Joining Forces

December 10, 2009 by Perry Manross

universeLego has enchanted generations of children. Few toys enjoy the same kind of popularity as the brightly colored plastic bricks from Denmark. The secret of Lego’s success is that it transforms fantasy into reality. In a single set, young “engineers” get a building guide and all the bricks and parts they need to construct a police station, a garbage truck, or a pirate ship.

Yet, after building their models, some of them have been known to comment that they would have designed the sets a bit differently: more cannons for the pirate ship or a helicopter landing pad for the police station. “Why doesn’t Lego make a police personnel carrier?” they complain. Since it wasn’t possible to buy the necessary pieces separately,the dream of a police personnel carrier had to remain a dream. Until, that is, the manufacturer responded.

Lego still sells plastic bricks, but the ideas for sets now come from customers as well. The Lego Digital Designer allows budding designers to put together their dream Lego construction by selecting from a well-stocked virtual brick palette. When the virtual design work is finished, the software tool compiles a list of the required parts, which the customer can then order in the online shop. Almost anything is possible, and every idea is simple to realize. All Lego customers can view and order models designed in this way – and Lego even adds the most successful designs to its official model ranges.

You will find the whole article in the current SAP SPECTRUM.

Free download: The current issue of SAP SPECTRUM December 2009.

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