Solve Your Commercial-Grade Furniture Configuration Challenges

commercial-grade furniture

Furniture manufacturers face many challenges with product configuration. This is particularly true for commercial-grade furniture companies that offer complex product customizations. As more companies seek unique, tailor-made furniture for their spaces, custom manufacturers often navigate complicated design and production requirements while trying to maintain high customer satisfaction levels.

Whether you manufacture arena seating like ‘The Wall’ for Clippers’ fans, retail fixtures for a new chain of clothing stores, or the latest designs for medical waiting areas, using the right product configuration software can streamline your business. Specifically, parametric product configurators can greatly enhance your business processes, from sales to production, providing greater operational efficiency.

In this blog post, you’ll learn more about product configurators and how parametric product configuration can benefit your commercial-grade furniture manufacturing business.

What is a Product Configurator?

A product configurator is a software tool that allows your dealers and end customers to design and customize products to their specific preferences. It provides an interactive platform where users can select various options such as dimensions, colors, materials, and finishes. Various industries use product configurators, including commercial furniture, doors, cabinetry, window treatments, and more.

While some are separate tools, product configurators are often part of Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software. And when CPQ is integrated with your ERP, the configuration tool becomes even more powerful. With features like dynamic pricing, production scheduling, and detailed BOM outputs, ERP CPQ does more than automatically generate quotes, it elevates your operations to the next level.

Parametric vs. Rules-Based Product Configuration

The product configuration process is critical for manufacturers of customized products like commercial-grade furniture companies. Most standard, mass-produced furniture companies can get by using a rules-based product configurator. However, parametric product configurators are a necessity for producing more complex designs or for products built to fit a specific space or meet a load-bearing capacity.

A parametric product configurator offers significant advantages over simpler, rules-based systems. Here are some examples:

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Parametric product configuration is a powerful Frontier ERP feature that streamlines your business processes from sales to final delivery.

Rules Management

  • Rules-Based Configurator: Operates on predefined rules, which can struggle with complex, interdependent product components, limiting adaptability.
  • Parametric Configurator: Uses mathematical parameters and algorithms to manage complicated relationships between product attributes, ensuring high accuracy and performance.


  • Rules-Based Configurator: Often lacks dynamic visualization, leading to potential communication problems and expectations not being met.
  • Parametric Configurator: Provides instant visualization of customer choices, reducing errors and ensuring the product meets specifications.

Change Adaptation

  • Rules-Based Configurator: Changes require extensive testing and adjustments, causing delays in production and delivery.
  • Parametric Configurator: Easily adapts to new variables by adjusting mathematical models, enhancing efficiency.

Error Risk

  • Rules-Based Configurator: Errors can arise from unexpected rule relations, complicating verification and increasing the likelihood of errors.
  • Parametric Configurator: Reduces errors with meticulous embedded calculations, ensuring customers receive exactly what they ordered.

Configuration Abilities

  • Rules-Based Configurator: Handles simpler product designs well but struggles with expansive customization and intricate configurations.
  • Parametric Configurator: Offers extensive customization options, vital for commercial-grade furniture manufacturers, to boost customer satisfaction.

Quote Generation

  • Rules-Based Configurator: Manual operations slow down quoting and lead-time estimations, increasing the risk of discrepancies.
  • Parametric Configurator: Automates precise quoting and lead-time calculations, improving customer communication and operational efficiency.

Benefits of Product Configurators for Commercial-Grade Furniture Manufacturers

As mentioned previously, CPQ software is a valuable tool for sales teams and dealer networks, especially when integrated with your ERP furniture manufacturing software. An ERP with an integrated CPQ that employs a parametric product configurator can be a real game-changer for your company. The advantages Include:

Streamlined Design Processes

Consider commercial products like custom dressing rooms that require intricate specifications for doors, walls, seats, and hooks. Product configurators simplify the design process by allowing dealers, designers, and architects to visualize and modify their designs in real time. This reduces the back-and-forth between the buyer and the manufacturer. Plus, it ensures that the exact specifications can be produced, and then easily translates the order into production-ready formats.


Custom commercial-grade furniture often requires complex configurations to manage intricate customer specifications.

3D Visualization for an Enhanced Customer Experience

Utilizing 3D CAD drawing and design tools during the product configuration process is essential for commercial-grade furniture. By integrating a CAD program such as Autodesk Inventor, you can ensure the accuracy of all design elements in the preview. Integrated visualization capabilities allow customers, dealers, and internal teams to view configured products with exceptional clarity.

With 3D visualization, customers can see exactly what will be built from their order. This eliminates misunderstandings during the quote and ordering process. This not only increases customer engagement but also guarantees that the final product perfectly meets their expectations. Plus, using the same 3D visualization in-house helps to foster stronger communication among your team members, from sales and customer support to production and final inspection.

Faster Quotes and Lead Times

Inefficient quoting and order processing frequently cause delays, errors, and extended lead times, resulting in unhappy customers. In today’s competitive marketplace, that can make or break a commercial-grade furniture manufacturer

CPQ software allows your dealers and sales reps to automatically generate accurate quotes, expediting the sales process. With ERP integration, CPQ provides visibility into real-time data like inventory availability and production schedules. The integrated CPQ tool uses this data to calculate precise lead times, enhancing customer communication and expectation management.

Effortless Customization

Parametric product configurators let you create diverse product variations with ease. This eliminates the need for complex coding or tedious manual adjustments. Moreover, product configurators can store vast libraries of design elements.

Since customers often change their plans or their minds, you can quickly generate and modify designs. Additionally, all configuration changes to an order can be made globally, updating each underlying line item. This flexibility speeds up the design process and makes for quicker order turns.

Streamlined Production

Production efficiency is key to profitability. With precise, digitally-captured designs, production can be more streamlined. Product configurators are best when embedded or integrated with manufacturing systems, allowing for a seamless transition from design to production. This integration is ideal for maintaining efficiency with custom commercial-grade furniture orders.

Parametric product configurators streamline production by providing precise, detailed specifications directly to the shop floor. This reduces errors and ensures that each piece of commercial-grade furniture is produced exactly as designed. Integrating product configurators with manufacturing execution systems (MES) allows for automated adjustments in the production process, further enhancing efficiency.

Advanced parametric product configurators use sophisticated algorithms to automatically generate detailed documents. These include Bills of Materials (BOMs), precise cut lists, and comprehensive routing instructions based on user-selected configurations. For instance, let’s say a customer chooses a unique combination of materials and finishes for their hotel room guest chairs. The product configurator can automatically generate the necessary production instructions, minimizing the need for manual intervention and reducing the likelihood of errors.

Streamlining these processes accelerates production planning, improves efficiency, and ensures consistency in your manufacturing operations.

Effective Inventory Management

Inventory management is a critical aspect of manufacturing, particularly for custom commercial furniture where the variety of materials can be extensive. Product configurators help you maintain optimal inventory levels by predicting material requirements based on current and anticipated orders. This predictive capability reduces waste and ensures that the necessary materials are always available without overstocking. Manufacturers can also use data analytics to forecast demand for specific materials and adjust their inventory accordingly.

Furthermore, configurators can help identify trends in customer preferences, allowing you to stock customer-specific materials. This proactive approach to inventory management can lead to significant cost savings and improved operational efficiency.

Cost Transparency and Control

One of the most significant benefits of product configurators is their ability to provide cost transparency. Customers can see how changing options impact the price of their furniture and fixtures instantly, helping them make better decisions. This transparency helps prevent sticker shock and ensures that customers stay within their budget.

For manufacturers, this means fewer instances of abandoned orders because of unexpected costs. Additionally, by clearly outlining

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Happy customers lead to repeat customers. Improve order accuracy for higher customer satisfaction with Frontier ERP.

the cost implications of various design choices, manufacturers can better control production costs and maintain healthy profit margins.

Improved Customer Satisfaction

Managing customer expectations is crucial in the commercial-grade furniture industry. Clients who opt for custom furniture typically have larger budgets and specific visions for their products. Many even incorporate their company brand into their furniture pieces, so any order discrepancies can lead to lost revenue.

Commercial furniture customers often require seeing their ideas before production so they can make adjustments as needed. Product configurators contribute significantly to customer satisfaction by making the design process more interactive and engaging. This hands-on approach builds trust and often leads to repeat orders.

Advanced Product Configuration with Frontier

Frontier ERP is a cutting-edge enterprise resource planning system for manufacturers specializing in complex, build-to-order products. With our furniture manufacturing software, commercial-grade furniture companies can streamline operations, optimize processes, and consistently deliver superior products that exceed customer expectations.

Central to our ERP and built into our CPQ software is a revolutionary parametric product configurator. It enables commercial-grade furniture manufacturers to boost their bottom line and increase operational efficiency. Frontier’s database offers a single source of truth that enables configuration sharing and collaboration for managing:

Whether your clients want lobby seating, office workstations, hospitality furnishings, retail fixtures, or other customize-to-order items, Frontier’s parametric product configurator is the perfect solution.


In sum, commercial-grade furniture manufacturers can overcome complex customization challenges by leveraging advanced product configuration software.

Where parametric product configurators are an integral part of the ERP CPQ systems, they make processes more efficient and improve operations. Manufacturers taking full advantage of an ERP with CPQ and a parametric product configurator can optimize operations, reduce errors, and consistently meet customer expectations, ultimately driving profitability and fostering stronger client relationships.

Frontier ERP’s comprehensive approach exemplifies how modern configurators can transform the commercial furniture industry, ensuring precision, efficiency, and excellence in every customized order.

Want to learn more? Contact us today!

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