American Patio Covers Inc. Leaning on technology to lean patio cover products on customers’ homes with ease

American Patio Covers Inc. and Helioz Technologies joined forces to implement a
solution that helps select the correct patio cover product for a given application with
ease, thus accelerating the sales process.

With over 25 years of experience, American Patio Covers Inc., located in Arlington, WA, USA, is a leader in Patio Cover sales and installation with unsurpassed customer service, offering standard and customized solutions to suit the unique styles and needs of any outdoor space. Patio covers, balconies, gables, sheds, and railings could be found in their portfolio.

Selecting the right product for a given application requires many customers’ inputs (dimensions, house attachment type etc.). The sales representatives used to utilize the internal offline tools to reach the proposal that would align with the customer requirements, thus making the process very time-consuming and prone to errors.

The zipCPQ tool, proposed by Helioz Technologies, was greatly aligned with the American Patio Covers’ needs to dramatically simplify and speed up the buying process for their customers. zipCPQ product suite provides an application to configure, price and quote products online, with the possibility to include 3D visualization and CAD downloads. The customer enters all the needed information directly in the configurator, and the right product for given inputs is configured and shown in real-time. A customer may then easily request a quote for that product.

Process of zipCPQ
Development for American
Patio Covers

Before starting any development project, the Helioz team summarizes all the requirements and anticipates the ones that may occur in the future, thus assuring that functionality and modern layout will meet them.

The project conducted for American Patio Covers was based on the proposal to build configurator logic in Onshape, pull the logic with the zipCPQ Onshape Integrator, and convert it to the standard zipCPQ web configurator with the 3D viewer and 2D/3D CAD download options.

CAD integration with Onshape technology provides 3D visualization of the configured product. It’s possible to download the CAD file in one of the 9 available Onshape formats, or PDF file with 2D drawing of wished configuration.

When using the web configurator, the end-user will be able to select only the available and viable options, and the selected options will update in real-time.

American Patio Covers
Online Product Catalog

Seamlessly integrated with the American Patio Covers website, the Helioz Technologies team integrated gable, shed and balcony product information into an online product catalog that makes it possible to access online pricing for the products, export CAD formats or 2D drawings and more, while any additional product information can be added at any time.

Visitors of American Patio Covers’ online product catalog first select the product line - gable, shed or balcony (available through the “Pricing” drop-down menu item).

If the shed is being configured, all available product attributes are listed in the drop-down menus on the right, grouped in several categories (for example, “Width”, “Glazing Type” or “House Attachment” type; in this example, the last one can be “Wall”, “Fascia” or “On Roof”).

While the customer configures the product that best suits its needs, photographs of installed products are displayed, but clicking on the “3D” option gives the 3D viewer of the exact configuration. When parameters are changed, clicking on the “Build” button loads the new view.

Simultaneously with implementing the Onshape integratior, pricing rules were built to reflect the price of selected product features.

Once a product that meets design requirements is identified, its detailed product specifications and schematics with dimensions are available for review to validate the product selection and purchase. Before requesting the quote, customers may also add their notes and upload their images. Customers’ requirements were taken into consideration during the process.

One of the suggestions was to enable the customer to upload the image of the object where the patio cover will be installed, and this request was successfully developed on Helioz’s end as Notes and Upload Images features.

Quote request is then sent to the zipCPQ, where the APC salesperson reviews and approves the quote, which is then sent to the customer via registered email address.

Next steps

Apart from the possibility of extending the online product catalog to more product lines, the next enhancement implementation plans include adding Shipment Tracking, Payment option and CRM Integration.

American Patio Covers and its customers have reported that the new product catalog is a big step forward in digital customer experience compared to navigating and interpreting product information earlier only available in multi-page PDF datasheets.