The world is changing. People value individuality and companies are adopting more customer centric business approaches. The mass market has turned into a market of one. But how to sell and deliver unique solutions in volumes? Variantum knows. Its clientele includes global industrial leaders as well as local champions.
“Our customers seek competitive advantage with a customer centric offering. By teaming up with us, they can launch new products faster, improve their sales, deliveries and after-sale services,” says Pekka Blomberg, CEO of Variantum.
When new products are designed, product parameters can be left open and decided separately for each customer. Rules are defined to guide what parameter values are possible and how parameter selections affect other parameters. This kind of configurable product models enable changes to meet the unique needs of each customer. An elevator is an example of an industrial configurable product that is designed to fit inside a building. Each building is different and therefor each elevator is unique. However, elevators are produced in high volumes.
Generally, when a product is developed by R&D, the product model is documented into the R&D’s own IT system – a system not shared by sales nor production. Sales and production typically develop their own versions of the product model for their specific needs. These different complex product models easily become unsynchronised. This means that customers can be sold a variant of the product that cannot be manufactured at the assumed cost. This is where we come in.
“In Variantum’s product data management system, the same configurable product model can be used in R&D, sales and production.”
Selling configurable products with all their options and variations requires a lot of technical knowhow in the sales team. Training the sales personnel is not enough to maintain a high quality sales process.
“Our sales configurator guides the sales process and controls the rules of which options are allowed and how that choice affects other ones. It calculates the price and delivery time, can write an offer to the customer and place an order.”
Industrial products like an elevator, can be in use for decades. Products change during their lifetimes and it needs to be managed. Certain maintenance work or spare parts are allowed, while some aren’t. A database of what was delivered, what changes have been made etc. is the backbone of lifecycle management. It’s an essential part of the an IoT implementation, when you need to know what product individual you are remotely controlling or monitoring.
“Each product individual is different, making the monitoring data, its analysis and the needed actions different,” Blomberg concludes.
Started operation in 2005
Specialised in managing configurable products through their life cycle
Based in Espoo, Finland
Over 20 000 active users in 80 countries