The Digital Transformation of Manufacturing Is Accelerating. Here’s How to Keep Up

The digital transformation has been underway for the past few decades, but in 2020, it made an unexpected quantum leap. According to McKinsey, the pandemic caused many companies to accelerate their digital growth by as much as five years ahead of schedule.

Mechanical equipment manufacturers (MEMs) aren’t known for utilizing technology to innovate, but that needs to change — and quickly. The incredible profit potential, not to mention the impact on resource management, should be enough to make digital transformation priority No. 1 for every company in the industry.

What Exactly Is the Digital Transformation?

The “digital transformation” is an umbrella term covering any technology that digitalizes manufacturing and business processes. The end goal is to create Industry 4.0, which allows manufacturers to automate nearly every aspect of their operations. The digital transformation encompasses the internet of things (IoT), cloud computing, automation software, robotics, artificial intelligence, and even 5G networks.

Most importantly, the digital transformation is about integrating all of these separate technologies into one centralized system, minimizing the number of human touch points needed throughout an operation. Eventually, manufacturers will be able to achieve levels of productivity and efficiency that we can’t currently imagine.

How Is the Digital Transformation Impacting Manufacturing?

Manufacturing has always been driven by improving efficiency and delivering greater value. When manufacturers successfully implement Industry 4.0 technology, they achieve KPIs that the industrial tycoons of the 1900s wouldn’t believe.

In McKinsey’s 2022 report, “Capturing the true value of Industry 4.0,” researchers found that new technology:
Any company not invested in their own digital transformation is leaving money on the table. Even worse, they risk being left behind by more efficient competition.

How Execute Your Own Digital Transformation Strategy

Every manufacturer has a different journey to a digital transformation, but all of them have a few key universal points. Here are three steps to get your digital transformation journey started on the right foot:

1. Think Digital Throughout the Entire Manufacturing Lifecycle

Ensuring there’s a digital thread throughout your business’s ecosystem — from innovation and execution on the factory floor, to the end of the product lifecycle — will keep your organization agile and ready for any changes. Digital transformation is one of the best ways to future proof your company from disruptions to the marketplace, and the supply chain.

2. Leave Behind Manual Processes and Tools

Conduct a thorough audit of your operation and identify any areas where there are human touchpoints and bottlenecks. Don’t be fooled by burdensome processes just because they happen on a computer. Given recent technological developments, spreadsheets are a significant drain on productivity. New tools like product lifecycle management (PLM) platforms and CPQ software help organizations manage everything from purchasing, supply chain, and inventory, to configuration, pricing, and quoting.

3. Seek Out Digitally Native Partners

The digital transformation is both the industry’s biggest opportunity for growth, and its biggest challenge. You need partners throughout the journey that know what manufacturers need, what technology is capable of, and how to best leverage it. Look for digital-native solution providers that have expertise in your industry, and you’ll have an ally that can help you achieve the agility and resilience you need to become a leader in Industry 4.0.

Build a New Manufacturing Landscape With Revalize

The sooner you start investigating, investing in, and deploying new technology, the better position you’ll be in to grow, improve efficiency, and achieve longevity in the rapidly changing market. But you can only realize the full potential of your digital transformation with solutions that unify your company.
Revalize offers a full suite of software that encompasses CAD, product lifecycle management (PLM), select, configure, price, quote processes (SCPQ), and beyond, to digitalize your entire idea-to-cash journey. Schedule a free demo with one of our experts to experience the impact Revalize can have on your operations.

How to Give Customers What They Want With A Project Management Portal

When it comes to mechanical equipment, providing customers with a timely and accurate quote is almost as challenging as manufacturing it — especially if you’re using spreadsheets or homegrown pricing tools.

CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) software can make this process much quicker and easier, but it doesn’t fully realize potential time savings. Integrating a project management portal directly with your CPQ platform can improve efficiency and pricing accuracy even more.

What is a Project Management Portal?

A project management portal, or PMP, is a tool sales teams use to manage quotes. You’ll be able to adjust pricing or bills of materials, store quotes, manage multiple quotes, and adjust parameters on specific accounts.

PMPs act as a centralized, virtual filing cabinet for quotes. Different stakeholders from your organization, including sales, resellers, and even engineers, can access the PMP to review a quote, replicate it, make changes to it, add discounts, and other functions as their clearances allow. PMPs can improve collaboration and get quotes out the door quicker.

How Does a Project Management Portal Work?

As the central dashboard to a company’s quoting process, a project management portal is customizable to the exact specifications and requirements of a customer. Users can pre-program the software with all of the product variables, pricing rules, and performance curves unique to their industry or products. This is especially useful for complex industries like mechanical equipment or fluid handling equipment. In fact, many manufacturers in specialized industries opt for a PMP that’s designed specifically for their needs.

A PMP designed for mechanical equipment manufacturers has pricing rules and negotiations baked in for faster customization. As a result, when you’re configuring an order, the thresholds or goals around margins, overall price, price negotiations, and different types of pricing (for resellers, direct sales, distributors, and customers) already live within the platform. Many of these tools can even accommodate multiple currencies.

Choosing the Right Project Management Portal

Not all CPQs are created equal, and not all PMPs are, either. Here’s what you should look for in a quality PMP:

1. Out-of-the-box setup.

The setup process for any software product is a preview of its functionality. If getting started requires significant IT resources and implementation by the vendor, it’s probably going to be challenging to use throughout its life. Look for a solution you can set up on your own with minimal guidance, so it’s ready to go right out of the box.

2. Industry-specific functionality.

Mechanical equipment manufacturers produce some of the most complex products in the world. It’s imperative that you use a PMP that’s designed to manage that complexity. Look for a tool with features specifically designed for the needs of your industry. It will be easier to customize to the needs of your company.

3. Easy-to-update database.

One of the biggest benefits of building a centralized database for quotes is that it creates a single source of truth for everyone in your organization. Opt for a solution that makes it easy to roll out changes to quotes, prices, and other information to avoid duplicating data entry.

4. Built-in integration with CPQ.

A solid PMP solution needs to work effectively with a CPQ in order to provide maximum value. Choose a project management portal that integrates seamlessly with the CPQ that you’re already using, or risk tech issues cropping up down the line. Better yet, some CPQ vendors have PMPs that can be purchased as add-ons, guaranteeing their compatibility.

Revalize boasts all of these features and more, with a full suite of solutions that encompass the entire product lifecycle. From product selection, to CPQ, to PMP, the software helps even the most complex mechanical equipment manufacturers streamline their quoting process and better serve customers. Experience the difference with Revalize during a free product demo.

Want to experience the Revalize difference for yourself? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

Build vs. Buy: The Real Benefit of Third- Party Product Selectors and CPQ

“Why would we buy your Selector or CPQ software when we could just build it ourselves?”

This is a common question we hear from our customers who have spent years honing a grassroots product selector and configurator in-house. While a homegrown solution has undoubtedly saved you a lot of time and money compared to spreadsheets and other manual processes, they may have also cost you far more than they’re worth.

The Limits of In-House Solutions

Whether you’re considering building your own product selector and configurator, or you’re already using an in-house solution, there are certain limitations you need to be aware of before discounting third-party CPQ software completely.

Lack of Resources And Expertise

Building a Selector or CPQ solution may seem like a quick, easy task for your internal team, but once you consider the resources required to successfully build and maintain the solution, you may realize it doesn’t make sense for your business. Here are a few things you’ll need:
Skipping out on these resources isn an option, unless you want to seriously undermine your productivity and accuracy.

High Buildout and Maintenance Costs

Deciding to build vs. buy an SCPQ solution often comes down to cost. Do you want to pay a vendor or boot-strap a project yourself? Here are some things you’ll need to do if you decide to build it yourself:
On top of all of that, you will also need maintenance teams, such as user support, development, and integration support, as long as you have the solution. And that’s just to get you started.

Loss of In-House Resources

Every team inevitably has their in-house expert — and that expert knows everything about the company’s products, processes, and how to manage their IT systems, including the homegrown selector. But eventually, the expert retires or takes another job. Without them, who at your company has the knowledge and ability to maintain the solution? In many cases, you’ll have to call a third-party CPQ software vendor to get you out of this bind.

Finding an SCPQ Partner Is Your Best Bet

As a manufacturer, you provide the best solutions to meet your customers’ needs. But when it comes to CPQ software, while you may have the ability to create your own solutions, is that where your company’s core competencies reside?

Revalize delivers a complete mechanical equipment selection and quoting solution built to handle unique challenges while connecting with front- and back-office platforms. Our platform’s out-of-the-box SCPQ capabilities surpass those of other vendors and are more cost-effective than building it yourself. These capabilities include:
We set the standard for equipment selection, configuration, pricing, and quoting with built-in capabilities no homegrown or horizontal vendor’s solution can match. Just because you can build an in-house selector and CPQ doesn’t mean it will help you. Schedule a free demo to experience the impact that Revalize can have on your operation right out of the box.

How SCPQ Solutions Eliminate Errors For Fluid Handling Manufacturers

Fluid handling equipment has always been complex, but as manufacturers have begun to offer more custom and configurable products, the sales process has only become more challenging.

Narrowing down to a specific base product can already be overwhelming for buyers, but each configuration also dramatically alters performance. Customers need your guidance and expertise to not only identify the best products for their projects, but also to configure them to their specific needs.

Mistakes are bound to happen if you try to manage all of this information manually. Fluid handling equipment manufacturers need a software solution to streamline the sales process and ensure higher quote accuracy.

What Is SCPQ?

SCPQ stands for Select, Configure, Price, and Quote, and it’s a type of software that helps sales teams streamline their entire query-to-quote process. The platform combines both Selector tools and CPQ capabilities for even greater efficiency than the two standalone platforms offer.

Selector features allow manufacturers to upload their entire catalog and automatically match customers to the products that meet their needs. From there, customers can use the Configurator to customize their products, with pre-set rules acting as guardrails to prevent them from choosing options that are out of scope for the manufacturer. Prices then update automatically to produce a quote in record time.

How SCPQ Software Cuts Down on Human Error

With so many touch points throughout the sales process, it’s incredibly vulnerable to human error. Any change to a configuration may require oversight from engineers to ensure it’s viable and within scope — as well as confirmation it will help customers achieve their desired result. Every change to a product will also alter the price and production schedule.

Manually producing quotes for complex and configurable fluid handling equipment isn’t just a time-consuming process — it’s also easy to make mistakes. Here’s how SCPQ software removes human error from the equation:

1. Automates Selector Process

Matching a customers’ conditions of service to the appropriate fluid handling equipment can involve cross-referencing dozens, and sometimes hundreds, of different variables. SCPQ software automatically processes all of the data about a customers’ needs and generates a reliable list of compatible products for further evaluation.

2. Enables Rules-Based Configuration

When configuring products manually, sales has to confirm each change with engineers to ensure a specific build is viable. With so much back and forth, it’s easy for details to get lost in translation or misunderstood. SCPQ software eliminates a lot of these vulnerabilities by automating the configuration process. The system automatically flags changes to configurations that violate pre-set rules, so nothing is ever approved for production that can’t be built.

3. Eliminates Manual Pricing Calculations

Every new configuration alters the final purchase price. Traditionally, salespeople have to calculate the impact of each configuration by hand. SCPQ uses the same rules-based configuration capabilities to automatically calculate pricing based on changes to the parts, components, and materials in a new product build, removing the chance for human error.

4. Auto-Generates Quote Documents

Once a quote is finalized, SCPQ software generates and submits the quote document automatically. This eliminates the need for data entry by the sales team, along with the chance of sending customers quotes with typos or incorrect information.

For a long time, fluid handling equipment manufacturers have had to maintain two separate accounts with Selector and CPQ providers in order to enjoy these capabilities. Revalize is one of the few solutions in the market to combine the two tools into one integrated platform. Schedule a demo with our team to see how SCPQ can improve your sales process.

Still want to learn more about what SCPQ can do for you? Read our new ebook for a deep dive into digital transformation in the fluid handling equipment industry.
Want to experience the Revalize difference for yourself? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

5 Strategies to Improve Quote Time For Fluid Equipment Systems

Advancements in technology have accelerated the pace of every industry in the past decade. Even manufacturers in the niche fluid equipment handling sector are moving more nimbly as a result of their digital transformation. Streamlining the sales process is just as important as streamlining product design and production.

When customers reach out for a quote, response time is as critical as price and accuracy when it comes to making a purchasing decision. This is especially important given the current state of the supply chain, when everyone has longer lead times and higher stakes. Companies in the market for new fluid handling equipment reach out to multiple vendors at once, so suppliers that respond late are automatically out of the running. Improving time to quote is critical to company growth, as well as maintaining revenue.

How to Speed Up Time to Quote

Quoting is an incredibly complex, multi-stage process, especially when you offer custom and configurable products. The longer the quoting process, the more likely sales teams are to suffer from churn and lose leads before a deal closes. A complex quoting process is also frustrating to customers and could dissuade them from doing business with you in the future.

Here’s how to speed up the time to quote and make customization as painless as possible:

1. Optimize the Selection Process

You know exactly what your products are capable of, and you have a lot of insight into what’s needed for a specific project. Customers want that expert guidance to ensure they select the best product for the job, but uncovering their needs can be a challenge. Create a form or interview process that efficiently gathers all the information necessary about their conditions of service and find the closest match in your catalog.

2. Carefully Define Configuration Rules

When it comes to product customization, every single change modifies performance and viability. One of the biggest causes of a long sales cycle is confirming how a configuration will affect the product with engineers and other stakeholders. Work with them ahead of time to map out the impact of each change so sales is more empowered to answer customer questions on their own.

3. Develop Comprehensive Pricing Rules

Each change to a product configuration also affects the overall price per unit and other budgetary considerations. When laying out pricing rules, be sure to include pricing for easier calculations at the end of the configuration process. A pricing guide will also empower sales to calculate costs along the way for customers with budget concerns influencing their final purchase.

4. Engage Engineers and SMEs Efficiently

Even with rules clearly laid out, it won’t always be possible for sales to answer every question on their own. Create a system where engineers can respond to questions on a regular basis — speeding up the quoting process without taking them away from their other work.

5. Adopt an SCPQ Platform

You can implement all of these strategies to speed up quote time without building complex spreadsheets, flowcharts, or other cumbersome systems. SCPQ (Select, Configure, Quote, Price) software is made specifically to help manufacturers streamline their sales process and speed up time to quote.

Users can program pre-set rules for the configurator to follow, so the system won’t allow selection of any customizations that are out of scope or unviable. Best of all, the software guides users through a simple point-and-click workflow so customizations can be finalized in just minutes.

For the best experience, you need an SCPQ platform designed specifically for the needs of fluid handling equipment manufacturers. Revalize is a fully integrated SCPQ solution with roots in every industry — including fluid handling equipment. Schedule a free demo to experience the difference for yourself.

Want to learn more about how a purpose-built SCPQ can streamline your sales process? Read about the benefits of Revalize in our new ebook.
Want to experience the Revalize difference for yourself? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

Why Fluid Handling Equipment Manufacturers Need A CPQ Solution

With such complex products to develop and produce, the fluid handling equipment manufacturing sector has been slow to adapt to the digital transformation. Fortunately, most companies have moved beyond physical price books and encyclopedic product catalogs. But if you’re still using spreadsheets and data software to manage your sales process, you’re missing out on the opportunity to increase your productivity and drive more revenue.

The latest generation of software for manufacturers can virtually automate the entire product configuration process for faster, more accurate quoting. Here’s what you need to know.

What Is CPQ?

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software is a tool that helps sales teams generate personalized quotes for customers without the manual labor and internal discussions that come with manual processes.

Traditionally, sales teams have to check with engineers to confirm viability for every single modification customers make to a product configuration. Then, they have to carefully calculate the impact each variable has on the overall price, as well as production times. The end result is a drawn out sales cycle that loses countless leads and is vulnerable to human error.
CPQ software allows stakeholders to program pre-set rules so sales teams can build custom products with less oversight from engineering. As new configurations are built virtually, the software prevents users from selecting any options that aren’t physically possible or are outside of production parameters. By eliminating internal back and forth and complex price calculations, customers remain more engaged throughout the entire sales process.

Here’s how CPQ helps:

1. Less Chance For Pricing Errors

When configuring complex and customized products, every variable can impact the final price. Traditionally, sales reps have to calculate prices by hand. Rules-based CPQ programs update prices for every change automatically, reducing the chance of human error. Pricing even updates in real time, so it’s easy for customers to assess how each configuration will impact their budget.

2. Faster Time To Quote

Since configurations are selected in a program and prices are automatically calculated, CPQ solutions eliminate most of the time-consuming work that goes into generating a quote. Stakeholders in other departments can even access the platform and leave feedback on specific orders without the need to schedule a meeting. All of this time-saving automation reduces quote time from days to just hours.

3. Higher Sales Productivity

Filling your sales pipeline with worthy prospects is one of the hardest goals to achieve, but if you can’t respond to them in a timely manner, you might be leaving money on the table. With manual processes, fluid equipment sales reps face long timeframes to close each deal. CPQ helps generate quotes in record time so you can respond to more leads at a faster rate. This accelerated timeline reduces churn rate and helps close more deals.

4. Better Integration

CPQ software doesn’t just improve productivity within the sales department, it can impact operations throughout the organization. Other departments, like accounting, customer support, and legal, already use technology to automate their own processes. CPQ software makes sales data more readily available and exportable to other stakeholders throughout the company.

For example, when a quote is approved, sales can automatically route the information to accounting to generate an invoice and submit the signed contract to legal. CPQ essentially eliminates data silos that might happen in sales departments without proper technology.

Go Further With SCPQ

CPQ software is a game changer for any fluid handling manufacturer that implements it in their sales process. You can reap even greater benefits with SCPQ, a newer class of solution that integrates Selector technology with the CPQ platform for even greater efficiency and quality of customer support. Experience the difference yourself with a free trial of Revalize.

With such complex configurations and performance curves to calculate, purpose-built SCPQs can be especially beneficial for fluid handling equipment and pump manufacturers. Learn more about how it can streamline your sales process in our new ebook.
Want to experience the Revalize difference for yourself? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.

4 Benefits of Integrating A Pump Selector With Your Configure, Price, Quote Solution?

In today’s competitive fluid handling equipment market, offering customization and specialty configurations for your products are the best ways to attract and retain customers. Manufacturers that can accommodate every customer’s needs are more likely to close deals and secure repeat business. But if customers don’t select the right equipment to begin with, they won’t be able to enjoy the benefits of customizing their orders.

With such a complex landscape to navigate, buyers rely on manufacturers for help when choosing the best-suited products to their projects. Offering a Selector is critical for streamlining this process and starting a new sale on the right foot, but these tools are often separate from CPQ software — requiring a contract with an additional vendor. What if there was a way to combine the two?

Introducing SCPQ

Selectors walk your customers through every possible parameter of their project so you can get a crystal-clear understanding of their conditions of service. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software automates the customization process for each order without needing any oversight from engineers. That way, the technology can enable faster quotes without sacrificing price accuracy.

Since the beginning, Selectors and CPQ solutions have operated separately from one another, even though they’re both critical for a successful sale. Recently, some solution-providers have begun combining these capabilities into Selector, Configure, Price, Quote (SCPQ) software for more robust workflows. Could this help your company?

4 Benefits of SCPQ Software

Bringing the capabilities of Selectors and CPQ together in one platform provides incredible benefits for both customers and manufacturers. Here are the top four:

1. Boxed Out Competition

A Selector is a critical part of any fluid handling equipment purchase, helping both customers and manufacturers get more clarity around the conditions of service. If customers use a third-party selector or do their own intensive product research, they could find their way to any number of manufacturers.

When you provide a Selector as part of your sales process, you can ensure all options point to your catalog. Integrating a Selector with your CPQ boxes out competition, narrowing their choice down to only your products so you can immediately begin the conversation about configuration.

2. Vendor Consolidation

Since Selectors and CPQ platforms are two different solutions, the costs for maintaining two separate licenses or service agreements is much higher, as well as the additional downstream expenses.

If the two solutions aren’t fully compatible, sales teams will have to manually export data from a Selector into their CPQ, slowing down workflows and increasing labor expenses. Any time manual processes enter the mix, it also increases the chances for human errors that cost even more valuable time.

3. Better Customer Experience

When customers are looking for a quote, time is of the essence. If they find a product through a Selector integrated with a CPQ, the sales team can immediately identify appropriate products and continue the conversation about configuration. CPQ dramatically accelerates the time it takes to generate a quote, and an integrated Selector speeds up the process even more.

4. Performance Estimates

Some CPQ software provides such deep insight into products that they generate performance data based on different configurations. When Selectors are integrated into the same solution, customers can see performance data before they even begin the customization process, adding a further layer of insight for product choice. Advanced SCPQ software, like Revalize, can update estimated performance based on each parameter change in the Configurator, as well.

The manufacturing sales process is moving faster than ever, even in complex niches like fluid handling equipment. Investing in an SCPQ platform will not only provide a better customer experience, but it will also dramatically improve the productivity of your sales team. Experience the difference with Revalize and schedule a demo. Still want to know more about SCPQ? Check out our new ebook to learn how an integrated Selector and CPQ can help your sales process.
Want to experience the Revalize difference for yourself? Schedule a demo with one of our experts.