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Delivering the products customers really want

Wapice develops systems and software for industrial companies to automate the entire process from selling a complex product to final delivery. The Summium sales configurator, for example, helps ­customers and sales teams translate front-line needs into ready-to-go product and production ­configurations. Summium can be used as an Internet-based, stand-alone tool, but it really comes into its own when integrated into ERP systems.

The Summium sales configuration system has been designed to help suppliers sell, configure, and deliver customised products as rapidly and as cost-effectively as standard products.

Summium works at its best when it is integrated with external systems such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. This guarantees the maximum benefit, as it ensures that sales organisations, manufacturing plants, and other units all have access to exactly the same customer, supplier, and product data – and secures links with common materials management, production planning, financial accounting, and personnel management subsystems. This type of integration brings a number of advantages over isolated software systems.

As the Summium approach keeps customer-specific configuration data and the configurator separate from the underlying product data that is the real engine of the system, product managers can maintain and run the system. Which is all to the good, as they are the people who know their products the best, not their companies' IT departments or other software experts.

Real-time data from the entire supply chain

The Summium sales configurator is ideal for quoting and selling even quite complex products tailored to customers' specific requirements. Summium does this ensuring that salesmen can only select valid components and combinations of components and parts, preventing those that are physically impossible, known to be unreliable, or are likely to be very unprofitable to supply from being chosen.

Product experts are responsible for creating the product families that underpin this selection process and for defining all the parameters needed to provide an optimal number of combinations or achieve target performance in specific areas.

Prices are calculated automatically as the process progresses, following predefined pricing rules.

Products configured in this way are identified by a unique product code, with subsections of the code linked to specific components and parts for easy subsequent identification and modification.

In cases where a salesman or key account manager accesses the system via Summium's Internet interface, order data and product specifications can be exchanged easily with the relevant ERP systems when needed.

When an offer has been finalised and accepted, Summium can convert it into an approved order automatically and deliver an order confirmation to the customer immediately. Order follow-up is also possible all the way to final delivery.

Summium is a powerful configuration tool for true mass customisation, and capable of managing a very wide range of options, whilst maintaining cost efficiency.

A global solution

Summium is already being used by thousands of users on four continents, including a number of multinationals. ABB, Konecranes, and Vacon are among those that have adopted Summium technology to streamline their sales processes.

Summium is ideally suited to manufacturing companies that are experiencing positive growth and want a powerful tool to integrate their sales with the rest of their supply chain management.

The needs of smaller business have not been forgotten either, and the Summium platform can itself be configured to meet their requirements and be integrated with practically any external IT system or automated device on the market.

Modular all the way

Summium installations can include any ­combination of the following components:

  • Configurator – automatically generates a user interface for sales and production
  • Offer tool – used to process orders and transmit them by email or fax
  • Order tool – used to enter, configure, confirm, and transfer data to operational systems
  • Order tracking – used to track orders in the fulfilment process
  • Production queue – used to queue production needs and track production in real time
  • Report – used to manage product information and maintain configuration rules
  • Configurator engine – used to tailor reporting options, and
  • Admin tool – required to manage user access rights and groups.
> Petri Helo
(Published in High Technology Finland )