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Kolbe & Kolbe Goes Live with BuyDesign™ Channel Sales Solution from TDCI

Distributors Now Have On-line Configuration for Custom Window and Door Quotes, Bids, and Orders

2004-08-04 - Columbus, Ohio, USA: TDCI, Inc. (TDCI), a diversified enterprise software and consulting company serving both mid-size and large manufacturing organizations, has announced that Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Company, Inc. (Kolbe & Kolbe), a national manufacturer of high-end residential windows and doors, has gone live with a new web-based channel sales support system based on TDCI’s Sales BuyDesign software. The new system utilizes TDCI’s BuyDesign Control Center product customization management system to enable on-line configuration of custom windows and doors in support of quote, bid, and order generation activities.

BuyDesign is the first software product built around the concept of Product Customization Management - a holistic approach to managing the entire life-cycle of mass-customized products in order to offer them at costs and delivery times comparable to mass-produced products. TDCI states that BuyDesign addresses the unique requirements of customized product manufacturers where other applications fall short - that is to eliminate the bottlenecks associated with creation of configuration-specific images, quotes, bids, drawings, and documentation needed by manufacturing, sales, and customers. It reduces the time and effort required to produce these deliverables by up to 90%.

BuyDesign bridges the gaps between a company’s existing engineering, sales, and manufacturing processes with three modular components:

  • BuyDesign Control Center - a powerful platform that provides the engine to drive an intuitive, visual configuration process, as well as automated generation of configuration-specific models, drawings, documents, and manufacturing information. It also provides a collaborative environment for enterprisewide management of an ‘extended product definition’ that defines, describes, and controls product customizability.
  • Sales BuyDesign - a flexible and comprehensive browser-based sales application that leverages the power of BuyDesign Control Center to support sales and service for highly customized products sold either directly or through dealers and distributors.
  • BuyDesign Integrator - a single point of control for standards-based integration with enterprise-level engineering, manufacturing, and business systems.

With Sales BuyDesign, Kolbe & Kolbe is now providing distributors with some of the most advanced web-based capabilities available from any window and door manufacturer anywhere, including the ability to:

  • Configure and order any custom Kolbe & Kolbe product on-line, including mulled units (units that combine and coordinate multiple window and door products);
  • Immediately view and manipulate a 3D model of configured custom products;
  • Quickly generate custom product quotes for dealers, delivering them in an Excel spreadsheet format that dealers can directly translate into high quality end-customer ‘bid’ documents with thumbnail images of the configured window and/or mulled unit;
  • Automatically turn complex custom product quotes/bids into orders; and
  • Instantly view the status of custom product orders, invoices, and shipments.

Together, these capabilities dramatically reduce the time and effort to produce quotes and bids for Kolbe & Kolbe’s custom windows and doors - from days to minutes - while significantly reducing errors and order changes. In addition, the new system provides Kolbe & Kolbe distributors and field sales people with access to current information about products, orders, and outstanding quotes.

The new system automatically passes distributor orders to Kolbe and Kolbe’s order processing and manufacturing applications to drive production at any one of several manufacturing plants located in various parts of the United States. Integration of the web-based channel sales system with core business systems is done using the BuyDesign Integrator product.

Donald Huehnerfuss, Kolbe & Kolbe Vice President states: "On-line product configuration, 3D visualization, and rapid sales quotes give our dealers and distributors a tremendous set of tools for increasing sales and customer service. The system is also helping us significantly streamline our entire quote-to-delivery cycle. Ultimately, this reduces our lead-times as well as our costs, making us more responsive to customer needs and more competitive in our market."

Dan DeMuth, TDCI President, adds: "Kolbe & Kolbe is taking a leadership position in the window and door industry by offering these on-line capabilities to their distributors and dealers and we are proud to be a part of the effort. This solution also serves to illustrate the power of the Internet for enabling the immediate availability of up-to-date product information and collaborative sales processes across multi-level sales channels."

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