Cookie Consent by Free Privacy Policy Generator Topic Finder

Standard products with configurable options

Solutions for automating individualized documentation production.

A common scenario among our customers is that they produce standard products with configuration options. The options are often standardized - once an order has been made, the product can be assembled to specification without any initial R&D efforts.

With Skribenta, they can automate production of individualized documentation based on the configuration options in each order.

Separation of content and document assembly

One important different with a production system like Skribenta compared to traditional tools like Word or Indesign, is that the writers do not work directly in the document that will be delivered. Instead, they work from two different angles: the content and the assembly of content into documents.

Document assembly involves selecting the correct content and adapting that content for a specific document. It is done by setting up variables for each document. These variables are used by rules defined in the content. Rules can do things like filtering the content, replacing product names, and even generating new automatic content, such as tables of technical data.

Thanks to this mechanism, the content can be prepared so that it covers all configuration options of the product. Each new order is represented by a set of variables. This way, the product documentation can be automatically customized for each new order, and delivered as PDF or on the web.

Automating the order flow

To make the production process work, someone must add the variables for each order into Skribenta. This could be done manually by a technical writer, or perhaps the salesperson.

If there are many orders, or there are many configuration options, it can be worthwhile to take automation one step further by automating the order flow. The variables needed in Skribenta for each order are then automatically created based on input from some sort of sales configuration tool.

The precise setup varies depending on what tools are used in the sales process, and how configuration data are handled. But the result is the same: When a salesperson enters a product configuration, they can have the product documentation for that configuration within minutes.

The sales configurator

Many companies have invested in a dedicated CPQ or sales configurator tool, or one that is included in one of their other systems. These systems usually have integration possibilities, and we can implement an automatic information flow to Skribenta. Each time an order is made in the CPQ system, the configuration options are passed on to Skribenta, which automatically builds the documentation.

Sometimes product configuration is done manually in the sales process without any dedicated system. In these cases we can assist by creating and supplying a simple web interface where the salesperson can enter the data. Then, the same thing happens - Skribenta builds the documentation and returns it directly to the salesperson. This type of custom-made configurator is much simpler and does not have the same functionality as a full-fledged CPQ system, but it can be a quick and less expensive option, especially when the configuration options are limited.