The Dallas Convention Center put on a Texas sized trade show for the Heating, Ventilation, A/C & Refrigeration (HVACR) industry. The KBMax team walked the floor to learn more about the industry and visit some current customers like Super Radiator Coils & Watts Water. There were about 2000 booths showing off a wide range of products from ceiling fans to giant compressor chillers. We gathered some significant takeaways from speaking with folks there.
The sheer volume of configurable products is considerable. These products often need to be customized for applications in new construction or other specialized projects. Although we knew that going in, the show really reinforced that companies here could really use product configurators to automate the design/quote cycle.
More surprising was the number of companies using homegrown configurators that offer low functionality and tremendous maintenance challenges. We saw a few of those tools firsthand that look like glorified excel sheets that spit out very basic quotes. They may save sales teams some time in getting a price, but there are some major flaws that mean lots of manual labor that a configuator platform like KBMax can eliminate. Some of those issues include no online capability, no CAD automation, and heavy reliance on "tribal knowledge."