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Sales Tool streamlines production


March 23, 2009
by Corinne Lynds, Senior Editor

Evans Console manufactures roughly 90 custom console projects per month. And project values range from $10,000 to $4 million.
Photo: Evans Console

Evans Console Corp. is on a mission to increase manufacturing capacity and accuracy. That’s why it teamed up with Autodesk to create a second-generation sales tool that not only ties into engineering, but helps the manufacturer of custom consoles streamline production.

The Calgary-based company makes the consoles for Fortune-500 companies and government agencies such as the CIA, FBI and Department of Defense. “The best way to describe our business is to take office furniture as an example,” explains Matko Papic, manager of product engineering and development. “Employers spend roughly $5,000 per operator for a workstation. That might include a cubicle, PC, software and some furniture. In a control room, those numbers can exceed $1 million per operator. It’s very sophisticated monitoring equipment. We tailor the consoles to integrate all of that equipment.”

With more than 8,500 installations worldwide to date, and no two projects the same, the company was looking to identify as much “commonality of components” as possible and re-use a large number of those components to generate efficiencies. But at the same time, it needed to maintain the flexibility of its products to provide custom solutions.

Its partnership with Autodesk resulted in SnapDesign II. While the first generation of this program was conceived internally as a sales tool, the benefits to the design and manufacturing environment proved to be much more significant.
“SnapDesign II allows our front-end users (sales, dealers, integrators), who may not be technically sophisticated, to fully quote interactively on our products in front of the customers, and to their requirements right on the spot,” says Papic.

The sales person goes in and does the proposal in Snap and it instantaneously generates all sign-off drawings and 3D colour renderings. When it comes in to the plant, it needs a quick process in design and it goes straight out to manufacturing.”

The company wanted something more than a sales tool so it put out a request for proposals to develop a new system that would integrate sales and enigneering.