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Case Study #2

Our client is a “build-to-order” manufacturer of two types of custom bicycles: mountain bikes and street racing bikes. Nearly every part on each type of bike could be specified by the customer.

The Problem:

There are dozens of potential components that can be added to any bike, each at a different cost. It was impossible to quote the cost of a bike until a salesperson can research exactly which part the customer wants. There are also some components that are incompatible with others. This requires salespeople to have extensive knowledge of each part in the inventory. As new parts are constantly being added to inventory, this is a daunting, time consuming task. Frequently, salespeople would quote a product that simply couldn’t be built because of component incompatibility.

The Solution:

We created a Product Configurator - each bicycle part has a list of compatible attachment parts. The application lays out the product selection process as a logic sequence of questions. The salesperson simply asks the question, and the program provides a list of options with prices. As customers select various options, subsequent questions with options are presented to the salesperson with guaranteed compatibility.

This custom application allows the owner to easily add or remove parts, change prices, and create compatibility rules. The benefits of the program were dramatic: “Bad orders” were virtually eliminated, and the program’s ability to finely control component pricing led to higher profit margins and a smoother, more efficient system.

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