In 2007, Steelcase – the largest office furniture manufacturer in the world – chose Configura to help simplifiy its design and specification process.
By investing in a CET Designer Extension that launched in 2008, Steelcase has revolutionized the way its dealers sell products. Today, nearly all Steelcase dealers in North America use CET Designer along with the proprietary Extension, SmartTools, as the total solution for their design and specification needs.
Steelcase is a global, industry-leading and publicly traded company with fiscal 2015 revenue of $3.1 billion. Steelcase and Configura have cooperated since 2007, a partnership that has resulted in business improvements for Steelcase’s sales, design, order and manufacturing processes. Today, Steelcase’s CET Designer Extension SmartTools is used by more than 1,300 designers and salespeople worldwide.
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The person who led this change was Steve Eriksson. His 25-year career at Steelcase has spanned managing service groups, model shops, test labs and specials engineering teams. In these roles, he gained an in-depth understanding of the entire product and sales cycle.
With this depth of knowledge, the company tapped him about 10 years ago to be part of the EXPerience Team, which focused on the experience between Steelcase, its independent dealers and customers. His first major objective was to find better technology to handle design and specification at the dealer level.
Steve and his team initiated the project by conducting a survey among Steelcase dealerships. Speaking with managers, salespersons and designers, it was crucial to learn from anyone at the dealership who played a role in selling Steelcase products.
The team’s research concluded that a significant problem in the existing workflow was the cost of errors made in the design process. The software they were using was not aiding the designer, who had to manually account for all the product parts and pieces.
Another major issue was the time invested to train a new person to become a proficient designer. The technology they were using did not support the designer who was responsible to know the products inside out and to understand all product rules.
These major issues left the team looking for a different solution.Get the whole story
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