“Seeing is believing”

Marc Herling, Managing Director with Lumo Graphics based in Karlsruhe/Germany, on the value of 3D visualization for product configuration and sales & marketing activities.

By Sebastian Grimm, Editorial Writer with economic-engineering.de

Mr Herling, please describe in a few words your company’s software portfolio.

Lumo Graphics offers solutions for 3D visualization and configuration based on our technology platform LumoLogic. With LumoLogic users can combine their complex product structure and variants with the configuration logic and real-time 3D visualization. Beside services for project management, Lumo Graphics also offers additional tools like LumoLogic DataPreparator for process integration and LumoVis as a 3D visualization engine.

Why do you think that 3D visualization is so important in sales and marketing processes? 

We all know that seeing is believing. Quite often we use the expression that a picture is worth more than a thousand words. So if a customer opt to buy a complex and often expensive product, he needs the qualitative decision support that is given by 3D visualization. Modular products provide your customers with a wide selection of individual solutions. However, the complexity of the design-aesthetical or geometric-functional decisions is a challenge for the customer. It is hard to know whether it is the design that pleases or the fact that the expected functional properties are fulfilled when the decision is made. Mistakes can happen easily. And they may cause a loss in customer satisfaction and costs for handling complaints. 3D visualization also helps customers to understand the overall possibilities of a product and its variants. So, at the end the customer gets compelling impressions of his own product, forcing a correct and a comprehensible decision. With Lumo Graphics, companies can avoid failures in the implementation of a 3D configurator, because of our onestop shopping approach.

Do you think that 3D visualization will become much more important in the future? 

Yes, of course! At the moment we are the starting point in the use of 3D visualization data for comprehensive business decisions. 3D data is becoming much more widely available, for instance with Google offering Google Earth. Most of the construction data will be produced in 3D and also one of the biggest software companies SAP believes that visualization is the future of business data. We have been providing 3D visualization solutions for more than 10 years and we have had our best year ever. So, the need for 3D visualization is obvious. 

For which industries or product portfolios do you believe the demand of 3D visualization technologies is crucial?

We have a lot of customers in the B2B area with complex products and a wide range of variants — not only automotive companies but also firms selling prefabricated houses, furniture or even pencils. Just one example for the value of our solutions: Franz Rapp, Designer of Mercedes-Benz Buses told us: “We introduced the 3D interior configurator in order to give our customers reliable support in making decisions about our highly complex products. After over 1 000 successful consultations, we have demonstrated that we’re right on track with Lumo Graphics.”Other customers have told us that they have reduced the failure rate and the cost of change by more than 20 percent. 

There are a lot of companies still using traditional photos or images for their products. What do you think about that?

Traditional photos are quite useful for standard products and viewpoints. But with every variant and with the increased demand for an individualized communication the use of 3D makes more sense. You should give the customer the possibility to decide what is best for his own business based on all information. And normal photos just give only a snapshot, not a realtime overall view.Moreover, in the past 3D has not always had a good reputation because many people see it as complicated and expensive.But over the last five years 3D technology has become much more momentum driven with tremendous enhancements in the ease of use. And since increased bandwidth is provided we believe that the use of 3D models in marketing and sales will increase. And it will be more deeply integrated in business processes, like SAP already offers with its SAP Visual Enterprise portfolio. 

Thank you for your comments!

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