The fall of the Excel Configurator

Blog 7 min.

Thousands of filled cells, long-winded formulas, hundreds of ‘if-then-else’ statements…

The Excel specialist within your organization can look at this for hours. But does it improve your business processes? Probably not.

CPQ software has outgrown the Excel Configurator in every area, yet Excel perseveres. In this blog we show you why an Excel Configurator cannot keep up in the manufacturing industry anymore. But how Excel can still be very valuable, with a new groundbreaking functionality, the Excel plugin. This functionality originates in the vision of connectivity. The rise of an accessible way of linking with the best applications is something that drives us constantly. 

A losing battle

We still run into it in the manufacturing industry, the Excel Configurator. However, companies that still employ this calculation tool always end up concluding the same thing: it does not hold up.

For example, over at Euronorm Drive Systems: “The Excel Configurator simply was not adequate enough. When generating a PDF (quotation) from Excel you end up messing about with editing it to keep it clear. It is time-consuming.”

For Tilbox, too, the choice was easy: “The idea of CPQ software has been on the table for a while. Previously we even used Excel as an internal calculation tool, also configurator of the sorts. But Excel has considerable limitations and does not link business processes. Which is what the market of today asks for.”

If Excel is used as a configurator it mainly concerns price calculation for products. Salespeople visit customers and summarize all of the customers’ wishes. They do a global estimate of the price. After which all of this data is filled into the Excel Configurator and a price rolls out.

Unfortunately, that concludes its functionality. Which is why it is not adequate enough for a manufacturing business targeting digitization and automatization. Because it keeps you in the grip of internationalization and optimization of your processes.

10 reasons to never look back to your Excel Configurator

In our whitepaper “Excel Configurator: 10 reasons to never look back” you can find even more reasons to choose for CPQ software instead of an Excel Configurator.

The Excel Configurator is already pushed aside by CPQ software on all fronts. Read 10 reasons to never look back at your Excel Configurator.

To name a few examples:

  1. No digital marketing.

It is essential for you to digitize your sales channel. That means you can access your data everywhere and at any time. From quotation statuses to generating leads on your website.

2. No visualisation.

Visualization of your product range not only leads to much more involvement with customers and dealers. You directly show distinguishing details of your product. And do you recall the Ikea-effect? You value something much more when you compose it yourself.

LuxeTenten’s online showroom. Fully 3D.

3. No dealer management

Dealers cannot use your Excel Configurator. First of all it is downright inconvenient, and additionally they can see prices. You should be able to manage your dealers completely in one online tool. 

Manage all of your dealers in one online too. Choose what they can- and cannot sell. Manage their discounts and analyze their data.

4. No commercial setup

A configurator should do sales for you. It should be designed by employees knowledgeable in commerce. Not your organization’s Excel Specialist.

How the Excel Configurator provides you with a head start in designing your CPQ

The Excel Configurator can support you when designing CPQ. It means that you already have a clear vision of your product structures. Perhaps your Excel Configurator is even modularly built already.

By using an Excel Configurator you have already defined what your sellable products are. What fits within your basic modules? What are your upsell products? This and much more are questions you have already answered.

The philosophy of a configurator, too, would exist within your business. It is apparent what the benefits of configuring and errorless price calculations are. But the benefits of CPQ probably have not been as clear yet.

Also you have run into the limitations. We have already mentioned a few big disadvantages of the Excel Configurator, but there are many more. It is inevitable that you have run into this already, be it consciously or unconsciously.

All in all, you have at least a head start in the implementation process of CPQ software.

Need help?

Elfsquad CPQ is the solution for manufacturers with the focus on flawless, digital sales- and production. We are happy to assist manufacturers in the implementation process. Yet our CPQ software is made in such a manner that users can usually take off with little to no assistance.

Would you like to know and see more? Directly request an online demo.


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Working together on prize-winning software.

We let our innovative power in the manufacturing industry speak and are proud to say that we have received a number of prominent awards with Elfsquad. This motivates us further to fulfill our mission together with our customers: Ensure the manufacturing industry the right to exist.

2019Partner Award 2019 of ECI Ridder
2019Nomination Deloitte Rising Star Award – Fast 50
2018Winner Noordelijke Innovatie Award
2018Winner Ondernemersprijs Smallingerland
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