Configura expands into Japan with launch of Kokuyo’s CET Designer Extension
Configura, the Swedish technology company that makes the space-planning software CET Designer, has expanded into Japan with the launch of Kokuyo’s CET Designer Extension. Kokuyo will call its CET Designer Extension “GRIP” – GRaphically Integrated Platform. The company is the first office furniture manufacturer in Japan to offer an intelligent, automated quote-creation system with 3D-rendering capabilities.
Kokuyo worked with Configura’s Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, office to develop the Extension. Configura entered the Asia market in 2012, opening the Kuala Lumpur office with the goal of building software-development and quality-assurance teams in the region. Since then, this office has grown to more than 65 employees, and Configura also has opened an office in Shenzhen, China, to support additional customers. The company also has offices in Europe and the United States.
“Adding Kokuyo as a partner is a big step for Configura in Asia. Welcoming them into our CET Community means that Configura will add support in Japanese to ensure a successful roll-out for our newest partner. Thanks to CET Designer, Kokuyo will be able to improve their efficiency and service to their customers,” said Configura’s VP of Asia Operations Niels Madsen.
With 2018 sales of JPY 315.1 billion (USD 2.88 billion), Kokuyo is one of Japan’s largest office furniture manufacturers and stationery suppliers. The Osaka-headquartered company, after researching various software options and conducting a comparative analysis, determined Configura’s technology to be the optimal solution for solving the problem of specifying complex furniture products.
“With CET Designer, we’re changing our work process and work style – from analog and labor-intensive with many transactions – to more creative and efficient, with everything in one drawing,” said Midori Sakabe, deputy manager of the GRIP Promotion Group, Kukuyo.
More than 90 percent of Kokuyo’s products are included in the GRIP CET Designer Extension. The company is rolling out the solution first to its direct sales force, with plans to expand the service to its group companies later in 2020. The company will offer the Extension to external dealers in the future.
Kokuyo learned of Configura at NeoCon several years ago and was impressed with how the company’s CET Designer technology has become the solution of choice by leading manufacturers worldwide.
Now used by thousands of people globally, CET Designer helps manufacturers and their distributors by providing a single software solution for space planning and product ordering. CET Designer is Configura’s “core” Parametric Graphical Configuration (PGC)-based software platform; an Extension is an addition to the program with functionality that incorporates all of the rules, parts and pricing of a given manufacturer’s products. PGC technology makes the software intuitive and intelligent. The highly visual software enables 2D and 3D design, a project collaboration tool, photorealistic renderings, fly-thru videos, virtual and augmented reality experiences, instant pricing, parts lists and installation documents.
“Before our GRIP CET Designer Extension, calculations were manually created. People would need to highlight existing or new furniture with markers on a paper drawing, count the part numbers and quantities, and then input the information in their computer. There were many miscalculations, and it was painful to update many changes all the time. It also was difficult to share the manually created information with everyone involved in a project. We hope to overcome these obstacles with our CET Designer Extension,” Sakabe said.
To verify the benefits that Configura’s solution would provide, Kokuyo compared work processes using the manual method and using CET Designer. The results showed CET Designer reduces work time by 50 percent.
“We believe this brand-new tool will save people from a labor-intensive process – one with high risk of error – and improve the speed and quality of what we provide our customers. With our GRIP CET Designer Extension, we’ll see improved employee and customer satisfaction as well as improved productivity,” Sakabe said.