SAP-Based Manufacturers Need to Ensure Variant Configuration and CPQ is Part of Your Quoting Process
Managing quoting gets harder with configurable products. Here’s how to ensure a correctly quoted price–and delivery timeframe–in real-time.
Variant configuration in manufacturing directly impacts the speed and accuracy of customer quotes and delivery timeframes/ATP. All of those things must be done correctly during quoting to ensure an SAP-acceptable (and buildable) product–and to preserve margins.
Also, critically, you must ensure that a single quoting process supports standard SKUs and Variant Configuration products. Anything less creates friction in the buying processes–frustrating buyers, distributors, and your own employees. The key to turning this process into a competitive advantage is leveraging existing business data to drive accuracy and speed in your pricing process, quoting, and customer service.
Quotes Must be 100% Accurate for Both Standard and Variant Configuration Products
In your manufacturing operation you have off-the-shelf SKUs and you have highly configurable, highly price-variant SKUs that customers and distributors can order. Those customers and distributors want a single, seamless way to get quotes and place orders – no matter how simple or complex the product they are ordering may be.
Your sales and customer service teams are often left jumping between screens and systems, placing calls, and waiting for inputs on variant configuration SKUs. This impacts time-to-quote, taking something that could be done in just minutes into hours or even days.
Variant Configuration logic and rules are all built into your SAP ERP. So replicating this logic in another system is time-consuming, error-prone and–possibly worse–creates a second source of replicated data to perpetually maintain.
Accurate Quotes For All SKUs Drives Revenue, Margins, and eCommerce
Manufacturing sales relies on the quality and reliability of the customer experience and consistent, accurate quotes for products. Price quotes must be accurate and follow standardized business practices applied to the specific customer. And, it must all be done in an Amazon-like buying experience with speed, accuracy, and customer self-service.
Configurable product options are a business reality along with the complications they cause in the sales workflow. Many quoting solutions work acceptably for regular SKUs but cannot integrate the configuration and pricing options and complexity that come with Variant Configuration SKUs. Manual processes to alter quotes or incorporate VC products are time-consuming, complex, and prone to human error.
Even a seemingly small error rate, is magnified to business-impacting levels when done on the scale of the typical SAP-based manufacturer. If just 2% of your quotes require manual intervention that can require hundreds, even thousands of person-hours and if any percentage contains pricing errors–that directly impacts margins at a time when they are razor-thin.
The cost of inaccurate price quotes includes:
- Annoyed customers with one or more inconsistent price quotes.
- Customer loss and loss of sales.
- Sales team dissatisfaction based on the complexity of business rules and manual pricing processes.
- Resources spending more time completing or chasing down quote approvals.
- Slower business response time for quotes results in fewer customer orders.
- Further, the ability to seamlessly quote all products in your catalog is the foundation for a successful eCommerce solution. Customers won’t settle for placing an order online for some products and then having to call a sales rep to price and order configurable goods.
Take advantage of business data
Handling and managing all the data needed for supply chain fulfillment in real-time is a challenge. The goal is to integrate existing data, pricing, and business rules for complete operational and supplier integration. To master full supply-chain integration and generate accurate sales information in real-time, you need a CPQ (Configure – Price – Quote) system that fully integrates with existing business management rules and data stored in your SAP ERP.
CPQ systems use existing configuration and pricing rules to create a quote on the spot. Quotes are accurate and based on standardized business rules, so there’s no need for approvals or other unintended delays. The quote is prepared and in the customer’s hands almost immediately.
CPQ systems automate the configuration rules, pricing, and quoting process to speed up quote generation while reducing errors and turning more quotes into orders. No more need for the sales team to manually compare and analyze pricing and customer data and then match it up to the configuration options and pricing rules.
Using CPQ generates faster, more consistent, and more accurate quotes for an improved customer experience. No more price surprises or inconsistencies, which builds customer trust and confidence in the business relationship.
- The value of leveraging existing data and business rules:
- Faster quote turnaround times.
- Quote all products using a single, accessible solution.
- Improve quote accuracy and adherence to established standards.
- Improve quote-to-order turnarounds.
Standardize pricing per customer – no more customer surprises.
Focus on order quality and improved customer experiences.
For 100% Quoting Accuracy, Connect Salesforce CPQ to SAP
Salesforce CPQ is a powerful quoting tool that helps manufacturers deliver accurate, timely quotes. But the real power comes when you integrate SAP data–including Variant Configurations–directly into Salesforce CPQ so that every quote is 100% accurate and 100% buildable. Traditionally, data connections to and from SAP are complex to build and maintain. enosix has developed a novel, but proven way to accomplish this–and we’re a Certified SAP solution and Certified Salesforce App Exchange solution.
enosix uses data virtualization to create a window into SAP–directly inside Salesforce. This gives real-time access to account-specific information and discounts along with product availability, Variant Configuration options etc. This creates 100% accurate quotes because the VC options and associated pricing are coming directly from SAP. Even better, you can enable bi-directional data flow and once a quote is approved, an SAP-acceptable order can be pushed into SAP for fulfillment. It’s guaranteed to be accurate for off-the-shelf and configurable products because it uses all the logic in SAP–without creating a duplicate set of logic to maintain and without the push-pull of middleware.
enosix helps manufacturers just like you deliver the powerful combination of Salesforce and SAP directly in your sales and customer service teams hands. For more information on how to leverage your business data to improve price quote accuracy and generate more sales, and happier customers, request a demo.