As part of the “Our Experts Answer” series, Revalize offers insight into the most pressing questions our readers have about selectors, CPQ tools, and the lead-to-order process.
The configuration portion of Select-Configure-Price-Quote (SCPQ) is often considered the most challenging part of the process. Every project features sensitive attributes and complex calculations. Any mistakes here will invariably produce inaccurate pricing and quotes.
That’s why it’s so important to choose a solution-provider that truly understands your industry, the equipment you manufacture, and how you sell it to the market. But with so many SCPQ solutions available on the market, what factors should you consider in your search? Here are four traits to look at when assessing an SCPQ solution for your mechanical equipment manufacturing business:
The best SCPQ solution will have your industry-specific requirements, rules options, and relationships baked into the configurator itself. Ideally, it will even offer a templated structure for easier setup, so you can get up and running faster.
For example, if you’re a pump manufacturer, you should look for a configurator that has the standard ~700 fluid possibilities pre-programmed into the platform’s configuration settings. Or, in lieu of these baked-in presets, a worthy platform will allow you to add them with minimal customization. Once you’ve gone through the selection process, you’ll be able to take the selected product and fit it into a broader solution.
Selectors and configurators work together, so solutions that easily integrate with each other are critical for maximizing efficiency. Most vendors sell a selector or a configurator but not both, placing the burden on you to integrate the two solutions. This can cost more time and money than what’s necessary, and create major problems if you’re not able to fit them together perfectly. You should prioritize selectors and configurators that are part of the same solution, not separate tools, so you can save yourself from a headache down the line.
Look for a configurator that can easily accommodate the various user types (resellers, direct sales, distributors, customers, etc.), while also offering a simple and intuitive user experience. All users should be able to select and configure with just guidance from the tool, and not have to worry about configuring a product that’s not buildable because of inaccurate logic presets. The ideal solution should allow everyone to configure quickly within well-defined guardrails for streamlined processes like generating price sheets, data sets, and quotes.
During the configuration process, the ideal solution should reflect all changes in real time across the bill of materials. That’s because one small change can, and often does, have implications for the entire configuration. With spreadsheets or other tools to build and price a solution, data entry errors that compromise the order often go unnoticed until much further along, resulting in delays and additional costs to make it right. With rules and relationships built-in — and updates reflected automatically in real time — you can be confident that when you go to execute, everything will still work as it should.
Ultimately, the solution you choose should meet most of your requirements right off the shelf and be able to accommodate any customizations easily by following a templated and prescriptive approach.
Don’t be afraid to try multiple solutions and see which one works best for your organization. Want to take Revalize for a test drive?