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Special requests procedure

Your situation

Your company has good relations with a number of loyal customers representing a considerable volume of orders. It’s only natural that you go that extra mile for them – you don’t want to have to refer them to someone else for that work. Nevertheless, you’re not happy with all those special requests, which quite often cause trouble in production. All things considered, it has already cost you a great deal of money, more than you’re happy with. But your customers insist, so you don’t really have a choice. You’ve already encountered delays in delivery times and stoppages in production because nobody knew exactly what they should be doing. The production costs for another special request were so high that you didn’t actually dare to charge them to your customer and it ate up quite a large chunk of your margin.

One special request still haunts you to this day. It was an unconnected service that you are forced to continue providing, even though you agreed on a price that was much too low. It doesn’t benefit you at all – in fact, it costs you, because it involves a considerable number of engineering and service hours. You would love to ditch it, but how do you come up with a suitable solution?

The solution

Sofon is designed to enable you to make your quoting procedure for customer-specific quotes supremely efficient and repeatable. At the same time, it offers you the option to create an inventory of a special request and factoring it into the quote without it interrupting the quoting procedure or the production – an extra product that you must manufacture separately, for instance.

When a special request crops up, it sets off a work flow towards the engineers or other experts who are responsible for assessing this exceptional request.

All of this is carried out according to a transparent process so that the status of the special request can always be traced. The responsible staff then links it to a price and delivery time. Next, they record the solution in Sofon as an isolated part of the quote so that it can never be lost or forgotten. The full quote is only released once the special request has been assessed and registered.

The special request can also be rejected, for example, if it’s unfeasible, if it’s too expensive, or if it means the technical aspects of production will be subjected to too many disruptions. That report will then also be entered into Sofon. In that way, the member of the sales staff will then know that he or she should refer the customer to someone else for that product.

The advantages for you

  • You can avoid special requests that leave you out-of-pocket due to the disruptions in your production process. This in turn enables you to prevent your margins from disappearing.
  • You can avoid upsetting your customers due your sales people making promises that you can’t keep in terms of production.
  • Your quoting procedures will run smoothly despite special requests.
  • You can consider all the aspects carefully before you decide to take on a special request because your experts have assessed them.
  • You will never forget or lose special requests.
  • You can avoid getting stuck with years of maintenance for special requests that cost you a lot of money because your sales people have made promises too easily in quotes and contracts.

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You can improve all the aspects of solution definition as well as your special request definition by introducing smart processes: needs analysis, requirements management, calculations, solution design and visualization.