Modularity as the Recipe for Unique Products

Diversification is a popular word these days. It contrasts with standard, which does not inspire the memorable experience we seek from our products. “To buy or not to buy”, that is definitely the question. We consumers want to buy products that provide us with the most delightful experiences. This is one of the reasons brands constantly seek ways to satisfy our quest for uniqueness. Why have what everyone else has when we can choose something unique? Unique feature, unique design, favorite color. The reality is that demand for diversity is on the upswing.

But wait a minute. How many product variants do Industrial Equipment (IE) companies have to manage without sacrificing margin and ultimately their longevity? Just how many types of products do they have to produce to satisfy different customer preferences? These are complicated questions for companies still struggling with an Engineered To Order (ETO) approach that has them spending too many hours developing individual products. It is simply not sustainable.

There are, however, companies that have recognized the need to switch gears, from an Engineered To Order approach to a Configured To Order (CTO) philosophy. And they are doing this by embracing modularity. You will want to read the interview of Alex von Yxkull, president and CEO of Modular Management, and Johan Källgren, partner, from our first issue of Compass magazine, to understand the challenges and rewards of modularization.  If you prefer a live explanation, check out the video below in which Colin de Kwant, a consultant from Modular Management explains that in a world in which we want it all, customization forces manufacturers to address two conflicting objectives – simplify complexity and amplify variety. The companies with an ETO approach risk failing to deliver.

How to switch from ETO to CTO? Watch this:

Modularity is the answer for IE companies that are looking for ways to ensure that product assortment meets customer requirements without inflating the number of managed parts. By reorganizing and rethinking the way products are developed and using common and interchangeable modules with predefined variants, modularity can pave the way to more innovation and timely delivery. 3DEXPERIENCE’s Simple Solution Selection helps IE companies diversify their product offering while minimizing the cost of complexity.

Keep your ears open; you haven’t heard the last of modularity… 😉

 

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