Monday, September 15, 2014

Another time-saving function

Suppose you have created a rather complex configuration for a customer, with multiple hardware, software and services options.  Then you decide it would be useful/interesting to 'clone' this configuration, using a different system unit but where most/all of the options are still required.  Possible reasons include

  1. withdrawal of the initial system unit
  2. pricing action on either the original or the substitute system
  3. supply issues
  4. changing one or more concepts (rack mount versus floor-standing, warranty extension/upgrade, etc.)

Rather than go through the entire process of finding and selecting all those options again, try this.

  1. Save the initial proposal.
  2. Use File-->Open/Load an existing configuration to open the original.
  3. When the Configuration Load window appears, double-click on the system unit in the top window.  This puts a bracket symbol in the left-most column, indicating it is to be ignored when you press Validate later.  Scroll down to see how far those brackets go.
  4. Switch to the New Configuration-x window that just opened when you clicked on the system unit, and select the substitute/alternate system unit, using whatever method is easiest for you.  If there are any automatic choices that are forced when you select the substitute, make either the same choice(s) as the original, or not, as you wish.  
  5. Once the substitute system unit is on the quote page, bring the Configuration Load window to the foreground, and now you can press Validate.  The Configurator engine will try to install all your choices on the new system.  Successful additions will be marked with a plus sign in the left column (you will have to scroll down in the upper window to see all the components). Any that fail will be identified in a popup message, and marked in the left-most column of the upper window, so you can examine them and take appropriate action.  Once completed, you can press Close.
  6. Note that when you reload the initial configuration, the name, address and other customer information is copied to the new version when you Save the file.  Be sure to rename it so you don't overwrite the original.

This should help save you time when doing multiple "what-if" scenarios.  Each version can be presented to your customer separately.

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