How to Identify Possible Applications of Product Configuration Systems in Engineer-to-Order Companies

Katrin Kristjansdottir, Sara Shafiee, Lars Hvam

Product configuration systems (PCS) play an essential role when providing customised and engineered products efficiently. Literature in the field describes numerous strategies to develop PCS but neglects to identify different application areas. This topic is particularly important for engineer-toorder (ETO) companies that support gradual implementation of PCS due to large product variety and, several times, higher complexity of products and processes. The overall PCS process can thereby be broken down, and the risk minimised. This paper provides a three-step framework to identify different applications of PCS including the following steps: (1) identifying potential PCS, (2) aligning IT development, and (3) establishing an overview of PCS application. The study is supplemented by results from a case study in which the proposed framework was tested. The results from the testing confirm that the framework is applicable, as it leads to strategic and smart decisions regarding the implementation of PCS.

 

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