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