“My idea was clear to myself. I've been in the industry for years and have learned what works and what doesn't. Offering a product configurator or rather a product generator would offer my customers the opportunity to request customization online. This shortens the response times and reduces the risk of errors."
"It was my challenge to share my ideas with a party. For this reason, I worked out the complete flow on paper. Literally on paper. This enabled me to reinforce the verbal explanation with visual means. The product that is configured online does not yet exist in the ERP and its price cannot be calculated yet. Then we are dealing with cutting loss, various types of adhesive layers that are not suitable for every material, various thicknesses, properties of materials, not to mention the price and discount structures. In the search for a suitable party, more and more insight was gained into the complexity, based on the questions that came back from the parties with whom I spoke. I then worked out the process in Excel. Now it became possible to show the complex price calculations and discount structures that are different for the various materials. This made the complexity of my issue increasingly clear."
"Precisely because of this clarification, more and more parties dropped out who could help me realize the idea I had. Until I was tipped by my Digital Consultant to talk to rb2. A first acquaintance came about at The Next Web conference to which I was invited by rb2. Shortly afterward I made an appointment with the team to test my issue with them as well. It was immediately taken seriously and the first session was staffed by three technical specialists and a business analyst. We went through the idea with the preliminary design of the configurator, the A-fours and the Excel in readiness. It soon became apparent that complexity was recognized and solutions were already offered. That immediately gave confidence, which I have never encountered with the other parties I have spoken to."
"From the first session, it was already clear to me: these people understand my business challenge and can translate it into a future-proof technique that can be used in multiple forms. During a discovery phase (don't know if this is so hot for you) we went deeper in order to gain more insight into the project. What is the goal, what are the main milestones, what is the lead time, and what budget did I have to take into account? This soon made clear what work would be on both sides of the table. We then started working with a permanent team and we now have a nice solution where we are in the initial phase of my roadmap. The daily collaboration between EKI and rb2; The project was tackled completely scrum. What was very useful in this was the continuous checking and validation of the deliveries. And on that basis determine the next step. My product is extremely complex; there is a lot of domain knowledge in our company. Complicated business rules, exceptions, and calculations. It was precisely through these continuous check-ins that we all knew for sure that exactly what I needed was developed. With the help of video conferences, chat tools, and a digital scrum board, I was in full contact with the whole team.”
What rb2 has built is a 'stand-alone' configurator in which EKI customers can put together exactly the desired product and of course order it. At the front very simple, but at the back, a lot of complex calculations are made. This happens immediately, without waiting time for the user. The configurator is now integrated into the Magento webshop. Technically it is a standalone web application that can be integrated effortlessly into any other platform. That is great because it allowed the same configurator to be effortlessly connected to our ERP system so that our employees have the same configurator.
The configurator that has now been built does not yet exist in my industry, although it is in high demand. The fact that EKI will soon have one online and for all available materials offers us a lot of competitive advantage and makes us unique. The tool is expandable with new materials that we are now also looking at. It is my dream that customers can upload a DXF drawing online. The configurator recognizes the form and immediately makes a proposal containing a customer-specific price. My customer can then request and order an acceptable price by means of an automated quotation tool. That without the intervention of my staff. That makes it scalable and allows us to grow in other markets as well. Think not only within other branches but also with other materials and applications. From the beginning, the construction of the tool has been taken into account that it should also be possible to use it outside the current webshop. Think, for example, of POS within a hardware store or as a customer-specific order portal which is designed in the customer's house style. Placing orders in the familiar house style that come directly into the EKI ordering environment.