House configurator

Background

The house building industry has historically been adept at “selling shells” but curiously, not so clever at filling them. New house buyers move into their homes having selected handles, tiles, kitchen finishes etc. from small, sometimes minimal lists. Instances are high of new owners replacing all the fixtures, including doors, soon after moving in.

So, satisfaction with the final product was dampened, and a profit opportunity missed?

Approach

The embryonic idea started with cost/benefit analysis and setting parameters and objectives.

Stage 1: Requirements and supplier choice

Detail of the full configurator requirements and ordering process was developed, with the outcome being a request for proposal (RFP) document. Identification of suitable suppliers, and auditing their appropriate skills developed the shortlist.

Stage 2: Supplier Choice, POC

Suppliers responses to the RFP were analysed on a range of criteria, with an appointment made following contract review. The Proof of Concept project then launched. One house type was developed in 3D, along with a limited set of product options to prove the process works. Testing the POC with a live audience generated practical, and positive feedback.

Stage 3: Full development

The project moved on to developing a suite of more house types. Perhaps more importantly, the addition of a huge range of customisable options (35,000+). Other project extensions included developing business logic and full ordering process.

● Designed the configurator requirements
● Researched potential global suppliers, shortlisted to 5
● Developed the Request for Proposal and submitted to suppliers
● Reviewed proposals and interviewed the 2 finalists – 1 in Belfast, 1 in Kiev, Ukraine
● Set requirements for a Proof of Concept configurator
● Managed the POC project, advising client, working with suppliers

The technical uncertainties surmounted.

House configuration had never been tackled previously in the market

  • Can a whole house be configured with photo quality imagery in real time in a web browser for the user – no time lag
  • Enabling an order to be placed from the configurator by the user
  • A configurator that operates in a web browser without the need for plugins
  • Configurator usability across operate on desktop, laptop and tablets – not mobile due to screen size limitations
  • Ensuring no impact on website page speeds.
  • A configurator tool with adaptability, and depth
  • Ordering suite ability for the clients’ customers
  • Clients increase in optional upgrades
  • Auditable reports of customer choices in the configurator
  • Single customer invoice for all upgrades
  • Significant uplift in additional sales

Registered office: SUITE A | 82 James Carter Road | Mildenhall | IP28 7DE