Why Thoughtful CPQ Is Indispensable in 2022

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Why Thoughtful CPQ Is Indispensable in 2022

Shorter lead times, better overview, smoother response to changing market conditions: there are a variety of reasons why organizations increasingly recognize the importance of a well thought-out CPQ implementation. In conversation with Theodoor van Donge, who, as Lead Software Engineer at CaseNine, closely follows developments. "Whatever you do, always let the process be the starting point."

Why does a thoughtful CPQ implementation matter especially in this day and age?

"CPQ is about streamlining complex quotation processes and thereby, among other things, creating more overview and strengthening the organization's competitive position. This is more important than ever in 2022, especially if you take a look at the current situation at many organizations. The preparation of quotations is often still done manually. For example, complex - and therefore error-prone - Excel files are used to make calculations. We also often see that quotations are still prepared 'manually' in Word. Quotations are often printed on paper or scanned for further processing. Such processes are relatively slow. This way of working, combined with the high speed at which many markets are developing, is no longer appropriate. Organizations are finding that they can no longer afford it, and rightly so."

What trends and developments do you see in the area of quoting?

"We see many markets changing rapidly. A good example is the energy market, one of the pillars we focus on with CaseNine. This market - and many similar markets - especially in recent years has been characterized by new and innovative product forms, which follow each other in rapid succession. This is not surprising: the competition does not sit still and margins are constantly under pressure. In the energy market, for example, we are increasingly seeing innovative product forms where energy is charged on an hourly basis. Such developments place new demands on the quotation process. We also see an increased need for more flexible contract forms, for example with the aim of providing the end customer with a suitable proposal more quickly."

To what extent does a CPQ solution support changing requirements and market conditions?

"These very developments underscore the importance of a CPQ solution. After all, there is a need to reduce the amount of manual work within the process. It is also important to minimize the risk of errors."

Did you know.
A chain landscape map (KLP) acts as an effective capstone for establishing the product roadmap and creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). The KLP is created with the full team of colleagues who understand the process chain.

What can organizations expect at the start of a CPQ process?

"Prior to a CPQ implementation, an analysis phase is the starting point. In this phase, we meet with the relevant stakeholders at the client and map out the current situation. Among other things, we look at the products and the structure of the portfolio. Are product bundles being used, what characteristics do the products and services have? But also: what pricing methods are used and how is the margin determined in practice? My advice in this is to involve all relevant stakeholders within the organization in this phase, so that the knowledge is complete. This helps later in the implementation process and ensures that the system fits well with existing systems. At the same time, this ensures a high level of involvement of the employees within the organization. Always let the process be the starting point here: based on this, you can tailor the CPQ solution to the needs of the organization as well 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 often has legacy components that you simply must take into account. By taking the process as the basis, you ensure overview and the necessary buy-in from employees."

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Theodore van Donge

Tech Lead

Theodoor van Donge works at CaseNine as a Tech lead. In this capacity he is responsible for several projects at customers. Theodoor not only deals with the actual development and implementation, but also advises customers in the areas of process and strategy.

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