To all of my Variant Configuration modelers out there, you all understand exactly what I’m talking about. Your models are only as good as the information you have to work with. I’ve modeled at quite a few different places, and more times than not, the information is always the bottleneck. My current assignment is no different. So it what brings me to my topic of the day, the value of good information for your VC models, and the format that it’s in.
In my travels, I’ve seen the extremes, good and bad. I’ve seen notebook pages with scribbles, and I’ve seen fancy designed tools just for the documentation of the VC rules. What I’m here to tell you is that you don’t need anything fancy. In my experience, an excel spreadsheet with some standard formatting is more than you need. Fancy tools will just cost you money, and in the long run, cost you time. Because you still need to move all the information into the fancy tool. Spend a couple of hours, put together a format you can read. Work with the modelers and business people. It’s really that simple. I’m an engineer, so I like to start with the bill of materials first. I’m a fan of listing out all the components, and then break down the rules that it takes to select each. From there, it’s usually pretty easy to break it down and sort it out.
Then go into the sales/marketing rules. The important thing here is if you can break things into tables or grids. Remember, don’t make it more complicated than it needs to be. The more complex, the less likely anyone will update it or enter it properly.
So take me advise, if you’re just starting out, do it simple. Use excel to build it. Thanks for reading.
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