Target Custom PC Builder "Can We Build It? Yes We can!"
The In-Store PC Builder (ISPCB) by Target Components Ltd
Review by: Jennifer Griffiths
Video & Testing by: Philip Griffiths
When you build bespoke machines, customers naturally want you to give them a quote within minutes only to change the details at least twice before you are done. Sound familiar? I deal with it every day. That is why a tool such as the Target Custom PC Builder is an essential tool in my every day life. I want to be able to put in anything the customer wants and not have to worry about researching to see if it is compatible. Anything that can make my life less stressful, I am for it. But, I need it to run flawlessly. In the tech industry, there are no small mistakes, just costly ones. That is why it is vital that whatever tool I use has to be perfect. Most people know Target Components as a place to go to for the parts and peripherals for the builds they do. However, Target have a free to use tool *if you have an account with them* that is said to save time, money, relieve stress, and more. The last time I heard, this builder can configure over 306 Trillion combinations of computers. We will be looking at that today on TFT,. So sit back and get comfortable. I am going to take you down the rabbit hole to geekdom.
So what is the In-Store PC Builder
Whilst the ISPB is at its heart the world’s best and most complex configurator tool, it is in-fact much more than that. It’s a way for resellers to compete for business that may have previously been beyond their grasp. It not only gives a competitive edge, but makes store offerings beyond the reach of any major high street retailer. With over 306 trillion unique PC configurations available and the ability to create a truly personal PC in under 1 minute the ISPB can change a customer’s experience of PC shopping from daunting to truly pleasurable.
Imagine how much warehouse space you would need to offer customers 306 trillion unique PC combinations? If you took the entire stock of PCs in PC World you still couldn’t match that offering.
And the best thing is that every PC is as unique as its owner. The ISPB does something that no other PC configurator tool does, and that is customers selling to themselves.
Selling without selling
The best thing about the ISPB is that you can sell a fully working PC without once saying any sales patter.
Imagine every customer that walks into your store. Walks up to your counter and spends the next 20 minutes convincing you what they should buy. Not likely! But it can happen. The ISPB changes everything, you just have to remove all pre-determined concepts of how to sell. The ISPB is designed not for you, but for your customer. It’s designed to put them in the driving seat, you are just a passenger, but with your guidance the customer will leave with the perfect PC and an unparalleled impression of you and your abilities.
Solving the Awkward
One of the stand-out features to the ISPB that no other configurator does is those customers that have a specific requirement of unique connections. Let’s say you have a local business that needs a replacement PC for their warehouse. The problem is that they need an RS232 output. In the past you would have had 2 options. You could spend your time searching for a pre-built PC going in and out of each selected product on the manufacturer’s website and scrolling down each product to see the entire spec list for 1 connection. Or you could build one yourself but again you would need to waste your time finding a motherboard or controller card that would fit a selected motherboard. Well we do all that for you. You can login to the ISBP and just go straight to the controllers, select the connection you need and build the rest from there and to make it even more impressive you can do all this on a tablet while sat with your customer having a cup of tea
Target Components has just celebrated its 20th Anniversary in IT distribution. For two decades we have supported a very broad range IT resellers, from independent retailers and systems integrators, to networking specialists, VARs and etailers. We constantly set the standards of customer service and innovation within the industry and genuinely think of our customers as part of our family, which is why some of the World’s best-known IT brands like Gigabyte, Intel, WD, Kingston, Three and HP have chosen us as their official distributor.
Our success relies entirely on the success of our customers, which is why we have always tried to provide not only the right products at the right prices, but we’ve also provided a range of tools to help resellers make the most of their businesses, including the In-Store PC Builder – something we’re extremely proud of.
There is no packaging. This is an online tool.
"Ask Cory" We had a few questions for the genius behind the ISPCB
Cory Lees invented this smart tool that Target have become famous for. He is the brain behind the "Builder". We asked him a few questions.
TFT: Any plans for the ISPCB?
Cory: We are always adding new products and rules every day. Future plans include greater choice including the RGB and addressable headers. New brands and new site skins
TFT: Any specific areas you would like us to point out?
Cory: Add on sales such as printers, keyboards and Gaming devices – and all builds come with a 3 year warranty. 1 st year inc collection and return + 3 years parts (year 2 and 3 parts only)
TFT: Are there Costs and Charges of using the in-store pc builder (i.e. build charges)?
Standard Build Charge = £20
Priority Build (2 days instead of 3) = £25
Extend the Warranty =£25 – this gives 3 years collection and return parts and labour
Fitting of CPU aftermarket cooler - £5
Installation of Windows OS - £5 (latest version inc all Microsoft updates)
TFT: What is the average build time?
Cory: 3 working days which includes all testing and a test sheet with all results, conforming components and passes
TFT: Anything else you would like to add?
Cory: We are still (as far as I am aware) the world’s only from scratch PC configurator. We add new products and rules every day so that users don’t need to worry about compatibility. We only show items in stock so if you place an order your guaranteed to get the PC you want. If we build it we work through and kinks such as BIOS updates, memory failures etc… . Re-sellers can re-brand the in Store PC Builder and add their own mark ups.
To get setup with the ISPCB, all you need to do it register for a free Target Components Account, once you have been approved for an account you will need to register for free for the In Store PC Builder. Once you have your ISPCB account setup, you will get your own web address for the builder (for example https://www.instorepcbuilder.co.uk/BigBobsComputers).
To get to the Admin section you just add the extension /admin to your ISPCB web address (https://www.instorepcbuilder.co.uk/BigBobsComputers/admin), you will then be prompted for your log in info which is normally the same as your Target account login.
Once in, you are able to change your Logo/Branding on the top of the webpage, add your address and contact info that will be displayed to customers. You can also change your Admin password.
The next section is the Mark Up area. This is where you can set a flat percentage markup on your parts. If you wanted to make 30% profit on everything, you can. You can also Edit the mark up on each category, and even each item if you wish, so you could set a flat 30% markup on everything then go in and change it so you make 50% mark up on cables, and reduce to mark up on Graphics cards to 10%.
The next section is the build charges, you could set the building charge to say £80, so you would make £80 for every computer you make, We use
ISPCB in our store and find setting a build charge of £80 and a 10% mark up works best for us. That way if someone wants a top end computer you are not overcharging them, as 30% on top of a £500 graphics card is a lot and most people will turn their nose up at it. But by having a set Build Charge and a low markup means on low-cost computers you make you will still make at least the £80 from the build charge and another £20-£40 on the mark up, and when you build larger computers that are worth £1000, you still make the £80 on the Build Charge and you would also make £100+ on the mark up. Obviously make sure you up-sell other products and services as well, like online backup, Office and security.
The next part of the admin screen you can create your own set builds. If you wanted to promote 5 specific computers you can design them in the builder and save them so they can be quickly recalled again. Under that you have software install options. The first thing you can do is set a charge to install windows, we normally leave that set to £0. You can also enter you company information like address and opening hours. If you get Target to actually build the computer and install windows, they can input your company info into the OS install.
The last section of the website allows you to recall Quotes and Orders, so if someone comes in and gets a quote from you they will get a basket ID and reference name, so when the customer comes back in a week later to order or change his quote you can quickly recall his quote, and it will also tell you once recalled if there is a stock issue.
Try as I may to throw the system into meltdown or error I could not. So, I took it to the TFT members and challenged them to find fault. Here's what a few had to say....
"Give it a board with only DVI, select a monitor without DVI, watch them both merrily sit together"
"just tested and you are correct"
"Happened to me in the past"
So, it is not 100%. But over the years I have used it I have noticed improvements from the first version. I can say it has cut my work load in half on the average day. The fact that I can let a customer build their own machine with it from my website and bring me the specs is also a blessing. Being the configuration tool has been known to hic-up every now and again, I do double check my parts. But, then, you should do that anyway whether you use a tool or pick on your own.
One thing I do like about the tool is it will not let you put components in a case that is physically too small for what you have going in. I've never had an issue with that.
One thing I don't like is the fact that sometimes by the time I get my quote in the builder, it has kicked out a part due to lack of stock. But this is not the fault of the building tool. So, I can't hold that against it per say. At least it gave me a warning.
When filming, Phil managed to get a strange error (that will probably get fixed as soon as Target knows about it). When saving a quote and then recalling it later it would keep saying there was a motherboard issue and it was incompatible even though earlier it said it was fine. It was not actually the motherboard that was at fault it was the memory. As soon as the memory was removed it would say everything was fine again and would even let you put the memory back in with no issues.
FREE to all Target account holders
It may not be flawless, but, more times than not, computers are built up without an issue. When I last checked the post on TFT the monitor/motherboard mishap was the only complaint from our forum. If that is all we have to throw at it, then it gets my vote of confidence. It's a good tool and saves me time and effort and that in return saves me money. So, that being said it is a thumbs up for me. - Jenni
The In Store PC Builder is an amazing program! There are similar things on the market like PC Part Picker, but this can't be branded to fit into your store nor can you set your own prices. Plus, all goods will be bought from different companies instead of one. (easier for warranty issues if you order from just one), The PC Part Picker does have compatibility issues as well. For example, it will tell you that this specific motherboard does not have a video output and you need a graphics card, or the motherboard may need a bios update to support a CPU but its hidden in a small section at the bottom of the page saying something like "Unable to verify the", I'm Not saying the ISPCB is perfect. It does have issues from time to time like any software, but it is constantly being worked on, and if you report an issue the ISPCB team do normally look into it ASAP. One or two of the issues includes peripherals and screens rather than parts. For example, you can pick a PS2 mouse and a motherboard that has no PS2 socket, and as stated above a motherboard with only a DVI connection will allow you to pick a VGA only Monitor. - Phil
With all that being said, the ISPCB can be one hell of a tool that can help you up-sell, design a computer in seconds. It's all on one page, and allows the customer to take part as well. If used correctly (like any tool), and you double check everything (like you should anyway!) then it can be your best friend, on top of that make it a show point in your store (we have in ours) to show off what you can do!
Stand out point:
Create any machine any time anywhere. All you need is internet access and a Target account if you are a retailer or for the builder to be linked to a retailer's web-page if you are a customer.
Many different choices of configurations
Most of the time the builder is speedy
You can build up by spec, and have Target build it for you if you chose or to send parts only.
Easy to get set up
Put your own margin on the components
Customization, you can put your own branding on it
Links to your store's website with your prices on it.
DVI motherboard and non DVI monitors can slip through the system
Can't disable specific brands from showing
Easy to use: 5
Time Saving: 5
Easy to customize *logos and pricing* 5
They got a Platinum Award for this product.
If you are not convinced why not give it a go? its FREE!