January 28, 2021
Getting Started With CET Extensions: 10 Things to Know
Is your organization starting the journey to develop CET extensions for your configurable products? We can help turn your ideas into reality with experienced developers, software tools and cross-functional expertise that make work easier for everyone. Whether you are seeking to optimize the quoting, design or selling process of your configurable products, our team of experts will deliver immediate value for your business.
Here at OST, our Configuration Services Team has helped organizations of all sizes leverage CET extensions to increase revenue and the efficiency of order preparation while reducing costs and errors. For this article, we sat down with Kyle Jansens, Jon Vinsko and several other experts on the Configuration Services Team to highlight the 10 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about getting started with CET extension implementation.
1. What is a CET extension?
A CET Extension is an application added to Configura’s CET Designer tool that simplifies the design, specification and selling process for configurable products. By creating and managing a CET Extension, your organization will have a software solution that opens new revenue channels, enhances the user experience, and can be used by any designer to plan, specify, design and order your products for their spaces.
2. Does my organization need a CET extension?
Configura’s CET Designer is a growing force in the space-planning market. With many designers shifting to CET software, the demand for CET Marketplace extensions is on the rise. Organizations that are not active in this space are missing out on opportunities to drive profits. Getting your organization’s product lines introduced into the CET Marketplace can help drive shorter sales cycles, increase customer satisfaction and gain higher revenues.
Some of the most common manufacturing industries that benefit from launching a CET extension include:
- Material handling
3. What are the different types of CET extensions?
There are three main types of CET extensions, and our team will work with you to strategically select the best option for your organization.
Catalog CET Extension
- A catalog extension for CET Designer is the most basic type of CET extension. This extension is essentially a graphical insert of your product with limited options for designers to customize. It is comparable to a 2020 manufacturer catalog, ProjectSymbols drawing or similar tools.
Data-Driven CET Extension (Hybrid Extension)
- This data–driven option has code that controls certain aspects of how products behave in CET Designer and can also pull other attributes from a database hosted by Configura. This type of extension allows for greater customization and flexibility and an improved user experience.
PGC CET Extension
- With a full PGC extension, all the options, rules and other attributes of your products are included in the code. This option gives designers everything they need to fully specify your complex configurable products.
Walk Before You Run: Develop a Catalog CET Extension Before Working on a PGC Extension
4. How long does it take to make a CET extension?
If you are absolutely looking for a rough estimate, here’s what you might expect. If all your data is in good shape and you have an experienced digital support team, you could likely get a catalog extension developed for a typical product line in four to nine months. More complex extensions (hybrid and PGC) would take longer.
In general, a catalog extension will be quicker to market, while a PGC extension takes more back-end development to fully integrate the complex rules of your products. And the time to make a CET extension depends on many other factors. Examples include:
- The type of extension you want to develop
- How many products your organization has
- The complexity of your data
- How customizable you want your extension
- The resources your organization is willing to allocate for testing and maintenance
Regardless of what type of extension you own, regular maintenance and ongoing support will be required to support your digital product past the original development. Owning a CET extension is an ongoing journey!
5. How much does developing a CET extension cost?
Much like trying to estimate the time it will take to create a CET extension, the cost will depend greatly on the complexity of your products, the status of your data, the sophistication of your digital support team and other factors. As a premier Configura Implementation Partner, OST provides the project management, development and quality assurance resources to ensure a best-in-class cost for any CET extension.
CET Development Services at OST
6. How can my organization improve the CET extension experience for designers?
The driving force during extension development should be optimizing the user experience. Your team’s work should clearly contribute to the goal of ensuring that a user can easily and accurately specify, order and obtain your products. In the beginning stages, our team will want to learn about your products, your end users, extensions you would like to emulate and your team’s digital product maintenance and testing capabilities. We can then collaborate to define a minimum viable product (MVP). Our shared goal in defining an MVP is to deliver immediate return on your investment.
How to Identify and Fix Development Issues for New CET Extensions
7. Who owns the CET extension?
You own your CET extension! Your company is responsible for maintaining the product catalog and the extension. And it’s important to remember that extensions require regular maintenance and updates to keep them functioning properly and to deliver an outstanding experience to end users that maximizes your revenue from the CET ecosystem.
Our team also offers an ongoing support program for Configura extensions to resolve support tickets, make enhancements and much more.
8. My organization currently uses 2020 or ProjectSymbols, do we have to start over?
Absolutely not! The product data from many other types of product configurator software can be used as the foundation for your CET extension. And that data can also speed up your CET extension development.
9. Can a CET extension be used on my organization’s website?
Yes! At OST, we have deep expertise in web application development and design to create a solution for your product in this space. For example, your catalog data can be used to create a product configurator on your website.
10. What else can my organization do with a CET extension?
A CET Extension can be integrated with other business tools, such as your CRM and ERP system. These business tools can utilize information from CET designer to optimize order entry, save time and remove room for error throughout the ordering, distributing and installation processes.
OST: Your Partner for CET Extension Development and Product Configurators
Want to learn even more about CET extensions and other product configuration capabilities? Visit our configuration services service page or contact us today! Our team of experts is ready to help you move forward and start driving new revenue.