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Experts at work

A quotation is the way to answer a customer's questions. Obviously, a customer wants to minimise any risks involved in making a purchase. That applies even more in the case of a customised product or service, such as software-based solutions or machinery. The customer will then have a number of concerns:

  • Will the proposed solution be what I need?
  • Am I paying too much?
  • Will I get exactly what I ordered?
  • And will my order be delivered on time?
Wednesday, 26 September 2018 09:50

How competitive are your sales processes?

Manuel Bäumle
Written by

bottleneck sm enUp till now in my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many interesting companies and industries, for which I am very grateful. Over the years, however, I’ve found that my sales and project management successes are increasingly driven by modern work processes and digital tools which, as an employee, I cannot always influence. For example, I more or less had to learn that companies can lose sales potential and jeopardise market share by taking wrong decisions and investing in processes late.

Have you seen the diagrams illustrating the actual size of an iceberg? Most of it is hidden below the water. Misjudgements can then be catastrophic - as we all know since watching the film about the Titanic or learning about the misfortune involved in the original event. In the following discussion, I would like to clarify the reason why I see parallels to quotation preparation in this respect.

The solution used as a link between customers, sales and production is called CPQ (Configure Price Quote). Particularly in mechanical and plant engineering, this solution makes it possible to digitally map the business processes, substantially shorten the quotation process, and create ‘clean orders’ by means of error-free configurations.

An oft-heard misunderstanding is that Configure To Order (CTO) leads to a less diverse range of products on the market than Engineering To Order (ETO). The truth is quite the contrary: CTO leads to less internal diversity – fewer different article flows, fewer different engineering activities, and therefore lower costs and shorter delivery times – but to more external diversity. That has everything to do with the working of the human mind; in this case, the mind of sales.

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 08:18

Growth through a two level knowledge model

Peter Bergman
Written by
Interview with Senior Consultant Peter Bergman:
'Sofon provides a hybrid solution for clients with business units in various stages of the modular production process.'
... “The best thing about the job is seeing customers getting excited about the new avenues that my proposed solution opens.”
Thursday, 23 March 2017 08:03

Sales automation in practice

Geert van der Weide
Written by
... “If you take a high-level view, then the issues are very similar”
Wednesday, 08 February 2017 09:45

Value Roadmap in practice

Maurice van Hout
Written by
... „Software should be deployed following a vision“

When I visit our customers, they each tell a different story: they all do something 'unique' with Sofon.“
Thursday, 12 January 2017 07:55

Implementing quotation software

Klaas Jan Riezebos
Written by
..."Client specific, standardized as much as possible"

"I was recently at a company that supplies valves for power plants. They normally receive a request from a power plant and then make a quotation. Creating such a proposal sometimes takes them days, which results in significant costs."