using PGC. Salespeople become less dependent on sales support for basic data and technical design disappears. This means that costs can be reduced by 75%. Number of working hours per year, sales: 12 x 1,650 h = 19,800 h Number of hours related to quotations: 19,800 x 20% = 3,960 h Number of hours saved: 75% x 3,960 = 2,970 h Average annual cost salesperson: $75,000 Average hourly cost salesperson: 75,000/1,650 = 45.50 $/h Savings: 2,970 h x 45.50$ = 135,000 $/year

Order preparation: Number of working hours per year, preparation: 2.5 x 1,650 h = 4,125 h Average annual cost quotation writer: $41,250 Average hourly cost quotation writer: 41,250/1,650 = 25 $/h Savings: 4,125 h x 25 = $103,125 per year Total quotation and preparation $238,125 per year

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Savings When New Employees Costs for Error Receive Training

C. Costs due to error: The salesperson manages all the information from the B. Training costs: A new salesperson customer through to the final order with and quotation writer can learn a great assistance from PGC. This decreases risk deal about the company’s product range for misunderstanding between the by using PGC. All the rules concerning different functions in the sales and product behavior are built into the ordering process. It also prevents the system. Item numbers and configuration salesperson or quotation writer from rules are no longer necessary to memorize creating product combinations or - everything is in the system. The specifications that are not possible learning period for new employees is to deliver. reduced by 50%. Personnel turnover salespeople: 3.5% x 14.5; that is, 1 new employee every other year Training cost per new employee: $37,500 Average training cost per year: 0.5 x $37,500 = $18,750 Cost with PGC: 50% x $18,750 = $9,375 Savings per year: $9,375

If PGC is linked to a material requirements planning system (MRP), the risk for input errors is completely eliminated. By reviewing the 2D and 3-D images created by the program the customer can verify that the quotation corresponds to his/her wishes. Costs for error: $62,500 Costs for error with Configura: 10% x 62,500 = $6,250 Savings per year: $56,250

Calculation explanation: A personnel turnover of 3% would entail a new employee every other year. There is another aspect of PGC that is difficult to evaluate in money. PGC decreases dependency upon a specific person. Much of the product know-how and many of the configuration rules are entered into the system.

Calculation explanation: Costs that are linked to error in specifications will be entirely eliminated for products that have been implemented. It is reasonable to assume that all these costs will be eliminated, but to keep income aspects in this calculation low, we have chosen to count on a 90% reduction.

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Increased Sales Calculation explanation: The assumed quotation value is 66M$, of which 75% can be attributed to systems included in PGC. 70% of these quotations are standard quotations that Time savings: The salesperson can will be affected by introduction, which provides quickly create and make changes to a quotation value of 34.6M$ from which to drawings and quotations. Due to the start. We have counted on an increased “hitsavings in time, more quotations can rate” from 30% to 33%, which entails be prepared for customers. Increased an increase of approximately 10%. We quotation volume leads to increased sales. have assumed the same profit margin as prevailing at 20%.

D. Increased sales There are several reasons why sales will increase:

Professional documents: Quotations and drawings generated by PGC maintain consistent and high quality which helps the manufacturer to distinguish him/ herself from competitors. A Swedish company increased its “hit-rate” (number of quotations that proceed to order) from 60% to 90% after implementation. Increased creativity: As preparing a quotation is so quickly done in PGC it is possible for the salesperson to provide the customer with several proposals. Visualization also makes it easier for the salesperson to indicate additional needs and provide suggestions for fittings. Quotation value “sharp quotations”: 34.625M Hit-rate quotations: 30% Hit-rate with PGC: 33% Increased order volume: 33% x $34.625M –30% x $34.625M$ =$1.039M Profit margin: 20 % Increased profit: 0.2 x 1.039M = $207,750

Income and Costs

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Customer adaptation

Licenses

There are a number of different parameters that affect the cost of customer adaptation: number of products in the range, the degree of complexity in price calculations, integration with other IT systems, etc. Assume that the total investment would reach SEK 2 million over a three-year period.

Number of licenses: 20 Rental fee (incl. support): $100/month and license Annual cost: 100 x 12 x 20 = $24,000 per year

Total investment: Depreciation period: Annual book cost:

$250,000 5 years $50,000 per year

Calculation explanation A total investment in PGC of $250,000 is probably a high estimate, but it depends on how much functionality is chosen to be built into the program. Investment would also be done over a period of several years.

Internal cost Internal cost for project management (based on 50% of a full-time position): 0.25 x 1,650 h = 412 h Internal cost: 824 h x $45.5 = $37,500 per year

Summary Income: Quotations and preparation Reduced train. time Few. err. in spec. Increased sales Sum

238,125 9,375 56,250 207,750 $511,500

Costs: Customer adaptation Licenses Internal cost Sum

50,000 24,000 37,500 $111,500

Total profit per year $400,000 Calculation explanation: The number of working hours is assumed to be 1,650 h. During the initial project, it is reasonable to assume that PGC will require approximately 25% of the project manager’s work time. This will not be the case in the years that follow, which means that 25% is a high estimate.

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Summary The figures in the described costs and income analysis can be discussed. All the savings will not be effective immediately. Changes to a company take time.

Introduction can meet resistance. For an effective adaptation process, see Chapter 11, A 6-Point Introduction Program.

ROI (Return on Investment) How PGC affects your company

The total cost for PGC reaches a maximum of 0.5% of sales. Savings affect sales costs (green section) and other costs (brown section), so that profit (blue section) has the potential to increase from 10% to 15% - 20%.

Income and Costs

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10 Customer Adapted Systems


Every manufacturer strives towards unique products. PGC must be adapted to each manufacturer to reach its full potential.


75

Customer Adapted Systems There is a long standing debate concerning whether programs should be customer specific or purely standard programs. Both sides have valid arguments. Standard programs are better because they are cheaper and easily accessible. Standard programs are not sufficient in fulfilling our requirements as our organization is unique. The truth exists somewhere in between. It is common that programs such as Excel and Word can, to a certain extent, be adapted to specific needs. A company’s logotype can be added and the appearance of documents can be determined. For large business systems, comprehensive customer adaptation is required for the system to be utilized to its full potential.

their unique product program. Perhaps they use CAD programs, but soon realize that all the specifications must be revised manually and with a calculation program. The procedure becomes a task for specialists, a large expense for the company and a bottleneck in the business process. For office interior companies, technical design comprises 75% of the time used for the order process. For companies in other industries, the time needed for technical design varies according to level of difficulty but is always significant. For component based products, standard programs are not sufficient.

The Most Effective Way to Realize a Project for Customer Adaptation in PGC

Component-based System Products

In order to realize a successful project, close cooperation between the project manager from the supplier company and the customer company is necessary.

All companies that are exposed to competition and who produce and market this type of product aim to distinguish themselves from their competitors. They constantly endeavor to obtain higher quality, smarter solutions and better designs. This desire drives development forward, and is nothing but positive. The companies that best succeed increase their market share and their profit.

The project begins with the project manager establishing an outline of the project plan. This plan is presented and discussed with both the customer and all the team members of the project. This is an important part of the process, as it is important to get everyone working towards the same objective. The purpose is also to get the customer to go through the same process that the project manager has.

When a successful company within this field wants to implement PGC in order to improve the sales process, they quickly realize that there is no standard system that can be utilized that suits

More on project realization in Chapter 11.

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Meetings with the customer and the project team are held on a weekly basis to evaluate the work that has been done. Review of the main plan as well as of necessary revisions of the plan should be done at these meetings. Large projects are preferably divided into sub-projects. This makes it easier for the customer and the project team members to focus on the tasks on which the team is currently working. All sub-projects should be subjected to comprehensive testing as the project progresses to avoid an untenable situation when the entire project is to be tested.

Sales Channels Many companies with component based products market through their own sales organization. Other companies only market through a reseller network. A combination of both is probably most common. A limited number of sales over the Internet is also possible.

quality with attractive pictures and correct specifications. Quick service and a willingness to provide alternative proposals are other aspects that promote sales. The company can feel pride over both its products and its image as they are perceived on the market. How should resellers that are generally accustomed to generic programs and their own sales methods be convinced of this new, superior way of selling? The answer is through library and catalogue management. In Configura CET, both complete adaptations of systems and generic product catalogues are produced. Interested parties can then download the desired catalogue or application from the Internet for use together with the main program. This enables effective local salespeople to offer their customers a broad range of choices as well as high quality quotations and orders. This also entails faultless deliveries and a shorter waiting period between ordering and actual receipt of the product.

Most reseller networks often have one main supplier and several other suppliers in order to meet customer wishes most effectively. Therefore resellers desire access to systems that can configure, draw and calculate all the products they have to offer. Every supplier wants his/ her products to receive as prominent a place as possible. A conflict arises in this intersection of wishes. Both the supplier and the reseller want to determine which products should be presented to the final customer first.

Catalogue Management A customer adapted program in PGC is an excellent aid for companies that hope to convince the market of their products’ merits, such as modern design, low price and useful functions. Produced quotations are of the best imaginable

Customer Adapted Systems

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11 A 6-Point Introduction Program


Companies must constantly adapt and improve. Large changes can be required at times.


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A 6-Point Introduction Program PGC has been successfully introduced in over 40 companies. Experience has led to the insight that there are 6 vital points necessary for successful introduction. The 6 points are intended for companies that are planning to introduce PGC as well as those that have already begun introduction. What should a company do to introduce PGC into its organization quickly and successfully? The points are intended to serve as a tool to help an organization reach its set objectives. Every point should be evaluated on a scale of 1 to 10. Level 1 means that work done on that point is poor. Level 10 means that work done on that point is good and cannot be improved. Level 5 means acceptable. The lower the points, the more negative the direction of introduction. High points indicate a quicker introduction of PGC within the organization. It is above all the Return on Investment, ROI, aspect that is affected. Improving the number of points in these seven areas is vital for a quick and successful introduction.

Assisted by these six points, it is possible to: 1. Check the work’s pulse. 2. Identify where improvements in work can be done. The six points should be used in: 1. Training employees. 2. Leadership, follow-up and analysis. 3. Communication. The six points are: 1. Requirements analysis. 2. Consequence analysis. 3. Securing support. 4. Clear organization and dedicated project management. 5. Securing user participation. 6. Measuring additional value and communicating usefulness.

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Background A wave of change is sweeping over the world. The postindustrial society has given way to the new knowledge and information based society. Information technology erases boundaries between large and small companies, and different industries. In order to survive and develop, companies must constantly reorganize their business processes and methods of working. Introducing PGC is a big change from a company’s normal routines. Changes are pervasive and affect both productivity and efficiency. The sales process is changed the most, but other processes are also affected such as marketing, product development, logistics and finance. If introduction is done the right way, great gains are the result.

In the book called Att lyckas som förändringsledare (Sandström, Björn. Stockholm: Industrilitteratur, 2002.), concepts called the Little Loop and the Big Loop are described. The Little Loop means that productivity is constantly improved by advancement measures. Profitability can be maintained through these improvements. It is easy to lose sight of what is going on outside the organization during this work. Completely new approaches to accomplish the same thing or to introduce completely new products can bring down the most stable companies. Well known examples are precision calculators that were quickly replaced by electronic calculators, and the photography industry which has been completely overtaken by digital cameras.

Company management is appreciated. Employees feel involved and committed. Stockholders will be satisfied.

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The Big Loop means that both productivity and efficiency improvements are sought. Introduction of PGC entails an increase in productivity and an even greater improvement to efficiency. Great changes of this nature require a well considered plan. This document briefly describes our experiences from working with different companies. All the companies have carried on and are still carrying on using PGC. This has been a vital tool in decisively strengthening their competitiveness. Experiences are collected under each of the 6 points that must be dealt with, as every point has great significance in terms of successful results. It is important to think of the adaptation process in the Big Loop as an ongoing, dynamic process, where all the points need to be reviewed regularly.

the different steps provides greater productivity, but efficiency is hardly improved as the entire process remains unchanged. Many companies have made the mistake of directing all their energy into saving and have forgotten to keep track of what is going on outside their own organizations. New methods and approaches can radically change all the normal conditions. Companies that introduce PGC reorganize design work to increase its importance. The entire order process is made more efficient with the Big Loop. Companies that only work on the Little Loop are faced with difficulties sooner or later as new products and methods are being developed all the time.

There are many different steps included in the traditional order process. Efforts to facilitate floor planning in

Don’t pave cow paths

Build a new road

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Company Management’s Role in the Adaptation Process It is vital that company management fully commits to the process of change. To change processes that have been in place for 50 years or more is not something that can be done with the stroke of a pen. The traditional organization will resist. This opposition must be overcome.

A 6-Point Introduction Program

In the beginning, many will be enthusiastic, while the traditionalists will be passive. After time, the opponents will activate their resistance. The following scenario could easily occur.

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10% for, 80% neutral and 10% against. The result is a war of words whose outcome can lead to success or total failure of the project. It is here that the vital role of company management comes in. The war can be prevented or company management can determine the outcome. The outcome illustrated in the image above must be prevented. It is not a completely unusual outcome for ambitious projects of change.

From experience: One out of three companies is completely successful in its introduction of PGC. One out of three companies introduces PGC without fully utilizing the advantages. For example, PGC and ERP are not connected or PGC is only used internally, etc. One out of three companies is unsuccessful in its introduction of PGC. The program’s use is highly limited, and the organization remains unchanged.

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Management Must Demand Results Impatience is a positive trait in this context. Regular measurement according to point 6 should be done and success be communicated. Opponents must be neutralized. There is no point in trying to change people who do not want to be changed. If difficulties arise, seek assistance from people with experience.

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1. Requirements Analysis

When, what, how, why?

The first step is to perform a requirements analysis. This analysis comprises both the company’s main process and its subsidiary processes. The analysis also includes identification of bottlenecks. The purpose of the analysis is to lead to new company visions.

When: Once a year. What: Documentation of goals in long and short term perspectives. How: Dialogue with management, the project team, users and customers. Follow-up of goals. Review of goals and purpose with management.

The visions that are sought must be carefully clarified. Everyone affected by the changes must understand and be clear Why: Ensure that project activities are in about what the objectives are. Visions are line with goals and development. not static. They change and expand. They must be regularly reviewed. Visions can be formulated as shown here: All those who work in sales should independently be able to complete the entire process of quoting and placing orders. This is also true of foreign subsidiaries as well as agents and resellers. We will create a chain of unbroken electronic information from quote to delivery and invoicing. We will always deliver the highest quality documents related to the order process and carry out this work without delays. We will have zero (0) errors in all deliveries. Together with the customer, we will develop the best imaginable solutions. We will utilize the Internet for sales so that customers may independently make desired configurations.

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2. Consequence Analysis

When, what, how, why?

All important decisions in a company affect the company’s competitiveness. This is true of all decisions concerning investment, both to and not to invest. For such a comprehensive change that the introduction of PGC entails, it is important to do as thorough a consequence analysis as possible:

When: Once a year.

What does PGC cost? What hardware do we need? What resources do we need to make available? Do we have these resources? What will the effect on profitability be if we increase our market share by 5%? Is it possible to reach 0 errors, and how much would this save us? How much will we save from an unbroken chain of electronic information? What other economic advantages can we reach? Should we venture into new markets?

What: Calculate the economic consequences of a particular decision. How: Request quotations, internal investigations and calculations. Why: To keep to the budget and to determine what the effects will be if project activities are not implemented.

The consequences of a negative investment decision should also be investigated. Will we lose market share to our competitors if we do not invest? What has Company Y done? If we save on hardware, training and implementation costs, what can the consequences be?

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3. Securing Support

When, what, how, why?

The next step is to secure support for the changes from employees. Strong commitment from the majority of those involved is a condition for successful introduction. Uninterested employees will not be helpful in creating change. Commitment can be positive and negative in the beginning. It is between these two attitudes that the best results can be reached. It is important to turn negativity into positive energy. This can be done by two-way communication where vision plays the central role. This is one of the leaders of change’s main tasks. The board and company management must, with all available energy, participate in and support this work.

When: Continuously with follow-ups 4 times a year. What: Create consciousness and acceptance regarding goals and purpose. How: Company management provides clear directives and written information on motives and objectives. Justification can be done through dialogue and incitement programs. Key people should be identified and rewarded. Why: It is important for everyone to work towards the same goals.

When large changes are being implemented, it is expected that not everyone is willing to jump right on board. It is important to discover negative thinkers early and neutralize them. Logical arguments do not always work with negative people. A tactic must be developed that convinces the person that they are wrong. If this turns out to be impossible, the person must be removed from the process. The Japanese technique in such situations is to promote the person in question. Introduce concrete goals that indicate results, for example, the number of quotes and orders in PGC. It is good if this can be followed by encouragement measures and/or rewards. Users must also have access to proper hardware. Inferior computers and printers can ruin the entire project. It is good if introduction of PGC can be divided into sub-projects. At the completion of every sub-project a new method of working is set into place and the older working method is set aside. Parametric Graphical Configuration

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4. Clear Organization and Dedicated Project Management Definitions Leader of change = The person primarily responsible for the introduction of PGC. This person has overall responsibility for objectives, budget and schedule.

A well composed reference group can be a valuable support for the project manager. The group should be a versatile composite with representatives from sales, production and product development. One of the reference group’s main tasks is comprehensive testing. The focus for the team’s work should be the user and the user’s work.

Project manager = Implementation manager of PGC.

Positive cooperation and an open dialogue between the customer’s team and the programming team is a In a small company, the company prerequisite for satisfactory results in the manager, leader of change and project adaptation process. It is advantageous manager can be one and the same person. to do programming and testing as well In a large company, the roles are always as hold project meetings at both the separated. customer’s and the supplier’s facilities. Users must have access to good support The leader of change in the customer from knowledgeable people. company has the key role in introducing PGC, as well as ensuring that visions When, what, how, why? are reached. His/her role is of a shifting character. They should ensure that When: Twice a year. cooperation between project manager and employees flows smoothly, and that information concerning tasks and wishes What: Create an unambiguous view of required for the introduction are delivered how implementation is planned and organized. Guarantee management and on time and to the right people. progress of the project. When facing the organization, the leader of change must demonstrate consistent leadership in order to reach the visionary goal. These goals are long term, which is why they should not be mixed in with daily routines. If the leader of change is a separate person from the company manager, the roles should not be mixed together as the company manager’s focus is daily functioning while the leader of change’s focus is of a long term nature. To be a good role model is an excellent way to demonstrate leadership. For that reason the leader of change should actively test and use the program.

A 6-Point Introduction Program

How: Decide upon and provide information about division of roles and contact points, examples would be, project manager, project team, responsible buyer, support and reference group. Follow-up on schedule, budget and goals. Review the project model, resource needs, testing and competence. Why: A clear and competent organization eliminates misunderstanding and simplifies communication. Clear leadership is a condition for smooth project implementation.

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5. Securing User Participation When, what, how, why? PGC with its built-in product know-how is easy to get started with. Future users will be well initiated in the product range they have to offer their customers. Conditions are good, therefore users will quickly accept the new working method. Many are not accustomed to using computers and are apprehensive in the face of new technology and increased responsibility. Training efforts should get started at an early stage in order to deal with this.

When: Once a year. What: Exchange information with users. How: Offer the possibility of personal updates and training as well as the opportunity for the user to affect the project. Why: Users need and want to be a part of development. If users are offered regular follow-up, they will become collaborators.

Another issue to consider is the need for user support. How it should be organized is to a great extent dependent upon the size of the company and the number of users. It is important that support functions well so that unnecessary resistance does not arise. Continuous follow-up of the user’s needs and wishes should be done. It is the user’s efforts that determine the level of success of the new working method and how great productivity and efficiency improvements will be. Identify particularly skilled users. Reward these users and cite them as positive examples.

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6. Measuring Additional Value and Communicating Usefulness In order to reach the full effect of PGC, regular measurement should be done.

When, what, how, why? When: Twice a year. What: Spread information regarding the effects. How: Measure time and money. Document and compare.

Points to measure can be: Number of quotes; before - after. Time required per quote; regular measurement. Number of complaints; what this depends upon. Time required to train new salespeople. Which of our products have increased in sales since the introduction of PGC.

Why: Measurement provides concrete results in the form of economic profit. Reduced workload and higher quality are results that motivate users.

Results from measurement can then be used to improve working methods further as well as for improvements to the software and other programs with which PGC collaborates. Results can also affect decisions concerning new product development and new products.

A 6-Point Introduction Program

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12 PGC Success Stories


Configura satisfies our requirements for a modern planning tool, and provides our sales offices and our resellers with an effective tool in the sales process. -Joakim Brob채ck Sales Manager Marbodal AB


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PGC Success Stories Configura is a Swedish company that pioneered the PGC technology. Many companies use Configura’s PGC technology in their daily work. In this chapter, some of these companies and their products are described, and a bit about how they work. These companies are active within completely different industries. The common denominator is component based production and the frequent need to configure deliveries for customers.

and language independence, Configura PGC is a positive force in helping these companies access new markets. All the companies described develop their own products from their own design and construction. This is necessary for success in competitive markets. Their products have been fully entered into Configura PGC with characteristics, appearance and limitations. Those who use Configura PGC work with their own unique products.

Several of these companies have a global sales network. The program contains translations to many different languages and to different measurement systems. Quotations are commonly given in the local currency. All administration of the program and order flow is managed centrally. These companies have, in a completely new way, been able to manage sales and diminish the wild flora of local variants that otherwise easily abound.

These companies are active within different industries — office and industrial furnishings, building products, milk production facilities, transport conveyors, flue-gas cleaning, etc. They come from different countries, have been in operation for different lengths of time and have different origins.

There are also smaller companies. They act for the most part on domestic markets. They want to grow and find new markets. With its user friendliness

Companies

Location

The common denominator is their need to configure products and that they use PGC. They have all placed usefulness for the customer as their first priority, and want to continue growing and developing.

Sales

Approximate USD

Number of countries

Number of licenses

86M

2

>550

Marbodal

Sweden

SEK 600M

Kinnarps

Sweden

SEK 2,000M

286M

27

>900

DeLaval

Sweden

EUR 700M

875M

Global

>1200

Spacesaver

USA

USD 100M

Global

>300

Bott

Germany

EUR 40M

50M

Europe

>150

Hoyez

France

EUR 16M

20M

10

90

Flexlink

Sweden

SEK 1,039M

148M

Global

200

Electrolux Laundry

Sweden

Global

21

ISKU

Finland

EUR 200M

250M

6

227

Nedermans

Sweden

SEK 735M

105M

Global

150

ELFA

Sweden

SEK 845M

121M

5

1

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Marbodal AB - Sweden Marbodal AB is Sweden’s leading kitchen manufacturer. Their market share is 30% of the consumer market and 15% of the object market. The company’s sales in 2004 were SEK 600M. Marbodal is a part of the Nobia group, which is one of Europe’s leaders in the industry. Like many other kitchen manufacturers Marbodal used a CAD based program for kitchen planning for many years. The supplier was unable to live up to promised adaptations to the system. The company finally realized that it was untenable to continue on this course and began searching the market for a more flexible, user friendly and error proof system. At this point Configura Sverige AB was busily developing the next generation of its PGC configuration software. The two companies began cooperating. Marbodal became a collaboration partner in development work in terms of setting requirements. The common goal for application was simplicity in learning and use, swiftness in the sales process, as well

as faultless quotations, calculations and specifications for electronic orders from resellers. Cooperation began in the fall of 2002. The results were positive. In the beginning of 2004, Marbodal launched Configura Kitchen Design and it is said to be the best kitchen drafting program in the world. Configura Kitchen Design is now used by all of Marbodal’s sales channels including Electrolux Home. The number of system users now exceeds 550, and is still growing. More information at http://www.marbodal.se After one day’s training in Configura, I was able to do more than after several years with our previous drafting program. Johan Linden Marbodal Configura satisfies our requirements for a modern planning tool and provides our sales offices and our resellers with an effective tool in the sales process. Joakim Brobäck Sales Manager Marbodal AB www.marbodal.com

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Marbodal kitchen projected and rendered in Configura. NOTE! The kitchen is not a photograph and does not exist in reality.

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Kinnarps AB - Sweden Kinnarps AB was founded in 1942 by Evy and Jarl Andersson. Jarl Andersson is now 87 years old, but is still active in the business. ”Configura is the best thing that has happened in computing since the punch card!” Jarl Andersson The company’s CEO today is Henry Jarlsson, Evy and Jarl’s son. The company has developed over the years to become Sweden’s largest and Europe’s third largest manufacturer of furniture for public environments. Kinnarps AB has sales of SEK 2,000M, and has furniture displays in 180 different cities in 27 countries. The total number of employees is 1,800; the headquarters are located in Kinnarp in the southwestern part of Sweden. There are also factories in Jönköping, Skillingaryd and Tranås.

PGC Success Stories

Premium Brands with the Klaessons, Materia and Skandiform companies are also included in the Kinnarp group. Kinnarps AB has used Configura since 1996. As the interior design industry constantly renews its product program, there is always a new series to implement into Configura. Kinnarps currently has 900 users of Configura. Kinnarps utilizes the Movex business system, which allows an advanced connection between systems so that all information can be sent between Configura and Movex. This means that resellers have access to local stocks of the most common products in Configura. The system also automatically handles new orders for local warehouses. More information on Kinnarps at www.kinnarps.com

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Pictures of office furniture from Kinnarps’ exhibition in Stockholm. The picture is a combination of rendering (furniture, office). The background is a scanned photograph with the view from Kinnarps’ sales office in Stockholm.

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DeLaval International AB - Sweden In order to tell the story of DeLaval, you have to go back to 1878 when the famous inventor Gustaf de Laval invented the separator that revolutionized how cream is separated from milk. Gustaf de Laval was not only an exceptional inventor, he was also a man who saw no boundaries in terms of what can be achieved through research. He not only wanted to improve machinery, he wanted to improve living conditions for humans in general. He truly believed that improvements were possible.

Today, DeLaval is included in the Tetra Laval group, and is the world’s leading producer of equipment for milk production. Products are sold globally through 39 local sales organizations and 30 distributors. Sales amounts to approximately EUR 700 million. Total number of employees is 4,200. DeLaval has over 1,200 Configura users. More information on DeLaval: www.delaval.com

Our most important systems are Configura, SAP and Siebel - in that order. Maarten Merckx DeLaval International

PGC Success Stories

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Pictures from an automatic milking facility designed in Configura, and then subsequently rendered in the program.

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Spacesaver - USA Spacesaver is the world’s largest company within mobile storage solutions. The company’s headquarters and factory are located in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. Sales and assembly of products are done through their own offices as well as through independent resellers all over North America and a large part of the world. They have utilized Configura in their order processes for 4 years, and have been able to further increase their leading position. Below are statements from the president and a vice president of Spacesaver concerning use and the implementation process. Configura has allowed us to integrate our sales processes with our manufacturing processes. Our sales force can use it to develop customer requirements, our sales support team can turn that into an accurate and timely quotation and the information can then be seamlessly fed into our manufacturing system, including interfacing with the actual machine that makes the product. No other manufacturer in our industry can boast that type of integration and it has become a competitive advantage for Spacesaver.

The customization work performed by the Configura team has been outstanding in both technical capabilities and design considerations. They have never said ‘We can’t do that’ but instead always said ‘Yes we can’. They have always worked to develop a solution to our design requests. The Configura team of programmers are clearly trained to say ‘yes’, which in my experience, is a unique characteristic for programmers. Saying yes has made the difference in our mutual success on this project. Ryan J. Bittner - Vice President of Finance and Administration (Project Manager) www.spacesaver.com

Paul S. Olsen - President

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Spacesaver often provides large filing storage solutions. Everything is individually adapted to requirements and available space.

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Bott - Germany Wilhelm Bott GmbH was founded 75 years ago. The company’s focus is on interiors for industry. Their product range is divided into three main areas: 1. Assembly workspaces 2. Storage 3. Interior design of work vehicles Their well known products are sold in many countries. Manufacturing units are located in Germany, Great Britain and Hungary. The number of employees is 550.

Collaboration with the ERP System Configura imports data files containing customer databases, prices, discounts, item data, payment and delivery conditions as well as currency from the business system used by Bott. Order information is sent as XML files from Configura to the business system. www.bott.de

Interior design of work vehicles is a new area of use for Configura. Adaptation was a challenge in terms of projecting the limited spaces with their sloping and curving surfaces in the best way possible. Furthermore, different vocational groups have different needs for vehicle interiors. The vehicle model in question is scanned from an AutoCad drawing into Configura. The operator then places the desired cabinets and tables. Configura indicates if a particular detail collides with something else or is incompatible with any other part of the vehicle. The operator can then choose a different component or adjust the component to the specific measurements required. There are many possibilities for variety. The buyer naturally wants to get the best imaginable interior for the specific vehicle model chosen.

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Assembly workspaces from Wilhelm Bott GmbH

A utility vehicle and its interior during projection.

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Hoyez - France Hoyez SA produces portable inner partitions with sections of glass and other materials. Walls are built up from frames and filled out with pre-painted/ wallpapered boards as well as glass and panels. Baseboards and plinths are included. All sections are tailored to customer needs.

With Configura, Partition Becomes Easy It’s not easy to be a commercial and technical coordinator at the same time. CONFIGURA software will provide the solution to this equation. Design and configure your partition layout...and with one click on the mouse, CONFIGURA provides drawings, quotes, bills of material and complete cutting lists for your project.

The company was founded in 1953, and is included in the Hosmos group. Production HOYEZ PARTITIONS AND ITS CONFIGURA including the headquarters and factory SOFTWARE: THE SOLUTIONS THAT GIVE are located in Avelin outside Lille, France. YOU THE LEAD OVER COMPETITORS Products are primarily supplied to the French-speaking part of the world, northwestern Europe, North Africa, Central America and South America. In addition to prices and quantities, Configura also generates cutting lists for profiles, boards and glass. Configura produces files that are scanned in by machines that perform the cutting operations. A quote from Hoyez’ website www.hoyez.com:

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Picture above - rendering in Configura from the plan drawing. The camera’s placement is also shown in the plan drawing. An example of office planning from Hoyez with Configura. Picture below - plan drawing.

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Flexlink - Sweden Flexlink AB has its headquarters in Göteborg, Sweden. The company is active within industrial automation, and provides solutions for product logistics with a primary focus on the production and assembly processes. The company is globally active. Sales amounted to SEK 1,137M in 2004. www.flexlink.com Configura’s simplicity of use means that we can reduce the time needed for quotations. Our business partners outside our own sales organization can also use Configura. All this taken together provides us with a competitive market advantage for our complex projects within industrial automation. Fredrik Jönsson President Flexlink AB

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Assembly workspaces with a conveyor system from Flexlink.

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Electrolux Wascator - Sweden Electrolux Laundry Systems is a leading supplier of professional laundry solutions worldwide. With a comprehensive range of equipment including washer extractors, dryers and finishing equipment, Electrolux Laundry Systems tailors solutions to the specific needs of individual businesses – everything from the laundries of apartment houses, hotels and health care institutions to commercial laundry operations and coinoperated launderettes. We have approximately 1,500 employees located at three manufacturing entities in Sweden, France and Denmark and 23 national sales companies around the world. A network of 120 importers also serves the global customer base. The headquarters is located in Copenhagen, Denmark. Electrolux Laundry Systems is part of the Electrolux Group - with more than 80,000 employees, Electrolux is the world’s largest producer of powered appliances for kitchen, cleaning and outdoor use. The Electrolux name is your guarantee for a solid business partnership. (information taken from Wascator’s website)

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There are many ways to present an offer to the client. Above: Photo rendering Below: Sketch rendering

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ISKU OY - Finland ISKU is a versatile interiors expert on the forefront of European furniture manufacturers. Isku has designed, produced and marketed furniture for Nordic schools, homes and public environments for 75 years. Over the past few years, the company has also gained a strong market position in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Russia and the Baltic region, and is continuing its international expansion. Isku’s sales was EUR 200M in 2003; the number of employees is approximately 1,850. Isku has operations in seven countries. A third of its revenues come from outside Finland. The Isku Group is a global supplier. Configura is a wonderful system that anyone can use, even my 6 year old daughter loves it. Anna Marklund ISKU www.isku.com

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Samples of Isku’s product range rendered in Configura.

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AB Ph. Nedermans & Co In 1944, Philip Nederman founded a workshop in southern Sweden to produce parts for ventilation equipment. Over the years the focus of the organization has gradually changed. Today it produces a broad range of environmental products for industrial workplaces, such as fans, filters, extraction systems for fumes and exhaust, as well as hose and cable reel systems. There have also been companies that manufacture high vacuum systems included in the group for a few years. The products are sold globally through their own organization as well as through collaboration partners. In the beginning of 1995, a project was initiated to introduce Nedermans’ products into Configura. After presentation of the pilot project for company management and subsidiaries, the decision was made that all products should be initiated into Configura. Introduction to subsidiaries and resellers all over the world has been done gradually, and has not been completely without challenges. Overall, the smaller and newer organizations have had an easier time introducing the new technology than the larger and more established companies with long experience of Nedermans’ products.

www.nederman.com

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S-Line Office AB The patented interior design system that S-Line Office produces and markets is built upon a few components that can be combined into countless combinations. The system is mostly used for exclusive and modern reception counters, dividers, glass partitions, offices and workspaces. The system is based on wood sections (or other materials) and aluminum profiles. The bottom section is built up to a seated working level. The next section builds up to a standing working level. Work tables can then be mounted onto the sections. The sections allow construction up to the height of the room, and may in part or completely be replaced by glass.

The available widths of the modules are 600, 900 or 1,200 mm. In addition to flat modules, curved modules are also available. S-Line Office is a pioneer in PGC use. From a modest start in 1991, the company has gradually increased its application of the program. All quotations and order management pass electronically through PGC to the business system. This has enabled the interior design systems’ possibilities to be fully utilized. Read further on S-Line at www.sline.se

Seated working level Standing working level

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Curved modules form a screen of H=143 cm here.

A modern office furnished with glass and birch sections from S-Line Office. Picture rendered in Configura.

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ELFA AB - Sweden ELFA AB distributes electronic components. They have over 55,000 components in stock for immediate delivery. The headquarters and main warehouse are located in Stockholm. There are stores in Stockholm, Göteborg, Malmö and Linköping, and subsidiaries in Norway, Denmark, Finland and Poland. In addition to subsidiaries, there are resellers in a number of European countries. Sales are made through its own stores, but also through post order where ecommerce plays a large role. Mats Hallstensson, who is responsible for the planning of premises, uses the general parts of Configura in his work. Planning of the central warehouse with its 100,000 storage spaces was done in a much shorter time than anticipated with Configura’s help.

This is how Mats describes working in Configura: The following ELFA warehouses were completely drafted in Configura; that is, all of them were drafted in detail, and then “built-up” in our business system for fully automatic storage management. ELFA’s central warehouse in Veddesta, 12,000 sq m, approx. 100,000 storage spaces. ELFA’s new store in Kungens Kurva, Stockholm, 450 sq m, approx. 23,000 storage spaces. ELFA’s new store in Oslo, approx. 250 sq m, approx. 15,000 storage spaces. ELFA’s new store in Warsaw, Poland, approx. 300 sq m, approx. 8,500 storage spaces. Between 2006 - 2010, there are plans to build 4 stores in Finland and 3 stores in Sweden, all of which will be drafted in Configura. The interiors of the stores will not be drawn in Configura as this will be handled by our supplier; however, their CAD drawings will be imported into Configura so that everything will be gathered into one place. It is safe to say that we have a need for Configura. More on ELFA: www.elfa.se

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13 Configura CET


No other manufacturer in our industry can boast that type of integration and it has become a competitive advantage for Spacesaver. -Paul S. Olsen - President Spacesaver


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Configura CET Parallel with project work, we have worked with our customers on the development of a new platform that builds upon a new programming language called CM.

Configura was founded in 1990 on the business concept of developing and marketing advanced, but user friendly drawing and calculation systems. During our many projects together with our customer companies within varied industries, we have collected a great deal of knowledge within many different areas. This is true, for example of: User scenarios Time to market How systems are best maintained Rule guidance Visualization Resources Production Product development Bottlenecks Business logic Sales and marketing

All of this collected knowledge and experience has been channeled into CM and CET. The purpose of this is to push CET up to a new level. CM combines the best concepts from high level languages such as LISP and procedural languages such as C++ and Java with several new and innovative ideas from programming language research. The result is an astounding productivity boost. A programmer’s work in CM is done in a familiar setting if s/he masters the modern languages C++ and Java.

Now a programmer can enjoy the full advantage of making changes directly into an ongoing application, as well as immediately seeing the results of the change–all within a familiar setting.

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Areas of usage for CM and CET

Two Platforms

CM can be used for many different types of applications. The language is especially adapted to problem areas that arise with configuration applications. For this reason, applications are written several times more quickly than was previously possible with traditional languages. The concise and descriptive code is maintenance friendly in its nature. It is also simple to integrate external code in CET as CET can load dynamic libraries (dll) written in C or C++.

1. Development platform for programming and maintenance of extensions.

Configura CET

CET offers two different platforms:

2. Delivery platform for users who want to utilize extensions.

Development Platform The CET development platform is a complete programming environment that is used to create generic and customer adapted extensions for the CET delivery platform. The programming environment is a result of our razor sharp research. CET is incremental and has complete integration with GNU Emacs editor.

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Included in the CET Development Platform: CM program language Full object orientation Advanced memory management based on garbage collection. Traditional memory management is one of the greatest sources of error in modern software. The use of an automatic garbage collector relieves the programmer from the difficult and error prone task of manual memory management. This means that developed extensions for CET have improved quality and are more operationally secure. Changing and compiling source code changes without re-starting the ongoing application allows the programmer quick testing and verification of changes without having to wait for time consuming restarts. Built-in bug catching and automated testing.

Complete two-way integration with GNU Emacs’ text editor. This means that Emacs can control the compiler. The program and the compiler can also control Emacs. Advanced PGC core with many high level features such as stretching, component manipulation, and an extensible calculation system. All these functions are necessary in order to achieve advanced, dynamic interaction between the components of the drawing surface. 2D and 3-D geometric modeling. Completely equipped and extendable toolboxes in the user interface. Abstract component hierarchy and tailored manipulators for categories such as work tables, panel and wall systems, kitchen interiors, shelving systems, etc. Integrated support for FTP, HTTP and email. Tool (Extension Manager) for publishing extensions.

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Delivery Platform The delivery platform is necessary in order to be able to utilize extensions produced by the development platform. When an extension has been published it can be loaded into the delivery platform. The delivery platform can assimilate several extensions simultaneously. If an extension requires access to another extension the delivery platform will automatically search for and read this extension. The delivery platform also offers updates during program use. This innovative and unique characteristic fully supports real user scenarios when fewer updates during ongoing work are necessary. The delivery platform also offers log information. (The log is automatic documentation of important program activities during delivery platform use). Log information can then automatically be attached to an email to the program developer to be used as error search support. This means that CET supports each step from development to use with unbeatable convergence with a faultless application as the result. Included in the delivery platform:

Option of working in 2D and 3-D simultaneously 3-D views in real time and photorealistic 3-D images Option of creating unique drawing photo series Pre-defined lighting that provides the user the option of producing high quality images without a great deal of work producing high quality images with ease Advanced support for compatibility between versions Preview of printouts and printing functions Printouts, including PDF printouts Built-in, dynamic support for multiple languages Import and export of AutoCAD drawings, 2D and 3-D Alternative management Tagging of drawing content for room association Manager for scanning and maintenance of extensions Advanced built-in management of large drawings

Windows based user interface with several extensions

License management

Standard panel (tools) for drafting buildings and other drawings such as lines, curves, walls, windows, doors, etc

Functions for team collaboration and collaboration with other users

User management

Save and open drawings Copy and paste drawing content Zoom and pan the camera Complete navigation in 3-D Material and color alternatives Management of favorites

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Extensions

Configura CET Infrastructure

There are two main types of extensions that are produced on the development platform.

The Configura CET concept does not only consist of development and delivery platforms. There is also an Internet based infrastructure available as support to developers and users. The infrastructure makes it easy for developers to market their extensions, and for users to utilize available extensions. In addition, the infrastructure supports administration of licenses and users.

1. An extension that contains specific functionality for calculation, printing, and integration for business logic that is unique to a specific company. 2. An extension that contains specific drawing components for a company’s products. An extension can contain one or more products including calculation information and functions for communication. Each extension can be maintained and published separately. An extension includes: Company specific functions Parametric components Rules for components Financial data Business logic Security and licensing information Automatically generated printouts such as manufacturing and assembly drawings

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Figure 1. Configura CET Infrastructure

The entire Configura CET concept is based on developers and users having access to a well developed and existent system. When it is time to develop or use it is easy to get started quickly by visiting one of the infrastructure’s portals on the Internet. Developers visit Configura CET Development Center, www.cet-developer.net.

portals provide all the information needed in order to get started. It is not necessary to go to a store or contact Configura Sverige AB to get started. Configura CET offers a unique business opportunity to those who wish to develop extensions for Configura CET.

Users visit Configura CET Extension Center, www.cet-extensions.net. The

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Configura CET Development Center

Configura CET License and User Management

The portal for developers is a place where developers can meet and find information on Configura CET’s development platform. Typical content on the portal:

Delivery and development platforms as well as extensions are available to everyone, preferably via the Internet. This demands secure and smooth license management. The purpose of license management is to ensure that developers and users have the proper rights to utilize downloaded software. This means that users and developers regularly connect to the license server to update their licenses. License management also takes care of payment routines for licenses. User management ensures that users can cooperate on projects and that support issues are effectively dealt with.

Development platform for downloading Licensing conditions Manuals and examples General information regarding the development platform Information on developers Forum and chatting possibilities where developers can share experiences and discuss Common questions and answers, ”FAQ”

Configura CET Extension Center The portal for users is a meeting place where users can meet and find information on Configura CET’s delivery platform. Typical content on the portal: Delivery platform for downloading Extensions for downloading Licensing conditions General information on the delivery platform Manuals and examples Forum and chatting possibilities where users can share experiences and discuss Common questions and answers, ”FAQ”

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Configura CET Service Model Developers and users are offered different types of support. Access to portals and basic level telephone and email support are included in the licensing fee. Training and adapted consulting services are available by special agreement.

What the CET Platform Can Mean to Your Company Lower cost when introducing Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC) to your company. Many companies can perform this work themselves, or with the assistance of independent consultants. Flexible management of extensions so that different companies’ products can be mixed in the same drawing and in printouts. This considerably simplifies the work of resellers, architects and other consultants. Full control over who uses your extensions, in addition to the possibility of economic compensation for their use.

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14 It All Started In 1990


It’s not easy to be a commercial and technical coordinator at the same time. CONFIGURA software will provide the solution to this equation. -Hoyez’ website


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It all started in 1990 Before Configura To produce and sell component based products can be a time consuming and complicated task. That is why most products were manufactured as single products. It was primarily the construction industry that was in need of drawings and careful calculations for every entity that was built. Shortcuts were discovered to deal with calculation and drawing needs. There is the story of a builder who measured the house’s length, width and height. The obtained volume was multiplied by a cubic meter cost factor based on experience.

At the same pace that competition got tougher, market demands for function increased and the manufacturing industry developed. New component produced products were developed in many different industry sectors. This created an increased need for competence and specialization of employees in these companies. In addition, improved tools such as drafting tables, calculators and copying machines were needed. New possibilities were opened up with personal computers.

In the middle of the 1980’s, the first CAD systems for PC’s were launched. A well known entrepreneur from southern Could these programs be used for floor planning and calculation? A number of Sweden built several large buildings supplementary modules were developed, on his tourist facility. First he built, and then he drew up blueprints to obtain but soon turned out to be impractical for approval from the authorities. According calculations and specifications. This was primarily due to the systems only being to the entrepreneur this was the best able to calculate individual products way, because the blueprints were true placed on the drawing. Additionally, to reality. they were much too complicated for normal use.

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Configura was founded in 1990

Development and Sales

Throughout his entire professional life, Sune Rydqvist had experienced problems when calculating and drafting within the interiors and construction industries. Correct and quick work had always been key for a successful organization. People who are successful at both tasks are unusual. Both calculation and drafting work require special talent and training.

Intensive development work followed. Software was developed on SUN workstations with the UNIX operating system, as this was the only platform that had sufficient capacity for the demanding tasks that the program required. The first version was soon ready for delivery to the first customer, which was S-Line Office AB.

Johan Lyreborn and Gรถran Rydqvist graduated from Linkรถping Institute of Technology with engineering degrees in computer science. During their research work as Ph.D. students, they discovered possibilities of enabling advanced development of new software products. Together, the three men agreed to develop and market the perfect tool for component based products.

Rooms built in a module system from S-Line Office. The picture is rendered in Configura.

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In May, 1991, the first agreement was signed with an external customer, Lundqvist Inredningar AB, that was and still is a well established company that produces the well-known Lundia shelving. This product is sold and produced under license in several countries. Lundqvist Inredningar is still one of our satisfied customers.

Breakthrough in Office Furnishing Martela OY, a leading Finnish producer of interiors for public environments, signed an agreement in 1994 to use Configura in its operations. Martela currently has over 600 satisfied users, and markets its products in many countries. This order provided the opportunity to develop a version that could be used with Windows operating systems, as development of data systems had now caught up to our software.

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New Customers Since the breakthrough in 1994, many companies have become enthusiastic Configura users. Kinnarps, a leading company within public environments in Sweden. Kinnarps Design Group including Klaessons, Materia and Skandiform are included in the Kinnarps group. Industrial companies such as DeLaval, Flexlink, Electrolux Wascator, Nedermans and Gunnebo Troax. Other interior design companies such as Isku, Glimükra, Balton and Fora Form. In 1997, a sale was made to a company in England that led to customers such as Rackline Systems Storage, Workspace Office Solutions and many others. In 1999, we began working in the German market. Among others, Bott, a large company that works within the industrial workspaces sector, can be noted. They also furnish interiors of work vehicles for different vocational groups with assistance from Configura. In 2001, we established a sales office in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the U.S., Spacesaver utilizes Configura, as do many other companies. Spacesaver is the world’s largest company within mobile shelving and storage solutions.

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Founders, Board and Management

New Economy, Dot-com Bubble and Market Slump

Of the company’s founders, Sune Rydqvist occupied the position of president and was the person responsible for sales. Johan Lyreborn and Göran Rydqvist worked primarily with product development and customer adaptation.

There was more and more discussion concerning the “new economy” during the 1990’s. Many debaters believed that IT technology would not only fundamentally change companies’ working methods, but also fundamentally change the economic climate. And then there was September 11, 2001. The world was immediately changed. The desire to invest drastically decreased. The over confidence that had existed for e-commerce was gone, and many e-commerce companies and web bureaus were forced into an early grave. This was known as the dot-com bubble burst.

In 1996, Johan Bengtsson signed onto the company, and took over responsibility for sales and marketing. He was also chosen to serve on the board. Madsen was chosen to serve on the board in 2000, where he provides competence within the area of finance. Niels Madsen has long experience within this area from positions at Stora Enso and Electrolux’s financial department.

Continuity in Development and the Board In 1999, Johan Lyreborn took over daily leadership as company president. Sune Rydqvist carried on as chairman of the board. Johan Bengtsson is still responsible for sales and marketing, in addition to holding the post of vice president. Göran Rydqvist is responsible for product development. For several years he has been working on the development of the next generation of the Configura CET Platform. CET comprises programming tools around the new CM programming language, which has several features supporting ultra high productivity and super robust delivery.

The downturn also affected us heavily. Concepts such as ”Business Process Reengineering” got a bad reputation because many had tried to change business processes with no, or inferior, support from IT technology. New sales dropped. Basically every company put off this type of investment. However, our existing customers continued to invest in Configura, in part by implementing new systems and subscribing to new licenses that were needed for continued expansion. The market turned in 2004. Companies began to look for systems to improve their operations. In 2005, several American companies discovered and decided to implement Configura.

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Internet Now that the most extreme hysteria concerning e-commerce has passed, people have begun to consider how best to utilize the Internet for increased sales and expansion. Certain products are well suited to e-commerce. Others are hardly suitable at all. Among the products that are less suitable for e-commerce are system built component products. This type of product most often requires advanced design assistance. It is not possible to order a new kitchen from a picture in a catalogue. The kitchen must fit into the available space, and consideration must be taken of existing installations. In other words, the kitchen must be built from the ground up. The Internet, however, is a very important tool in strengthening trademark and for marketing these companies. A certain amount of sales can probably also be done over the Internet. A scenario for a kitchen company could look like this:

Now it is time to start drawing: Click on the Download Configura button. A suitable version of Configura is downloaded, and design can begin. When the customer is satisfied with the choices, they should be able to send the results to the manufacturer over the Internet. Experts at the manufacturer can then provide additional advice to ensure a satisfied customer.

Configura CET With state of the art technology, Configura can look to the future with confidence. This platform not only ensures that we maintain the lead, it ensures that we will increase it.

First the kitchen is divided into different types, for example, one wall, two walls, three walls and/or an island. When the desired type has been chosen, different proposals appear as small images for possible executions and for different sized rooms. All the pictures can be enlarged. When a kitchen has been chosen that is close to the correct size the picture is used as the basis for the real kitchen.

It all started in 1990

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Author Sune Rydqvist Contributing authors: Johan Lyreborn, Göran Rydqvist Illustrations: Sarbasst H. Copyright© 2006 by Configura Sverige AB All rights reserved. Box 306, 581 02 Linkoping Sweden ISBN-10

1 91-631-8459-1

ISBN-13

1 978-91-631-8459-8

The Strenght of PGC - The New Revolutionary Path to Success  

There is a new way to manage the growing complexity of component-based products efficiently - Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC). This...

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