More efficiency, convenience and consistency - How ENGIE Nederland optimizes the quotation process

More efficiency, convenience and consistency - How ENGIE Nederland optimizes the quotation process

Energy supplier ENGIE has to deal with a dynamic market, in which, among other things, the energy transition creates different requirements for internal processes and a flexible attitude in the field of product development and quotation processes. Matthijs Zuyderwijk, Business Market Account Manager at ENGIE Nederland explains how the organization stays one step ahead of the competition with the help of an optimized CPQ platform and what that entails. “It’s important to take customer needs as the starting point in all phases of the CPQ journey.”

The challengeScreen Shot 2022 06 13 at 10.31.25 AM

In his role as account manager at ENGIE Nederland, Matthijs Zuyderwijk has noticed that various developments have taken place within the energy market in recent years. Zuyderwijk: “As an energy supplier, we’re dealing with the energy transition, which is currently in full swing. In practice, this means we’re moving towards a sustainable model that focuses on green initiatives, among other things, and we’re working on specific 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 adopt an increasingly flexible attitude, for example, in the field of product development.”

In addition, ENGIE notices changes on the customer side. This can be attributed to several factors, including the significant increase in energy prices since mid-2021. These increased prices have ensured that a large proportion of customers have ‘woken up’ and are more aware than ever of the impact of decisions. “We notice that customer confidence has changed: now more than ever, they closely monitor costs and consumption”, says Zuyderwijk.

“Now more than ever, customers closely monitor costs and consumption.”

More relevant than ever

In the past, ENGIE processed quotations in a SAP-based CRM software platform. The majority of this process consisted of manual operations. Zuyderwijk: “That situation had a number of disadvantages. For example, we were dealing with various Excel documents. That makes the system prone to errors. In addition, the organization used various programs to arrive at the final quote. We were lacking a central environment with one uniform view. Of course, this sub-optimal working method also has implications for lead times. Within our organization, we’ve always aimed to keep these as short as possible. However, there was a risk that the lead time of a quote could vary: after all, it was highly dependent on the specific colleague who was involved with the quote in question.”

The chosen solution

ENGIE Nederland concluded there was room for optimization. The energy supplier initially found this by switching to Salesforce and in particular with Opportunity Management. “That optimization – literally – brought our customers into the picture. Activities in the field of Case Management – around 2020 – have also accelerated the improvements and further improved the 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 on the project. For example, the CaseNine team first worked out the vision with ENGIE forenergy the process design of the quotation activities within B2B Sales. The associated architecture was developed on the basis of this. The CaseNine team ensured 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 quote and purchased products, including linked contracts in SAP.

ENGIE has paid a lot of attention to putting together the right team. The energy supplier thus increased the chances of the¬†Vlocity CPQ implementation matching the business processes as closely as possible from the start. Matthijs Zuyderwijk: “The team included our sales managers, myself and experts from the Vlocity CPQ team. We also organized several sessions to map out the needs as well as possible. Only then did the actual development process begin. This approach saves you valuable time later in the process. In all phases of the CPQ process, you have to ask yourself what the customer needs are and you must base your choices on this.”

“We also organized several sessions to map out the needs as well as possible. After that, the development process started. This approach saves you valuable time later in the process.”

The result

The implementation of Vlocity CPQ brings several advantages for ENGIE in practice. Zuyderwijk: “In the current situation, we simply need fewer systems to arrive at a quote. During the preparation of the quote, we work from one central window, in which all relevant information is available. Current prices are automatically retrieved and we only have to fill in the necessary information, such as customer data and desired product choice.” To make this possible, CaseNine has developed all relevant links with the existing systems.

In addition to improving process efficiency, the new situation also provides convenience for colleagues. Most product requests can now be handled via the CPQ platform. An important role is also played by the standard templates, which ensure that a minimum set of data has to be entered. “Making a mistake really takes an effort now”, Matthijs Zuyderwijk says. As soon as a customer agrees to the quote, the Vlocity CPQ platform communicates directly with the system that determines the prices.

Zuyderwijk particularly appreciates CaseNine’s collaboration method. “Contact is an important condition during the collaboration, but especially the mutual coordination with each other. You take into account the possible difference that exists between the commercial and technical roles. We can make our wishes known quickly, but we can also coordinate the priorities of the various questions. Contact is also important during requests for help from end users, for example, in urgent situations and times when the ‘normal route’ for support is not fast enough. This not only ensures continuity, but also helps acceptance within the user group.”

“As soon as a customer agrees to the quote, the Vlocity CPQ platform communicates directly with the system that determines the prices.”

A view on the future

In the future, the Vlocity CPQ platform will be further optimized and expanded. The composition of the team was also re-examined for this purpose. 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, there is a roll-out every week. This enables us to make timely adjustments and implement changes relatively quickly.”

Matthijs also has advice for other organizations that are considering a CPQ solution. “Let’s be honest: for many organizations, the introduction of a new system is a challenge. Make sure you know in time what the changes entail. You can then efficiently discuss them with your colleagues and prevent the change from being seen as a development ‘pushed by the powers that be’. This way, you ensure colleagues really help each other and that support is created.”

Do you want to know more about the benefits that a CPQ solution offers in practice? Click here for more background information about CPQ or contact us directly for a consultation. 

Matthijs Zuyderwijk
Author // Matthijs Zuyderwijk

Matthijs Zuyderwijk is Accountmanager at ENGIE Netherlands. He was closely involved with the CPQ implementation project.

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