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Giving designers the tools to maximize efficiency and eliminate waste

Sustainability can be designed into the built environment. Configura’s industry-leading solution makes greener design a priority

Sustainability can be designed into the spaces we use. With the right approach, fewer materials and resources are used in construction - but it’s not easy to achieve. How can designers adopt a more sustainable process?

Configura is a space planning software solutions company that helps its customers streamline their sales, design and order processes. Stefan Persson, CEO at Configura, says that sustainability is a fundamental part of the business:

“Being at Configua is about being able to act sustainably. The company’s founders were thinking about solving the problem of designing spaces with highly configured products. But what they also saw is that we had the possibility to reduce waste and to actually help companies be more sustainable.”

Those founders created a pioneering solution for the design industry that would make a lasting change. Johan Lyreborn, Chief Evangelist and Founder at Configura, says that this solution had to be easy to use for customers:

“We wanted to make software for designers and salespeople from day one. This meant one-button mouse software that was super fast to learn for anyone.” 

Goran Rydqvist, CTO and Founder at Configura, adds that his early experience showed that there was a space in the market for the solutions the company went on to develop:

“For me, the story started in 1989 when I did a prototype on a task that my father had given me to do the calculation for furnishing an office with partitions.”

From carrying out this task, Rydqvist realized that a better solution would require a number of important innovations to the existing software:

“The most important one is the super lightweight way of describing and editing graphics. Our parametric models on the drawing are also interconnected, so we can write algorithms that understand the layout of a group or calculate high-level values like pressure drop in a ventilation system.”

The result was the evolution of what became known as Configura Extension Technology (CET) which has become an industry standard in design software. Rydqvist says:

“Technology has the ability, if done right, to blend the industry seamlessly together. With our platform. you can write customizations for your product that can coexist with any other manufacturer's products.”

Now widely adopted in the kitchen, commercial interior and material handling industries,

Stefan Persson says that the company targets the sectors in which it has the biggest impact:

“We help our customers with their profitability, design processes and throughout their build journey. The commercial interior sector is not a high margin industry, so optimizing the flow from design through production through delivery is really important. We can provide that input at each stage that makes it right the first time.”

Persson adds that CET has developed to be ever more useful to the designers they serve:

“It is important to be able to integrate with other types of solutions, or capacity and control centers and so on. We are strong in being part of an ecosystem around the solutions that are needed, it's much about the collaboration with the end customer. We supply an omnichannel concept for the designers to work directly with the purchaser of the kitchen and agree on the design, or do revisions in an efficient and transparent way.”

Charlotta Lilieblad, VP People at Configura says that this process of continuous innovation is a result of the company’s attitude towards new thinking:

“We see ourselves as team players and we are committed to empower and trust our employees. We are allowing everyone to try out their ideas and learn by doing - that's the most efficient way of growing. You are proud to be a part of the Configura team because you see that you are important, that and that you can have influence.”

How do customers feel about CET? Hank Menke, President and CEO at OFS Brands Holdings Inc, a contract furniture manufacturer, is a keen advocate:

“The evolution of CET has just been phenomenal. Almost everybody in our industry signed up, and being all on the same platform is making our lives much simpler." 

Johan Lyreborn says that the company is as committed as ever to simplifying the design process to aid better and more sustainable practices:

“To calculate and visualize everything that we have around us with real products in the computer is a very difficult task, but essential. We are committed to solving this problem. That's why we are leaders.”

We are delighted to introduce 50 Leaders of Change, a series of insightful interviews and video documentaries featuring international executives, board members, and entrepreneurs. 

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