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Why use a constraint solver in CPQ

Constraint solvers are specialized software tools that are used to find solutions to problems that involve finding the optimal values for a set of variables, subject to a set of constraints or limitations. They are particularly useful for solving problems in the fields of scheduling, planning, resource allocation, and optimization, but can also be applied to a wide range of other problem domains.

In the context of configuration, a constraint solver can be used to automate the process of finding the optimal combination of components and options for a product or system that meets the customer's requirements and constraints. This can be a time-consuming and error-prone process when done manually, but a constraint solver can make it much more efficient and reliable.

One of the key features of a constraint solver is its ability to narrow down the search space for a solution by eliminating values that cannot possibly be part of the solution. This is often done through the use of techniques such as constraint propagation, which involves deducing new constraints or variable values based on the known constraints and variable values in the problem.

Constraint solvers may also use heuristics, or rules of thumb, to guide the search for solutions. Heuristics can help to find solutions more quickly, but may also result in suboptimal solutions. Some constraint solvers are designed to find optimal solutions, while others are designed to find satisfactory or feasible solutions.

Constraint solvers often provide a modelling language or interface that allows you to specify the variables, domains, and constraints of the problem in a concise and easy-to-understand way. This can make it easier to specify and solve complex configuration problems.

Many constraint solvers are designed to handle very large and complex problems, and may use techniques such as parallelization to achieve good performance on these types of problems. Scalability is an important consideration when choosing a constraint solver, as it determines how well the solver can handle larger and more complex problems.

Overall, constraint solvers are powerful tools that can help to streamline the process of configuring complex products and systems, saving time and reducing errors while providing accurate and reliable results. If you're in the manufacturing or engineering industry and are looking for a better way to handle product or system configuration, consider using a constraint solver to find the optimal solution.

Tacton uses a constraint solver

In conclusion, it's clear that constraint solvers are powerful tools that can help to streamline the process of configuring complex products and systems. Tacton have been using a constraint engine as the core of the CPQ (Configure Price Quote) software for the past 25 years, and it has consistently proven to be a success.

The constraint engine allows users to specify the variables, domains, and constraints of their configurable product or system in a concise and easy-to-understand way, using a modelling language or interface. It has the scalability to handle even the largest and most complex configurable products and systems with ease.

In addition to finding the optimal configuration, Tacton CPQ can also generate accurate and up-to-date price and delivery quotes for the configured product or system, making it a valuable tool for sales and customer service teams as well.

It's worth noting that, as with any software solution, it is possible to run into performance problems with a constraint solver. However, these issues can often be avoided by working with an experienced partner in the implementation process. By collaborating with an experienced team, you can ensure that your constraint solver is set up and configured properly, maximizing its performance and efficiency.

Overall, the constraint engine in Tacton CPQ has been a reliable and effective solution for configuring complex products and systems for the past 25 years. If you're in the manufacturing or engineering industry and are looking for a better way to handle product or system configuration, we encourage you to give Tacton CPQ a try. Working with an experienced partner can help to ensure the success of your implementation and maximize the performance of your constraint solver.

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