Can a configure price quote software solution help me?
If you aren’t sure about what configure price quote (CPQ) software is, or you want to improve your baseline understanding, you can check out my other blog, “What is CPQ?”. If you are specifically looking for Infor CPQ software, you can read a review here.
There are a lot of benefits provided by CPQ software, but probably the biggest one is the ability to make it easier for non-engineers to correctly configure a complex solution. As simple as it may sound, a lot of companies struggle with the issue of salespeople, customers, resellers, and others designing a solution (a part or material) that engineering cannot create, and one that manufacturing departments cannot manufacture. When there’s no CPQ solution in place, it creates very long lead times, and complex back-and-forth discussions due to the difficulty in managing all of the emails, drawings, and conversations that have to take place before actual manufacturing can occur.
A CPQ solution gives companies the ability to create a “box” for partners to play in and allows them to answer questions about their needs, while the answers to these questions automatically create bills of material, CAD drawings, and proper pricing. This dramatically reduces lead times and makes the manufacturing process much more streamlined, as well as accurate.
Evaluating CPQ software is very similar to evaluating ERP software. Don’t overlook any important features during the selection process.
Is the only benefit of CPQ the configurator?
The benefits are not limited to the configurator. While it is extremely valuable, the ability to “visualize” what a user is configuring is extremely helpful to the overall process itself. CPQ software that allows for 2D and 3D automation will let users see the effect of the choices they are making when answering questions about the product they are building. The expression “A picture is worth a thousand words” applies to configurations as well. When a user can see where you are placing the doorknob on the door, how various colors look on a t-shirt, or what wood types pair best with different hardware, it deepens the experience for them, and helps them create the exact product they want.
One of the “soft” benefits of a CPQ solution is that it allows you to differentiate your brand in the marketplace. A customer or partner who has an easy, pleasurable experience configuring, pricing, and quoting your product will tend to be more loyal to you than to a company that does not have this type of solution.
What’s the bottom line?
CPQ can absolutely help you increase your sales, not only by increasing your throughput (configuring the right product, at the right time, with the right pricing), but also by differentiating your company in the marketplace.
Imagine if you were buying a boat. One boat manufacturer offers a static marketing brochure that lays out its models, all of the available options, colors, etc. Another boat manufacturer allows you to browse all of the different models, personalize the colors to see which combinations you like, and try different add-ons like stereos, pole racks, and storage configurations. As you play with the different options, the rendering of the boat changes, and you can clearly see how your choices are affecting the price and appearance of the boat. Once you have settled on your perfect boat, you can print out all of the information, specs, and pricing, with photographic renderings. Which boat manufacturer would you rather do business with?
Are you searching for CPQ Software? If you would like to learn more about Infor CPQ, click here.