What is a product configurator

What is a product configurator?

Basically, a configurator is a tool that enables users to adapt the components and properties of a product in such a way that the fully configured end product fulfills the user's imagination as much as possible and thus optimally covers his needs and requirements.

When we speak of product configurators today, we mean specifically digital applications that can be used on websites by a very large number of users at the same time to configure the respective “perfect” product.

However, components cannot be plugged together arbitrarily. The functionality of the product must be guaranteed, and the technical feasibility and manufacture must also be taken into account. For this reason, configurators for commercial end products always need a clearly defined solution space that can be mapped using product logic.

Different types of configurators

[Link] What types of configurators are there?

There is a fundamental difference between whether the product consists of static components that are individually arranged by the customer, or whether the product itself can be parameterized: This is the case with tailor-made products such as the walls of a wooden house, which are automatically attached the freely selectable length and width can be adjusted.

The different solution space for each configurator, i.e. the logical set of rules for the respective product, must also be able to be mapped digitally in the product configurator. This is precisely one of the greatest challenges when using configurators over the long term.

Especially when companies react to new customer preferences or trends in the market and products (and thus their solution space) change. A lot of flexibility is required here, which must be taken into account when developing the configurator.

[Link] How do you tame a product with 5 million variants?

Practically every product can be customized

The application scenarios for configurators range from customizable urns to modular service offers, from technically simple tools for submitting offers to the first link in the fully automated production chain when implementing Industry 4.0. From B2C such as a door configurator to CPQ applications for field staff in a B2B context (CPQ = Configure Price Quote).

[Link] 5 signs that your business model benefits from a configurator

Mass Customization is here to stay

The advancing digitization and automation of ordering and manufacturing processes, new technologies such as additive manufacturing and the trend away from cheap mass products towards individual consumer goods and perfectly optimized capital goods support the spread of mass customization.

The Configurator Database Project, a platform and research source for mass customization, has recorded a constant increase in the number of configurators available for years .¹

[Link] Free Configurator Database Report: Your entry into the world of mass customization

Further content:

[Link] What types of configurators are there?

[Link] How do you tame a product with 5 million variants?

[Link] 5 signs that your business model benefits from a configurator

[Link] Free Configurator Database Report

¹ cyLEDGE Media (2020), "Configurator Database", www.configurator-database.com, Vienna.