Epicor® ERP Product ConfiguratorBuild highly customizable and dimensional Make-to-Order products
Epicor Product Configurator
Use the Epicor Product Configurator to automate part configuration “on-the-fly” in the following modules: order entry, quote entry, purchase order entry, job entry, demand entry, and Epicor Commerce Connect. When creating a part with the configurator, it can generate an intelligent part number and description. In addition, it will generate the bill of materials (BOM) and the bill of operations (BOO), together these are called the Method of Manufacturing (MOM). Configure parts with a simple question and answer session,or optionally, use a smart-string part number to identify different configuration of a part.
The Configurator Designer is composed of three programs:
Configurator Entry – A tool that allows you to create specific settings for your configuration sessions, including part creation, pricing rules, and document rules.
Configurator Designer – Creates the design of the software as a whole, ranging from input control to page events.
Configurator Rule Entry – Helps write method rules and “Keep When” clauses that specify method of manufacturing guidelines for a particular product.
With all three features working together, the Configurator becomes a potent tool in your business toolkit for managing your products.
Why the Product Configurator Is A Good Fit for Your Business
The Product Configurator doesn’t make sense for every business, but there are many industries where it is essential. If your products are complex with a large number of possible production options, the software can make your life much easier. Many “Engineer to Order” companies, for instance, use the software to build unique machinery configurations, such as door installation, pollution control, and electronic equipment manufacturers.
If your products have dimensional characteristics, the Epicor Product Configurator might also be a great help to you. One leading manufacturer or skylights uses the software to create and manage part numbers and its unique configurations. Window manufacturers are also served well by the software for similar reasons.
“Assemble to Order” manufacturers who create unique end-item configurations from a base product and set of options also find the software to be of great assistance. With so many combinations and unique part numbers, the Epicor Product Configurator helps them differentiate sales orders from each other. Given its utility with regulatory compliance, the software can help you meet industry standards while complying with federal and state law.
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The Limits of the Configurator
While the Epicor Product Configurator can be transformative for your business, it does have some limitations and drawbacks that are important to consider:
First and foremost, the development time can be extensive, especially if your product is overly complex. It can take a significant period of time for engineers and designers to learn everything there is to know about your products and then transfer that knowledge base into the software. That said, in most cases the time saved by the Configurator more than covers the initial time investment.
The Configurator also may not be able to address every customer situation for extremely complex products. In some marginal cases, the additional benefit gained from Configurator development may not be worth the extra effort. To address this, many Configurator users create a model that handles 80 to 90 percent of development effort and then do the remaining development manually.
Product redesigns also almost certainly require redesign of your Configurator model, and this can be a headache in some businesses.
All that said, if your products can benefit from the Epicor Configurator, then you should certainly give the software a closer look. Tomerlin-ERP has implemented the Product Configurator in dozens of companies in many different industries and are ready to provide assistance in any way we can.