The year 2020 involved many challenges and opportunities. At Configura, 2020 meant the start of something new and building a foundation for growth. This was also the year we welcomed our new CEO Stefan Persson who took Configura from being a regional-focused company to becoming a company operating globally as one.
Just like the rest of the world, Configura was hit by the pandemic and overnight we left behind our height-adjustable desks in our CET-designed offices and began working virtually. But 2020 was more than sweatpants and Zoom calls because no matter how hard these changes were, Configura was well equipped for going completely digital and it did not stop us from making significant strategic changes.
One big initiative was performing a deep market analysis to gain a better understanding of the three main industries we serve – commercial interiors, kitchen and bath and material handling – and how we can serve these better moving forward. This resulted in repackaging our entire product offering, pinpointing regional focus areas and looking at ways to scale our organization and ecosystem for future growth.
Industry specialization and broadened support for the sales and design process A key strategy moving forward is to provide high value in the industries that we serve through focused product investments. We want to expand within all three of our targeted industries and to develop a market-leading position through knowledge-based marketing and industry offerings. Through the release of new products and partnerships, we are able to broaden our support by providing more tools for the entire sales, design and order process.
WE ARE CREATING A CUSTOMIZED EXPERIENCE FOR EACH INDUSTRY
One aspect of this work has been to specialize CET Designer as three industry-focused products – CET Commercial Interiors, CET Kitchen and Bath and CET Material Handling – to create a customized experience for specific industry values while maintaining the flexibility of an all-in-one tool for the entire sales, design and order process. As CET continues to evolve, Configura will add roles-based access to specific functionality within each of the products.
Focused markets: Japan and Germany
Configura is growing fast, reaching 250 employees in 2020 which was a 20 percent increase from 2019. We expect to surpass the 300 mark in 2021. We are investing in regional presence and industry knowledge by working with industry experts and recruiting local talent.
In 2018, we expanded to Germany and in 2021 we are excited to take the next step to open an office in Japan. Many of our current customers and prospects have subsidiaries or a local presence in Japan. It has always been Configura’s strategy to stay close to our customers to give them the best support possible when adopting our platform and we are looking forward to providing the same service for the growing Japanese market.
Investing in people and culture
To enable growth and align our operations globally, Configura moved from a geographical organization to a globally operating organization structured in functions – Sales & Marketing, Customer Success, Product and People. Each of these functions are crucial for Configura to support our customers and partners in the best ways possible.
Through these organizational changes, maintaining Configura’s strong company culture of innovation, team spirit and commitment was our top priority. We continue to invest in our people organization, putting new group managers and HR specialists in place to empower our employees to be the best they can be. Configura is a family, and we continually work together to improve and make our company, offerings and customers stronger.
AN IMPORTANT CORNERSTONE IN CONFIGURA’S SUCCESS IS OUR UNIQUE COMPANY CULTURE.
The digital transformation is under way and our experience is that successful companies embrace technology. During the pandemic, many of our customers found new ways of working and began leveraging the many possibilities that our platform provides. However, we see similar results in times when there is not a global pandemic – the companies that invest more in our platform also enjoy greater benefits.
WE ARE BROADENING OUR OFFERINGS THROUGH NEW PRODUCTS AND PARTNERSHIPS.
Before the digital transition companies went through last year, Configura saw a void in the sales cycle that needed to be filled. This led us to the release of our web solutions: Stage and Design Studio. This decision has opened our platform to help manufacturers offer a whole new experience: an omnichannel experience.
With CET, Stage and Design Studio, we provide the tools for manufacturers to create an omnichannel experience for their end consumers. This is a seamless customer experience that allows manufacturers and resellers to meet their end users where they are at in the sales cycle, whether digital or in person.
Stage is a web-based 360-product viewer that allows end consumers to visualize, configure and order products online from any device.
Design Studio is a web-based space-planning tool that allows end consumers to lay out an environment using real products and pricing. End consumers can order directly online or send the layout to a salesperson who completes the order in CET. (Official release: early 2022)
The same data powers CET, Stage and Design Studio, which makes it possible for drawings to be sent back and forth between the different solutions.
Where we are heading: Content Lifecycle Management Configura is growing fast and so is our product offering and the key to creating a successful omnichannel experience is data management and seamless integration. Currently, we are working to ensure the same data can be used across all three of our products – CET, Stage and Design Studio – but our goal goes beyond that.
Our focus moving forward is to create a full-scale content lifecycle management solution for industries where manufacturers can enter data once and reuse this data in all their sales channels – whether it is Configura’s software products or products outside our platform. We believe our platform will be at the core of collaboration across different software within the industries we serve.
Configura also wants to provide faster time to market, reduce investments for customers and partners in content management and offer an improved customer experience. To achieve this, we are developing superior industry frameworks to enable a high level of repeatability that will simplify and speed up the onboarding process and content management while preserving the customer unique adaptations that make our solutions unique.
WE WANT TO SUPPORT THE FLOW OF INFORMATION FROM CONTENT CREATION TO PUBLISHING TO OMNICHANNEL CONSUMPTION.