Configurable products:

Highly flexible on the market and variance-optimized internally.

Configurable products:

Highly flexible on the market and variance-optimized internally.

Configure products
with customer-specific scopes

  • Mixed forms of configurable and customer-specific parts are the norm in mechanical and plant engineering
  • Map orders with configurable scopes in fast and simplified processes
  • Evaluate customer-specific scopes quickly and reliably, leverage reuse concepts


Configure-to-Order Engineer-to-Order Configurable Products
Order ProcesseingProduct Development

Configure products:
This is how it works

METUS allows configurable product portfolios to be built up, which can also be used to meet individual customer requirements. This means:

  • Configurable and customer-specific order scopes are mapped in a jointly maintained product architecture
  • Faster and more accurate order processing is made possible by setting the course for different order types at an early stage (extensive order clarification only for “custom store” orders)
  • Precise evaluation of customer-specific scopes with implementation alternatives (e.g. delta engineering, oversizing)
  • Optimized product structures serve as input for product configurators and the processing of configurable order scopes

The METUS solution approach is based on the link between market and product. The portfolio is segmented into fully configurable, largely configurable and orders with larger customer-specific scopes.

Configurable products, which contain both known configurable elements and (as yet unknown) customer-specific elements, are thus created in a consistent, transparent product architecture supported by all stakeholders.


Does the METUS software replace a product configurator?

No. However, METUS can be used to determine the optimum variant framework, because variance and module strategy in METUS always take place in the context of the market and not in isolation. This variant framework is then the input variable for a configurator.

This procedure is particularly important for companies that have a large product portfolio. Not all possible combinations of elements should be combinable and configurable here. The “desired” configuration space can be determined well in METUS before the configurator is used, with a view to the business parameters.

We already use a product configurator. So why do we still need METUS?

Here is a good but long answer:

Widely configurable products are a desirable goal for increasing profitability and speed in quoting processes. However, the practical benefits from using product configurators are often moderate. Why? We see three reasons:

  1. Insufficient integration into value creation: the people entrusted with filling the configurator and its logic are not sufficiently integrated into sales and product management;
  2. High implementation and maintenance costs: The data entered into the configurator at great expense does not reflect the current status of the product portfolio;
  3. Actual business process is only inadequately mapped: In the case of orders with customer-specific scopes, the functions of the configurator are bypassed by Sales — for example, by using free text fields to describe functional specifications.
In our company, every order is different. How can you possibly configure?

The success factor of mechanical engineering is the ability to offer customized products. On closer inspection, however, one realizes that a considerable proportion of orders could be configured at least in part from modules. Our projects show that this would usually be true for at least half of all orders — if one were able to identify these 50%.

Simply put, each job may be unique, but it usually consists of elements that can be represented at least in part with a module strategy.



ERP and PLM system, configurator — and METUS as well: Doesn’t that result in a mess of data?

The sad truth is: This data clutter already exists without METUS.

In our experience, this is due to the fact that, in many cases, the systems for product configuration in particular are not well integrated into the processes. After a short time, the structures in the product configurator then no longer reflect the state of the art.

The product architecture as mapped in METUS represents the DNA of the product. This is because the link between the market and the product is the core of the model. So when the product development systems and the product configuration systems make use of it, products are created on the basis of the same DNA.

To which configurators are there interfaces?

The product structures created and optimized in METUS are usually reused in other systems, resulting in numerous integration options.

“Firmly built in” to METUS are already interfaces to Siemens TeamCenter, ConfigIt and CAS Software. Numerous other systems can be addressed via XPLM's interface technology.

How can customer-specific scopes be mapped in a product architecture?

This is actually a contradiction in terms, because a customer’s requirements are not known in advance. However, product architectures can be cleverly constructed and appropriate placeholders can be set in the product structure at points where customer-specific scopes are to be possible.

On this basis, similar and already existing elements can then be quickly implemented for the realization of an individual requirement in the event of a customer inquiry (e.g. delta engineering, reuse of oversized existing components).

“Thanks to the METUS methodology and software, we can now better manage the complexity of our development projects.
our development projects better today.”

Stefan List,  Airbus Operations GmbH
Head of Cabin Innovation Strategy & Concepts, Cabin Innovation & Design

“Customer benefits increase due to cost advantages while flexibility remains the same, and the degree of reuse can be significantly increased.”

Dr. Jens Matthiak*
thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions

*zit. “Mehr als copy und Paste”, in: Process 02-2018

These are more business applications and services