CABLEQUEST:

CableQuest had to increase the velocity of information in its quote-to-production workflows to meet demand. TwinEngines designed a product configurator application to connect customers with sales and integrate with the VISUAL ERP system.

BACKGROUND

CableQuest manufactures custom cable assemblies and wire harnesses for OEM’s, contract manufacturers, and engineering design companies.

CableQuest needed quick turnaround times to meet the growing demand for custom cable assemblies. The manufacturing is high-mix, low volume with value-added engineering services.

  • Sales engineers were using a spreadsheet to build cable assemblies and generate quotes, and they spent 60% of their time just managing the spreadsheets.

  • For each job won, the build information in the quote had to be re-entered in the ERP system to create engineering masters, parts, and work orders.

  • Multiple spreadsheet versions were in use, each with its own configuration rules and calculations.

  • Materials pricing built in older versions of spreadsheets, still in use by customers, caused issues.

PROBLEM

CableQuest needed to increase the information accuracy and the flow of work to meet quick turnaround times.

The company’s Infor VISUAL ERP system’s configurator module did not fit their business workflow. Infor would need to develop significant customizations to make the ERP system work for them.

Customers and sales engineers were very familiar with the spreadsheet configurator layout. The challenge was to leverage the user interface of the spreadsheet configurator and reduce the amount of time to generate quotes, and streamline quote-to-production workflows. Specific challenges included:

  • Needing to support a partner with services that align with CableQuest.

  • Finding an easy way to free up sales engineers to sell and proactively guide customers through the quoting process.

  • Eliminating the delays and workarounds to meet the quick turnaround business.

  • Evaluating the Infor VISUAL ERP configurator module and CableQuest workflows for all possible options.

THE SOLUTION

TwinEngines modeled the workflow and created a configurator specification to evaluate the VISUAL configurator module. Working with Infor consultants to determine if the VISUAL ERP configurator module could be used was the first step. TwinEngines and Cable Quest found that the out-of-the-box solution was not the best path to take.

“The VISUAL ERP configurator was ideal for simple parts configured by manufacturing engineers, but didn’t give the salespeople what they needed to quote custom cable assemblies”, Jack Burnett of TwinEngines explained. “We all realized we needed another option to simplify the quoting process and improve part management and sales order entry in the existing Info VISUAL ERP system.”

  • TwinEngines built a custom product configurator as a web application to leverage SharePoint for document management. The VISUAL Data Import Utility tool is used to create engineering masters and parts from product configurator data. 

  • The Microsoft Excel spreadsheet was converted into a data import tool for customers to send RFQ’s. These are imported and archived. All configuration rules and pricing formulas are managed through the product configurator application.

  • When a job is awarded, the configurator transfers the build information to CableQuest’s VISUAL ERP system, automatically generating engineering masters, parts, sales orders, and work orders.

  • Quote management and production integration features were introduced to streamline the workflow to the shop floor.

  • Non-technical users can maintain validation rules and pricing formulas without needing IT.

RESULTS

Customers continue to use the familiar Microsoft Excel template for RFQs.

The Product Configurator application fully integrates with the Infor VISUAL ERP system. Infomation flows quickly from the customer through sales to the front office and shop floor, meeting tight delivery schedules.

The TwinEngines solution Automates Workflows, handles Build Validations, Pricing, Quote Management, and the Auto Import of build information into the VISUAL ERP system.

The velocity of information moving through their business has increased. The high degree of customization and quick-turnarounds required in their business are met while continuing to use the existing Info VISUAL ERP system.

TECHNOLOGY

  • MS C#

  • .Net

  • SQL Server

  • SharePoint

  • SQL Reporting Services (SSRS)

  • MS Visual Studio

INTEGRATIONS

  • Infor VISUAL ERP

  • VISUAL Data Import Utility

  • Microsoft Excel

The custom Product Configurator application speeds quote-to-production workflows with reduced turnaround times.

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Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone: 404.522.4262
Email: info@twinengines.com