# Configuration Challenge

The actual configurator in a CPQ-solution is one of the more difficult parts to evaluate. The simplest way is probably to get the vendors to simply set up part of the product rules from your product in their system. However, this exercise is time consuming as you need to extract a subset of your product rules and communicate that with a number of vendors. You are also likely to get questions from the vendors which in turn consume even more time.

It is not uncommon to try to solve this by instead giving the vendors a general problem and ask them to solve it. The travelling salesman problem is one typical example, however these problems tend to be completely unrealistic and have no relation to real configuration problems.

A problem that has more relation to typical product configuration would be Sudoku or 8 queens problem, but also these are somewhat too theoretical.

Below is an example of configuration tasks that can show you how the configurator works. We have not printed the answers in the text, as to not spread this knowledge openly on the web for all vendors. The main complexity with this challenge are all the ‘or’ statements which are very common in configuration problems, but that are difficult to solve with a simple validating configurator.

Variables:

• A: integers between 1 and 5
• B: integers between 1 and 5
• C: integers between 1 and 5
• D: integers between 1 and 5
• E: integers between 1 and 3
• F: integers between 1 and 9999
• G: integers between 1 and 9999
• H: integers between 1 and 20

Rules:

• Rule 1: A=2 requires D=4
• Rule 2: B=1 requires (A=1 and E=1) or (A=2 and E=1)
• Rule 3: C=1 requires (A=3 and B=2) or (A=4 and B=2)
• Rule 4: C=2 requires (A=3 and B=2) or (A=4 and B=2)
• Rule 5: C=3 requires (A=2 and B=1) or (A=3 and B=2)
• Rule 6: C=4 requires B!=4
• Rule 7: C=5 requires D=3 or D=4 or D=5
• Rule 8: A=2 requires G=1 or G=2
• Rule 9: D=3 requires F=3 or G=4
• Rule 10: A >= F
• Rule 11: E >= F + G
• Rule 12: H = A * B