04 Jun Engineer-to-order: Visualizing the back office
by Erich Rusch
One of the unique ways that Simplus can help you unlike any other Quote-to-Cash company on the planet is by taking traditionally complex, back-office, engineer-to-order processes and moving them further up into the front office. This is a trend that is capturing the attention of life science, manufacturing, and hardware providers alike because it gives your customers unprecedented visibility into not only what is being manufactured but also the options and specifications required for the final good. By combining specifications, the design automation process, and ultimately a visualization of the product, we’re taking the customer experience of buying in the enterprise to a whole new level.
In a typical engineer-to-order buying situation, customers are buying one-of-one products. This was the case for one of our customers, a leading manufacturer of custom-made buildings. For them, it means that the use case of the product is so specific that there are very few of the same type in existence. Customer requirements must be fed into a quoting tool to determine what products should be selected to comprise the solution and, out of that, custom-made components. Also, a detailed design file in the form of a blueprint or cut sheet must be created, along with manufacturing related data, to detail the product specifications fully. With engineer-to-order platforms, we can leverage CPQ to capture all the necessary attributes to build the basis of these files for us! No longer do you have to wait weeks for engineering to develop the specifications to meet the customer needs. Since most of the data is in the system already, we can automatically generate all these complex specifications on the fly!
Once these files are built automatically by CPQ, they can be automatically sent through Salesforce to be validated by the engineers. But the tedious and complicated process of drawing these files up from scratch is eliminated! Additionally, error due to manual processes is removed. Because of the complexity, part of the process is engineers manually validating the design as part of the approval process. But with CPQ, these approvals can be built directly into the quoting approval process. The collaboration to handle questions about the use case and ensure complete compatibility with the customer solution can all be managed on one platform—without having to leverage multiple lines of communication to finalize the quote!
The final point is that because we have all this great data that drives the attributes of the configuration—the bill of materials, specifications—we can, in real time, create a visualization of the customer’s final product. This allows the customer to see a high-quality, 3D visualization of the final product they will be receiving! In all of my time in quoting, this is one of the most compelling ways I’ve seen leveraged to gain the trust of the customer and the confidence to buy in these situations.
The business value of visualization, preceded by specification and design automation, cannot be overstated. The visualized, engineer-to-order approach improves customer experience by increasing loyalty and retention—ultimately resulting in faster quoting and greater revenue for your company.
Erich Rusch is Director of CPQ Presales Solutions at Simplus. Co-founder and CSO of CirrusOne until joining Simplus, Erich has years of experience in the CPQ space and has an unparalleled expertise in cloud solutions.
Are you ready to see how engineer-to-order can take your company to the next level? Let Simplus show you the way: we are the leading the market and are the only company with this innovative, engineer-to-order approach. Start building your journey today and call us at 833.SIM.PLUS.