Sector Household appliances
Company ASKO Appliances / Gorenje
Employees 100 / 11,000
- Specification and pricing of variants for different markets
- Management of extensive product data for each variant
- Approval workflow and version management of variants
Product Manager Laundry at ASKO
With the help of Combinum CPQ we have eliminated a large source of errors in our day-to-day operation, namely the manual specification and approval flow of our products towards sales companies and distributors around the world.
At the same time we have succeeded in raising our service level towards customers a great deal, since we now generate detailed product data automatically for every single product based on the specification choices that were set up in the sale.
Historically we have had specifications and related product data separated and spread internally within the company for internal users only, now we have both specifications and data gathered in one place for internal users as well as external users on sales company and distributor level.
ASKO is a world-wide company with strong focus on quality and environment and designs appliances for kitchen and laundry.
ASKO's built-in dishwashers have earned the ENERGY STAR label and are built to last for a long time. ASKO's washing machines sensors the level of moisture and dirt and automatically adjust the water level and washing time needed in order to keep the wastage to a minimum.
The sale is done through sales companies and standalone distributors around the world. ASKO also produces appliances with other brand names for OEM customers.
Manual specification of household appliances against different markets was a source of error in the daily work. Another source of error was the approximate data sheets that were used to keep track of all product data for the model. Since the models live over time, the maintenance of product data for the models became yet another challenge.
The approval workflow of configured models is an import process for ASKO and needs to be taken care of by the CPQ system, and since the same model can be shared between several distributors, a workflow is also needed when a new distributor is connected to an existing configured model.
The solution comprises partly of traditional configurator functionality and partly of functionality for management of product data and workflows. To make extensive information about existing configurations available is just as important as to make new configurations for ASKO.
In configuration mode the user is guided by a set of rules that prevents disallowed choices. For example, the maximum rotation speeds for a washing machine is limited by the chosen motor. Some questions like the color of individual parts can be set by the bulk by use of templates. Images are used frequently to visualize the difference between alternative choices.
The user can search among configurations that are saved in the database and compare them side by side directly in the web interface or export them to Microsoft® Excel for further processing.
The product data for a certain configuration, of for example a washing machine, is presented in an Excel report called variant data sheet. The set of rules in the configurator picks and calculates product data that exactly matches the parameter values of the configuration. The variant data sheet replaces the more approximate model data sheet that was previously used.
In the administration interface the product data is entered in matrixes with one or more parameters as key for which row of alternative product data that is used. Some product data is more complex and is calculated with formulas.
The approval workflow contains seven steps from the sales man makes the configuration until the configuration is approved. When a user is expected to perform an action in a workflow he or she is notified by an email with a link to the configuration that awaits the user's action. On the start page of the user there are also links to the configurations awaiting action by the user.
Other approval workflows exist for linking distributors to existing configurations, for panel graphics and other linked documents.