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Visual Configuration for Free-Form Products: Expand Your Market With Technology

February 13, 2024

Historically, visual representations of free-form products like decks, fences, and floor plans were effectively limited to 2D for anyone other than technical experts and math wizards. Thanks to game-changing new technology, this limitation no longer exists. Read on to learn how you can leverage Epicor CPQ and an innovation within our visual KB3D configurator, Sketch and Extrude, to grow your business:

What is CPQ?

CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote, a three-step process central to most manufacturing companies. It involves configuring products for customers, calculating a price, then generating a quote so customers can place an order. While CPQ solutions may seem similar, the richness of their features distinguishes them—especially for businesses with large and/or complex product portfolios.

How Does Visual Configuration Drive Sales?

Our Epicor CPQ software streamlines the sales-to-manufacturing process using technology, including a native visual configurator that we designed, KB3D. Configuring products visually helps provide customers with a crystal-clear picture and understanding of products as well as the variety of features, parts, dimensions, colors, materials, and assembly options available. This aids decision-making and inspires confidence—which in turn drives sales.

Product rules coded into the configurator software help ensure that customers' product designs are valid (meaning designs you can build) and optimized, easing engineering teams' lives. Pricing rules can also be built in, so customers immediately understand the impact of every design choice, enabling quote accuracy.

Visual configurators must be effortless for both you and your customers to use. Epicor CPQ is designed so that companies can create and maintain these configurators in-house. It expertly models highly specialized, complex products with hundreds of options in immersive 2D, 3D, virtual, and augmented reality. Companies can create virtual showrooms by embedding a visual configurator on their website and integrating it with an e-commerce platform.

Epicor CPQ empowers businesses with smart visual selling that drives sales, eliminates manufacturing bottlenecks, and creates unforgettable customer experiences.

Sketch in 2D and Extrude or Sweep in 3D

Epicor CPQ is proud to offer an innovation within our visual KB3D configurator, Sketch and Extrude. The Sketch and Extrude functionality enables users to easily configure free-form products like decks, fences, and floor plans by allowing them to sketch in 2D and extrude or sweep visual representations in 3D.

Before Sketch and Extrude, these visual representations were effectively limited to 2D for anyone other than technical experts. Drawing products with soft bodies like plumbing tubes, connecting points, and adding bends and curvature required extremely complex, custom math and the highest level of technical knowledge. With Sketch and Extrude, anyone can create these types of visual representations, and doing it is fast and easy using an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface where renderings and changes are lightning-fast and 'What You See Is What You Get'.

Why Sketch and Extrude Is Game-Changing

KB3D Sketch and Extrude enables companies to expand their market with technology that equips them to design, build, and sell new product lines. Companies that manufacture free-form products are now able to leverage the power of CPQ software to streamline their manufacturing, engineering, and sales processes and grow their business. Manufacturers can expect significant cost savings and productivity increases through the resulting efficiency gains, as well as increased sales through an improved strategy for going to market.

The Epicor CPQ KB3D Sketch and Extrude feature offers game-changing technology for companies that want visual configurators for applications like ductwork, piping and drainage, decks, and single-use pharmaceuticals. The technology is game-changing for three reasons:

Democratize 3D Visual Configuration

KB3D Sketch and Extrude makes the nearly impossible, possible, for anyone. This patent-pending technology enables companies that manufacture free-form products to produce 3D visual representations of their products without requiring them to be math and technical experts.

Make 3D Visual Configuration a Reality in Your Industry

Sketch and Extrude opens visual configuration for multiple industries and our market analysis conservatively estimates that at least 50% of decking and ductwork companies that want a visual configurator are interested in Sketch and Extrude technology.

Save Time and Reduce Costs Required for 3D Visual Configuration

We estimate that Sketch and Extrude users can reduce the time and cost required to develop a 3D visual configurator by as much as 25%-75%. Prior to Sketch and Extrude, we designed a custom solution to a pharma company that required 1.5 weeks to develop. In a direct comparison, we used Sketch and Extrude to develop the identical solution and developed it in 12 hours. These potential savings double when you consider the dual tasks of sketching (drawing the shape of an object) and extruding (connecting objects, with tubes for example).

Contact Epicor
today to learn more about how Epicor CPQ and KB3D Sketch and Extrude can help your business grow.