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Modeling session – solve the challenges!. Steve Schneider, Steelcase Inc. Peter Einstein, SAP America Michael Zarges, SAP AG. There’s always more than 1 way to solve a problem…. 13 * 7 = 91 right? Or does it really equal 28???

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modeling session solve the challenges

Modeling session – solve the challenges!

Steve Schneider, Steelcase Inc.

Peter Einstein, SAP America

Michael Zarges, SAP AG

there s always more than 1 way to solve a problem
There’s always more than 1 way to solve a problem….
  • 13 * 7 = 91 right?
  • Or does it really equal 28???
  • Watch this classic clip and see how different approaches equal different solutions
  • What might your solutions be to the following real life business problems??
case 1 narrowing down selections aka guided selling
Case 1 – Narrowing down selections aka Guided Selling
  • Business Scenario:
  • In your configuration process, your customer can choose from a range of supplier products, for example, the battery of a fork lift or in this example, a mobile phone coming with a contract.
  • The customer can choose one mobile phone from a range of about 100 different devices. There are 4 different manufacturers and each device can be classified by a set of features (e.g. 3G support, touch screen). In this case, the features are boolean (i.e. only values are yes/no).
  • The user is narrowing down the selection of models by determining one or several features. The result is 0..n models that fit.
  • Challenge:
  • As long as features and manufacturer are single value, this is straightforward, using variant tables to represent the selection of models, since each model type is unique in terms of features.
  • The challenge is to allow the user at the beginning, to stipulate more than one manufacturer, and then filter based on the features
  • Example: manufacturer = “Samkia” OR manufacturer = “Nosung”) AND 3 G= “yes” AND slider = “no”.
  • => Models X125 and Q1 fit.
  • Bonus challenge: Features can also be numeric, e.g. standby time. The user only wants models with exceeding a certain standby-time.
  • The Real challenge: Does Modeling make sense for this?
case 2 counting task select k out of n options
Case 2 – Counting Task – Select k out of n options

Business Scenario:

Your product has a list of features. Your want to offer a package deal which allows your customer to pick a certain amount of them.

Example: Phone contract. If the “International Top 5” option is chosen, the customer can pick 5 (variation: up to 5) favorite destination countries from a list of 30 countries, for which a special price for international calls applies


Present a list of options and let the user choose from them. If the maximum number of options have been chosen, no further selection shall be possible.

Bonus Challenge:

Which of the countries listed right have a common border?

case 3 maximizing task the maximum rules
Case 3 – Maximizing task– The maximum rules
  • Business scenario: Your product has a BOM with components of varying lengths. The length of the package for the shipping the parts is determined by the longest component.
  • Challenge:
  • The main item has 4 static components whose length can vary. Each components has a dynamic cstic “length” (entered by the user or calculated by the engine). The main item has a cstic “max length” which reflects the current maximum length of the components.
  • How is the maximum component length detected and recorded to the main item’s “Max Length” characteristic?
  • How does this determine packaging?
  • Bonus challenge: Components are specified dynamically, i.e. there is a large BOM and only specified components shall be considered.


Comp 1

Comp 2

Comp 3

Comp 4

Comp 5

Comp 6

case 4 post hoc validation
Case 4 - Post hoc Validation

Business Scenario:

  • Components are configured and sold as part of a larger configurable solution (e.g., Program).
  • The customer later reorders one or more of these configurable components, sending electronically (EDI) only the component products and their Cs and Vs.


  • How do we validate the customer’s requested configuration without the context from which it was originally created?
please join us
Please Join Us
  • In Marco Island for a workshop to discuss the multiple different ways to solve these problems.
  • On the CWG Forums, discussing your potential solutions to these problems.