The fact that CPQ is essential for businesses in the manufacturing industry probably does not come as a surprise. But not every software package is the same, so making a choice can be difficult. Since what exactly are the components that ensure you do not only choose CPQ software that fits your company right now, but also guarantee that you are prepared for the future? In this blog we will describe 5 essential CPQ software functionalities.
You probably recognize this: before you make a big purchase you would preferably know what you are buying, and even see, or maybe hold it. The last part is a step too far in the manufacturing industry, but with appropriate CPQ software you are able to showcase products to customers. For this, choose the so-called Visual CPQ. Then you are able to directly demonstrate your product’s distinguishing details, your customer will immediately get a good impression of their configuration, and it can even go straight to production. 2D- and 3D-visualization is the minimum, but you would be even better off when you also prepare for Augmented- and Virtual Reality.
Using these, you could compose a machine and project it directly in your factory. Should you adjust its length in the CPQ software, you would then directly see this change and know how much space the machine would require if it were in your factory. Conducted research has shown that potential customers decide on a purchase much faster when they can view their desired configuration in advance. As such, when choosing CPQ software you should ensure that it excellently and visually presents your products.
Simpler CPQ software exists, allowing you to configure reasonably simple standalone products. But what if your product has to cooperate with other products in a factory? Or you sell multiple products that also need to connect with one another? Then said simple software quickly loses its value. So you need to ensure that you choose CPQ software that is also able to do system configurations. For instance, so that industrial conveyor belts, weighing machines and packing machines can all be configured together and no uncertainties or problems rear their head during production. When going even further you could also consider project configuration. Then you can even configure how the operating device- and system should look when connecting multiple machines.
Chances are you’re already in the process of phasing out your ERP and moving to best-of-breed software: applications that are specifically built to optimize a portion of your business processes. This means that they do not support other parts of your processes, so they should be able to communicate well with other applications. This means it is important to choose CPQ software that is built based on the API-first-principle. This allows you to completely customize the interface on the front-end to suit your company, while on the back-end the application completely integrates with your existing IT.
As a producer in the manufacturing industry you are especially good at creating your products. Naturally, you have excellent salespeople, but your dealers and resellers also have an important role. It is important to check if the CPQ software of your choice also has the option to be made available to your dealers. So that they can sell your products with much more certainty from a limited configuring environment, and roll out flawless quotations in the blink of an eye. The entire pre-production process can then be put in their hands, so that they are much more efficient for you to employ.
Does your business work from all sorts of files in Word, Excel and other software? Then a nice challenge lies ahead of you, as you lack one source containing the absolute truth. CPQ software can mean a lot here, because the correct software can also be the data source for the rest of your process. It clearly defines the output required to get the rest of the process going. This can mean a lot of things: from creating BOMs for an ERP to controlling another app to swap out older machines during the configuration process. Whatever you come up with, CPQ software exists to offer the perfect support and start.
As you are already on the Elfsquad website, it probably does not surprise you that our software meets all of these requirements. We have seen time and time again, among a large number of customers in the manufacturing industry, that these 5 functionalities are incredibly important. Would you like to find out more about how Elfsquad could also work for your business? Then directly request a demo.
Elfsquad removes all worries from your pre-production process. With Elfsquad as backbone, we realize the digital factory that smart industries have been trying to find for so long. We do this through a product configurator, with integrated solutions for marketing, sales, and operations.