What Is CPQ Technology?
CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote, and it refers to a technology solution that helps companies automate and streamline sales. In addition, best-in-class solutions like Epicor CPQ optimize engineering and shop floor processes, creating a digital thread that connects the end-to-end engineer-to-order workflow.
Let’s look at how CPQ works…
CPQ Technology Automates Sales
With CPQ technology, companies selling configurable products can build their own visual product configurators. These configurators enable sales reps and customers to configure products by selecting, dragging and dropping options, parts, and features. A 3D render of their finished product comes to life on-screen as they do so.
CPQ technology also automates pricing. As users configure products, prices are calculated in real-time based on various factors such as volume, promotions, and customer discounts. Sellers can decide whether they want to display this information to customers (so they can place an immediate order) or keep prices hidden so they can be worked on by sales reps and approved by management.
The final hurdle in the sales process is quoting, which takes sales reps an excessive amount of time. Often they have to crack open Excel and start plugging away. With CPQ technology, they don’t have to worry about fat-fingering the spreadsheet and causing an embarrassing pricing mistake; the software generates an error-free, beautifully-designed quote automatically, again in real time.
Epicor CPQ Brochure
The way that companies quote, sell, design and manufacture products has fundamentally changed. Epicor CPQ is different too, and this brochure distinguishes it from other CPQ solutions.
CPQ Technology Automates Engineering
Once the configuration process is complete, CPQ routes the captured product information over to your engineering department and kickstarts the most time-consuming engineering tasks. It automatically generates sales drawings, CAD files, and BOMs, freeing your engineering resources to work on more strategic jobs and R&D.
We mustn’t take our engineers for granted in today’s limited labor market. If your engineering team devotes much of its day to creating CAD files, your company needs to use its engineering resources better. If engineers are bogged down in transactional work, they’ll look elsewhere for employment.
CPQ Technology Automates the Shop Floor
Not only does robust, visual CPQ technology automate sales and engineering, but it can also automate the manufacturing process. It can generate assembly guides, CNC cut sheets, additive manufacturing files, and more, like it auto-generates quotes, drawings, and CAD files.
This shop floor automation closes the loop on the engineer-to-order process, supercharging speed and efficiency. A process that once took weeks (configuring the product – liaising with engineering over designs – seeking pricing approvals – creating BOMs – sending information to the shop floor – and all the mistakes and back and forth that go along with these highly manual processes) can now be performed in seconds, with 100% accuracy. Talk about a game-changer.
Why Do You Need a CPQ Integration Platform?
A robust CPQ solution like Epicor CPQ can carry out the engineer-to-order process single-handedly. But it’s even more effective once integrated with your other software solutions.
Chances are, you’re already running back-office systems like ERP, CAD, and CRM, and you’ll want to integrate these with CPQ so that all of your systems are updated automatically and constantly in sync.
A CPQ implementation platform, as the name suggests, lets you integrate all of your applications, systems, and solutions into CPQ, creating a single source of truth for your business. Once connected, you can push and pull information between them all, creating frictionless workflows that automate many of your day-to-day activities.
The easiest way to integrate is using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces.) APIs are an intermediary that allows applications to talk to each other, share information, and work in tandem.
With APIs, you can connect cloud solutions with a single click. Because of how APIs are designed, you don’t have to worry about a new integration destabilizing your existing IT infrastructure. And you can easily add and remove solutions as new applications come to the market, keeping your tech stack future-proof and up-to-date.
Integrating software solutions can bring many benefits, making it a wise choice for businesses looking to improve their operations. Some of the key reasons to consider integration include the following:
Streamlined Workflows: Solutions can communicate with each other and share data, reducing manual data entry, saving time, and reducing errors.
Improved Accuracy: Data is consistent across all systems. Every team makes decisions using the same up-to-date information, which enhances strategic decision-making.
Cost Savings: By integrating your software, you can gain access to high-quality data and enable your solutions to work together seamlessly. This enhances the performance of your software investments and increases your return on investment (ROI).
You Should Integrate CPQ With These Solutions
The advent of APIs and any-to-any integration made connecting CPQ to hundreds of other software applications possible. Below are the integrations with the most significant net positive impact on your efficiency, customer experience, and revenue-generating ability.
By leveraging the wealth of customer data stored in your CRM, you can enhance your sales experience by personalizing it for your customers. You can utilize a customer’s purchase history to provide intelligent recommendations during the configuration process and suggest timely upsells and cross-sells.
By tracking their interactions with the configurator and identifying where they drop off, you can follow up with them by phone or email with a better understanding of their interests. You can conveniently store quotes against the customer’s record for easy retrieval.
CPQ and ERP integration ensures all your product, inventory, customer, supply chain, and financial data and routings are shared. So the information only needs to be managed in one place and is synced organization-wide.
Integrating CPQ with your eCommerce platform should be a priority for any manufacturer that wants to sell online. Sellers can embed their visual product configurator into their website, enabling a global customer base to self-serve and place orders whenever and wherever they like.
Integrating a solution like AutoCAD or Solidworks with CPQ enables automation of the most time-consuming and frustrating engineering tasks, like creating CAD files for configurations that don’t get used.
AR and VR Integration
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) integration take visual product configurators to the next level. They make the configuration experience fully immersive, attracting, engaging, and persuading prospects and customers to spend.
With AR, buyers can overlay virtual objects onto the real world to visualize how finished products will look in their intended setting. VR transports buyers to a simulated environment, where they can view and interact with products in a way that resembles reality.
Takeaway: The Importance of Integration in CPQ Software Implementation
When implementing CPQ, it’s crucial to consider where you can integrate. The right integrations can enhance the power of your CPQ solution, help you establish a single source of truth, drive efficiency and streamline workflows.
By sharing and syncing data automatically, you can align your entire organization and enable different departments to collaborate on projects and provide input.
With automated workflows, employees can remove themselves from time-consuming tasks and focus on moving their business forward for a stronger, more profitable future.
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