Collaboration with the customer has become a strategy to create and support competitive advantage. The two main business models that derive from this are the Mass-customization and the most advanced Personalization that forecast the customer’s involvement already in the early stages of product development and along its life cycle.
This led to change the traditional design paradigms by bringing the responsibility of the project managers from standard or partially configurable product to the design of components that can be configured by the customer, who then becomes the actual project manager of his solution.
This led to a new role for the customer in the industrial systems, because it goes from an isolated entity that chooses among a set of pre-defined products to a real node of the corporate network, from a not-informed user to an informed user and above all from a passive to an active and integral part of the business system.
In this way a new approach of the value creation is developed. The customer interacts actively along the product life cycle and in the value chain domain. An active, creative and social collaboration process aimed at creating value through the mutual exchange of knowledge.
In this context, information systems play a very important role as enabling tools.
Which features shoud they have?
They must be able to map the enterprise processes related to the product life cycle and customer relations, they must be able to communicate with the business applications to integrate the information, they must be able to introduce the customer knowledge in the product development and finally supporting the capture of the so called customer’s voice and translate it into requirements.
RuleDesigner has incorporated this vision into a technological platform that allows to realize and support a full collaboration with the customer.
Through specific portals it is possible to provide product configuration services, activate marketing tools that convey information and contents based on the customer preferences or driving the customer to specific actions. Until reaching a structured management of the sales opportunity that goes from the custom product request to the management and sharing of job order data, to the traceability of the customer history within its requests, shared documents, products sold, existing contracts, maintenance interventions collected and planned and the possibility of browsing catalogs and purchase spare-parts on-line.