More efficiency, convenience and consistency. How ENGIE Netherlands optimizes the quotation process

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More efficiency, convenience and consistency. How ENGIE Netherlands optimizes the quotation process

Energy supplier ENGIE is dealing with a dynamic market in which, among other things, the energy transition creates different demands on internal processes and a flexible attitude in terms of product development and quotation processes. Matthijs Zuyderwijk, account manager Business Market at ENGIE Netherlands explains how the organization uses an optimized CPQ platform to stay one step ahead of the competition and what this involves. "In all phases of the CPQ process, it is important to take the customer needs as the starting point."

The challenge

From his role as account manager at ENGIE Netherlands, Matthijs Zuyderwijk notices the various developments within the energy market in recent years. Zuyderwijk: "As an energy supplier, we are dealing with the energy transition, which is currently in full swing. In practice, this means that we are moving towards a sustainable model, which includes green initiatives and we are working on concrete changes. A good example of this
is the transition from gas to electric. Such developments not only place new demands on the organization, but also introduce the necessary challenges. As an organization, you have to be increasingly flexible, for example in terms of product development."

In addition, ENGIE is noticing changes on the customer side. Several factors are responsible for this, including the significant increase in energy prices since mid-2021. Those increased prices have caused a large portion of customers to "wake up" and be more aware than ever of the impact that decisions have. "In this, we notice that the
confidence among customers has changed: costs are now considered more than ever and consumption is closely monitored," Zuyderwijk said.

"Customers are looking at cost and consumption more than ever."

More relevant than ever

In the past, ENGIE processed quotes in an SAP-based CRM software platform. Most of this process consisted of manual operations. Zuyderwijk: "That situation brought a number of disadvantages. For example, we had to deal with several Excel documents. That made the system error-prone. Moreover, the organization used different programs to arrive at the final quotation. A central environment with one uniform representation was missing. This suboptimal working method obviously also has implications for turnaround times. Within our organization, we have always strived to keep them as short as possible. Still, there was a risk that the lead time of a quotation could vary: after all, it was highly dependent on the specific colleague dealing with the quotation in question."

The chosen solution

ENGIE Netherlands concluded that there was room for optimization. The energy supplier initially found that with the switch to Salesforce and, in particular, Opportunity Management. "That optimization brought - literally - our customers into focus. Activities in the area of Case Management - around 2020 - additionally brought improvements into
momentum and further improved processes. We then started introducing Vlocity CPQ within the organization. The ultimate goal is to be able to phase out most of SAP CRM in the future."

ENGIE worked closely with CaseNine within the project. For example, the CaseNine team first worked with ENGIE to develop the vision for the process design of the quotation activities within B2B Sales. Based on this, the corresponding architecture was developed. The CaseNine team ensured that the process was given a logical place within the chain. The next phase for the CaseNine Engineers consisted of building the entire process: from opportunity to signed quotation and purchased products, including linked contracts in SAP.

ENGIE paid close attention to assembling the right team. In doing so, the energy supplier increased the chances that the Vlocity CPQ implementation would fit in as well as possible with the business processes right from the start. Matthijs Zuyderwijk comments, "The team included our sales managers, myself and experts from the Vlocity CPQ team. We also used multiple sessions to identify the needs as well as possible. Only after this did the actual development process begin. This approach will save you valuable time further down the road. It is important at all stages of the CPQ process to ask yourself what the customer needs are and base the choices on this."

"We used multiple sessions to identify the needs as best as possible. After this, the development process began. That saves you valuable time further down the road."

The result

The implementation of Vlocity CPQ brings several practical benefits to ENGIE. Zuyderwijk: "In the current situation, we simply need fewer systems to arrive at a quotation. While preparing the quotation, we work from one central window, in which all relevant information is available. Current prices are automatically retrieved and we only need to complete the necessary information, such as customer data and desired
product selection." To make this possible, CaseNine developed all relevant links to the existing systems.

In addition to improving process efficiency, the new situation also provides convenience for colleagues. By now, most product requests can be handled via the CPQ platform. An important role in this is also played by the standard templates, which ensure that a minimal set of data needs to be entered. "By now you have to do your best to make a mistake," Matthijs Zuyderwijk points out. Once a customer agrees to the quote, the Vlocity CPQ platform communicates directly with the system that sets prices.

Zuyderwijk appreciates for all the manner of cooperation with CaseNine. "Contact is an important condition during the cooperation, but especially the mutual alignment with each other. This takes good account of any difference that exists between the commercial and technical roles. We can quickly make our wishes known, but also agree with
coordinate with each other on what priorities the different questions have. Contact is also important during requests for help from end users, for example in urgent situations and at times when the 'normal route' for support is not fast enough. This not only ensures continuity, but also helps ensure acceptance within the user group."

"Once a customer agrees on the quote, the Vlocity CPQ platform communicates directly with the system that sets prices."

Looking to the future

In the future, the Vlocity CPQ platform will be further optimized and expanded. For this purpose, the team composition has also been reviewed. In addition to the development team, ENGIE uses a so-called Continuous Improvement Team. Zuyderwijk: "This team has a strong focus on process optimization. Currently, a weekly rollout is done. This enables us to make timely adjustments and implement changes relatively quickly."

One piece of advice for other organizations considering a CPQ solution, Matthijs also has. "Fair is fair: for many organizations, introducing a new system is a challenge. Make sure you know in time what the changes entail. You can then discuss them in an efficient way with your colleagues and avoid the change being seen as a development 'pushed through from on high'. In this way you ensure that colleagues really help each other and support is created."

Want to learn more about the real-world benefits of a CPQ solution? Read more background information here.

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Matthijs Zuyderwijk


Matthijs Zuyderwijk is an Account Manager at ENGIE Netherlands. He was closely involved in the CPQ implementation.

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