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Friedman Software: Product Configuration Management (PCM)

Product Configuration Management (PCM)

 

Frontier Product Configuration Management (PCM) provides the tools to translate the engineering specification and validation logic for option-oriented, customer-specified product lines into a centralized PCM knowledge base. The translation of this engineering logic minimizes the reliance on key individuals within your organization by centralizing the required product knowledge into the Frontier® ERP System. The Frontier PCM knowledge base is designed to support multiple platforms and configuration engines, including internal Customer Service, Internet-based entry, and remote Dealer Systems.

The PCM knowledge base is made up of multiple rule types, data tables and algorithms that are maintained independently. These are associated to a product line, allowing PCM logic to be shared across multiple product lines as required. Entry and maintenance of the PCM knowledge base is supported through Frontier application screens, integrated spreadsheet application programs, as well as the Frontier PCM Workbench application.

The PCM Workbench is a client/server based application specifically designed to provide centralized access to all of the independent elements defined within the PCM knowledge base. The design of the application leverages PC based functionality to simplify the inquiry, entry and maintenance of these rules, tables and algorithms — as well as the multiple associations of these elements to new and existing product lines.

PCM supports quotation/order entry logic:

  • Decision-tree-based product attribute lists designed to walk the user through the specification process, supporting predefined, dimensional, and one-off custom attribute types
  • Dynamic display of available product attributes based on PCM logic to filter an attribute list based on previous selections and order-level information
  • Real-time editing and validation of individual and dependent product attributes selected based on PCM conditional rules and tables, ensuring only valid configurations are processed
  • Table- and formula-based, customer-specific pricing based on product attributes selected, including dimensional ranges
  • PCM logic to retrieve and/or calculate any empirical data required for product validation, pricing or subsequent production requirements, including complex trigonometric calculation functionality
  • Dynamic determination of production facility, replenishment method and associated lead times based on the customer, the product attributes selected, material availability and capacity
  • Entry of single-level product configurations, as well as the entry of dependent, multi-unit product configurations
  • Automatic generation and storage of an attribute-based configuration code that defines and identifies the product throughout the order fulfillment process and into history

PCM supports production logic:

  • Generation of single- or multi-level configuration-based production orders, supporting configured sub-assemblies within a configured parent assembly
  • Table- and formula-based logic to support the dynamic generation of the required product structure, component items and associated quantity per
  • Table- and formula-based logic to support the dynamic generation of the required production operations and the associated run and setup times
  • Generation of configuration-based purchase orders for the identification and procurement of custom-purchased components that have not been predefined to the system
  • Table-based logic to schedule production based on manufacturing facility, order information, defined product attributes and calculated empirical data
  • Table-based logic to release and report production based on multi-level production orders and user-defined production reporting requirements
  • Table-based logic to setup machine integration and material handling interface file formats based on product line, defined product attributes and calculated empirical data

PCM supports analytical logic:

  • Product cost calculations processed and recorded against system-generated product configuration codes to track standard and actual cost details for custom-configured products
  • Table-based logic to support the capture of key product attributes to drive sales analysis, providing visibility of attribute popularity, cost and margin information

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