In Mind Cloud Blog

How Fast Can You Implement A Manufacturing CPQ Solution? [Updated]

Posted by Sabine Kempe on Oct 1, 2020 2:33:00 PM
Sabine Kempe
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Choosing a Configure-Price-Quote solution is a difficult task. Your manufacturing business identified revenue drains coming from inaccurate quotes, long cycle times or lost deals. The biggest fear of CIOs and CPQ Project Managers is to lose more money through long implementation times, low adoption rates and high customization efforts.

That's exactly why the question of "How quickly can a fitting CPQ solution be implemented?" is a main decision driver for businesses in fast-paced environments. From our years of experience, we can tell you that it depends on 3 main questions.

1. What platform is the CPQ built on?

Why is it important which platform a CPQ is built and running on? If you are struggling to make complex and possibly siloed data available to sales teams who want fast, reliable and convenient access anywhere around the globe, you should be paying a whole lot of attention to the underlying technology platform. Ultimately, a cutting-edge platform is a massive factor on how fast you can have a digitalized sales process up and running. 

An example: The Manufacturing X Sales Platform is built on and delivered through the SAP Cloud Platform. SAP has a long history of delivering cloud solutions for CRM (SAP Cloud for Sales) and has an industry-leading ERP system. The SAP Cloud environment is secure, flexible, and offers quick deployment of our applications and any new release and feature. With data centres all around the world, even global rollouts with a high number of users can be quick. 

2. How much integration is needed?

Is your sales force using a CRM to track and drive sales engagements? Or are you planning to implement one? Your production data, costs, materials and prices are residing in your ERP. But what else needs to be considered? Do you have Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) data or information from your Production Management System (PMS) that you need to make available to your sales or engineering teams? Are you using a Commerce solution that needs to work with your CPQ?

In order to speed up your implementation time, you need to carefully consider your existing IT environment, how it can be extended and which architecture is the best to support your processes. To guarantee real-time data access, consistent data management and a fast integration you will need a CPQ that comes with a certified integration to your backend.

A Configure Price Quote solution that makes use of the standard APIs of your existing CRM, Commerce and ERP will integrate smoothly and fast, with minimal customisation needed on the external systems. This ability makes a CPQ uniquely able to overcome data silos and connect the data points that run a company’s sales in an end-to-end workflow.  

3. Do you have existing product, configuration, or pricing models?

Buying a "Quick-Start" CPQ solution that guarantees a fast deployment is not always the answer. What if you have existing product, configuration or pricing models? Are they residing in your ERP as LO/VC models with limited availability for sales? Or do you need access to prices, products, materials or other custom tables from your ERP? Some manufacturers do have their configuration logic, costing models and prices spread out over Excel sheets. Or they are pulling important quoting information from CAD. For all of the above it is crucial to choose a CPQ solution that can deal with your data - in whatever structure it is available. 

In the best case a CPQ solution caters to various setups with available configuration logic:

  1. Making Variant Configuration, products and prices from SAP ERP available for sales in the CPQ
  2. Building agile configuration models directly in the CPQ whilst using External Pricing from ERP
  3. Building agile configuration models and making use of ERP and/or CPQ data for pricing and products

The ease of creating configuration models without vast IT knowledge is getting more and more important in a fast-paced business environment. Many companies therefore value the option to create, change and maintain models directly in a CPQ system. Even models uploaded and mass maintained through Excel or CADs are consumable by a flexible CPQ solution.

What else can speed up your CPQ implementation? 

Of course, there are further factors determining if you need weeks or months to get your sales up and running with a CPQ.

  1. Take the factor of user-friendliness: with an intuitive CPQ with a clear and role-based UI your users only need minimum training to be highly efficient with the new system.
  2. A high level of self-administration within the CPQ system is another big time-saver. When the business side of the company can build and maintain their own models, you are gaining business agility when it comes to market demands, marketing offers and price changes.
  3. A CPQ provider that is specialized to your industry will be able to deliver matching quote templates that can cut the time significantly, as you won't have to start from zero.
  4. Does your CPQ vendor offer you the professional services and support that you need to succeed in your business goals? A dedicated Customer Success Manager will be able to discuss with you not only technical issues but also how you can achieve your KPIs best.

Summary 

It is the complexity that slows down your CPQ implementation project. With the right platform, a certified CPQ solution with various standard integrations and flexible data modelling, you could be looking at a time frame of just 1 to 5 months! 

 

Would you like us to assess your CPQ needs and give you a realistic time frame for an implementation? Get a personalized demo and let us answer all your burning questions!

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Sabine Kempe

Written by Sabine Kempe

Sabine - a manufacturing sales expert and cloud enthusiast at heart, she is dedicated to matching the challenges of manufacturing businesses with the opportunities of a digitalized world.

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