5 Top Features Manufacturers Should Look for In Product Configurators

Manufacturing is a highly competitive industry that’s only become more challenging during the last decade. The ongoing labor shortage has been exacerbated by the supply chain disruption that began in 2020, and a skills gap that continues to slow progress. Manufacturers need a way to stand out from competitors with special offerings to mitigate the financial impact of these industry-wide challenges.

One way to do this is through product customization options. One-size-fits-all products are easier to mass produce, but they leave substantial revenue on the table from buyers shopping for specific configurations. That’s where product configurators come in — a special class of software designed to streamline the sales process for customized parts, components, and equipment.

5 Features to Expect From a Product Configurator

The product configurator software market has exploded in recent years as customization becomes more popular. But not all platforms are created equal. Here’s what to look for as you evaluate potential solutions.

1. Clear Bill of Materials

Every custom product needs a bill of materials (BOM), no matter how simple it is. It lists the individual parts that go into creating the finished product, including unit prices and final costs. A BOM clarifies exactly what’s needed or expected from customers, engineers, and other stakeholders involved in the customization process for the most accurate price possible. A worthwhile product configurator will generate a complete BOM that can be customized further to use as you sell your product.

2. Visual Models

A powerful configurator will generate models of a customized product or customers before they make their final decision. Models reduce the need to create physical prototypes and lessen the chance of costly change orders after fulfillment. Ultimately, this is what ensures the most customer satisfaction, as well as repeat business.

3. CAD Models

Beyond the basic computer model of the product, some configurators can also integrate with CAD systems to create fully realized 3D mock-ups of the custom product. Your customer can inspect the product from any angle, with almost as much clarity as if they were holding it in their hands. A to-scale model helps customers fully approve the product before manufacturing begins, as well as gives production teams clearer guidelines to follow in their processes.

4. Safeguards

A well-built configurator allows you to program safeguards that automatically detect when a customer has product parameters you can’t deliver on. Safeguards are vitally important in the customization process and stop an impossible order from proceeding down the sales pipeline, wasting time and money. Plus, safeguards protect your credibility by helping you identify impossible customizations before they get to the production phase. Leverage this sense of authority to guide customers down a more realistic path to keep your revenue secure.

5. Easy, Professional Quote Generation

In the past, it could take days to create a quote. Many times they were hand-written or simply typed on a quote sheet. A configurator automates price calculations, allowing you to generate a quote in just a matter of minutes or hours. The configurator can automatically generate quote documents for customers based on all their input.

Compete in the Marketplace with a Robust Product Configurator

Customization can be the first step in establishing your niche in today’s competitive manufacturing market. Doing this successfully requires a powerful configurator with all of these features to ensure your customers have the best experience possible when choosing their customizable products.
Contact Revalize to schedule a demo and learn more about what our configurator and integrated SCPQ solutions can do for your company.

8 Tips for a Successful CPQ Rollout

One of the most critical aspects of any software product implementation is the launch. If the rollout goes smoothly, your company will avoid many potential problems in the weeks and months that follow. If it goes poorly, this could hinder your organizations’ digital transformation. This is especially true for Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software.

A successful rollout can completely transform how you quote orders, setting your company up for massive savings. The smoother it’s implemented, the faster you can start reaping the benefits. But how do you set your team up for success?

8 Tips For An Effective CPQ Launch

1. Understand Your Needs

Establish what your company needs from this software. The right CPQ software can aid everything from engineering calculations, to live visualization, and beyond. Have a meeting with the software provider, list exactly what your business does and how you’re currently generating quotes for your customers, then have them walk you through what the software can do for your company. You need to know:

2. Create Buy-In

Once you make the decision to go with a CPQ software platform, you need to get your employees on board. Show staff how this new system will streamline the existing process, helping them and the company. Emphasize the benefits for them so they can see how it will improve their day-to-day work lives and how they can become active participants in the rollout.

3. Craft Your Plan

Next, craft an implementation plan for your business. This needs to be a joint operation between you and the software provider. You’re the expert when it comes to your business, but the software company is the expert when it comes to CPQ. Create a transition team made up of your employees and theirs.

4. Anticipate Problems

The best way to solve problems is to prevent them from happening. Brainstorm issues that can occur during implementation. Solicit insight from different departments and levels of authority to create an all-encompassing list of potential challenges. The software development team knows the technical challenges they may run into, but not the issues affecting your organization.

5. Train Your Staff

It’s not enough for just the sales staff to understand how this software will work. Train all engineers and the production staff on the floor so everyone knows how this new program will impact the work they do. You want everybody ready to go for the launch of the program so the entire company works together to ensure its success. This will improve buy-in from customers as well.

6. Lean on The Software Company

If we haven’t said this enough already, it bears repeating: you should rely on your software company and their support team at all stages of implementation. These are experts who have already implemented this application with other companies. They will be well-prepared to handle any problems that occur in the implementation process.

7. Reassess

After you’ve finished the roll-out, take some time to reassess what happened. What went well? What could have gone better? The implementation team should meet again to address any concerns that were documented during the launch. In order to move forward, you need to assess where you are for later growth.

8. Celebrate Your Success

Finally, reward everyone who has been a part of this launch. A new software application is a major undertaking for a company. Take time to celebrate with all of your staff so they know their hard work is appreciated.
Successfully launching a CPQ program really takes a village — or in this case, an entire company. If you can attain this sense of unity in your staff, you’re well on your way to a smooth launch. Want to see what Revalize CPQ can do for your company? Get in touch to schedule a demo.

CPQ Best Practices for a Smooth, Successful Launch

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software is one of the most beneficial tools a company can implement, but it often requires a major overhaul of business and sales processes. With so much to gain, it’s important not to get discouraged by inevitable resistance. Humans naturally resist change, both in our personal lives and at work. Whenever a company announces a major change in their internal processes, staff members can often feel stressed — even when they know the change is for the better.

With something as important as your sales processes and revenue pipelines, it’s critical to implement CPQ as effectively and efficiently as possible. That’s why you need a solid strategy for a smooth and successful launch.

3 Best Practices For a CPQ Rollout

CPQ software is a major investment for every organization. Here’s how to create a smooth transition for your employees and customers:

1. Justify the Change

The first thing you need to do is explain the need for the change to your employees. Highlighting the issues you want to overcome by implementing CPQ software will contextualize why the change is happening and give employees a goal to work toward. Taking the time to justify the new software will get employees excited about the changes to come and the benefits they’ll bring.

2. Emphasize the Positive

CPQ software will streamline the most cumbersome processes for your employees, producing more accurate configurations and quotes. That’s great news for them. It’s important to emphasize these positive new aspects to get buy-in from your staff. Focus on:

3. Address Concerns

The next best practice during the launch should be addressing the concerns of your staff and customers. Here’s how to ensure buy-in:
CPQ software is reshaping the future of manufacturing. We know launching a new system is a huge change, but it’s a change that will positively impact your company for years to come. Successful implementation strategies start with highlighting the benefits of a new system, and securing buy-in from both staff and customers. Of course, only the right solution can generate that kind of excitement.

Learn more about what a leading-edge CPQ system can do for your company by scheduling a Revalize demo.