Why Thoughtful CPQ is Indispensable in 2022
Shorter lead times, better overview, faster response to changing market conditions: there are many reasons why organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of a smart CPQ implementation. We are talking to Theodoor van Donge, who closely follows developments as Lead Software Engineer at CaseNine. “Whatever you do, always let the process be your starting point.”
Why is a smart CPQ implementation important and why now?
Theodoor: “CPQ is about streamlining complex quote processes, thereby creating more overview and strengthening the competitive position of the organization, among other things. That’s more important than ever in 2022, especially when looking at the current situation in many organizations. The preparation of quotes is often still a manual process. For example, complex Excel files are used to make calculations, which is prone to errors. And quotes are still drawn up ‘manually’ in Word as well. Quotes are often printed on paper or scanned for further processing. Such processes are relatively slow. This working method, combined with the high speed at which many markets are developing, is outdated. Organizations find they can no longer afford that, and rightly so.”
What trends and developments can you see in the field of quotations?
“We can see that many markets are changing rapidly. A textbook example is the energy market and in fact one of the pillars which we focus on with CaseNine. This market and many comparable markets have been characterized by new and innovative product forms that follow each other in rapid succession, especially in recent years. And that’s not surprising: the competition isn’t sitting still either and margins are under constant pressure. In the energy market, for example, we’re more and more seeing innovative product forms in which energy is billed on an hourly basis. Such developments place new demands on the quote process. We also witness an increased need for more flexible contract forms, for example, with the aim of providing the end customer with a suitable proposal quicker.”
To what extent does a CPQ solution support the changes in requirements and market conditions?
“It’s precisely these developments that underline the importance of a CPQ solution. After all, there’s a need to reduce the amount of manual work involved in the process. It’s also important to minimize the risk of errors.”
Did you know?
A chain landscape map (CLM) acts as an effective framework for drawing up the product roadmap and the creation of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The CLM is drawn up with the entire team of colleagues who have insight into the process chain.
What can organizations expect at the start of a CPQ process?
“Prior to a CPQ implementation, an analysis phase acts as starting point. In this phase, we visit the customer together with the relevant stakeholders and map out the current situation. We inspect the products and the structure of the portfolio, among other things. Does the customer use product bundles? What properties do the products and services have? But also: what pricing methods are used and how is the margin determined in practice? My advice is to involve all relevant stakeholders within the organization in this phase, so the knowledge is complete. This helps later on in the implementation process and ensures the system ties in well with existing systems. At the same time, you ensure a high level of involvement of the employees within the organization.
Always let the process be your starting point: based on this, you can tailor the CPQ solution to the needs of the organization as much as possible. The secret of a successful CPQ solution consists of a combination of a stable basis, supplemented with the necessary customization applicable to the specific organization. Every environment is different and in practice, it often has legacy components that you simply have to take into account. By assuming the process as basis, you create an overview and obtain the necessary buy-in from the employees.”
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.