The manufacturers we talk to always ask the same question: “How can we maximize our ROI from our investments in CPQ?” Our answer is always the same: “Integrations.”
ERP integration is the most crucial integration for manufacturers of configurable products. Why? Because it unites your front- and back-office systems. It ensures CPQ’s positive impact is felt in all business areas.
Integrating CPQ with Epicor–the software backbone of some 27,000 companies–provides a single source of truth that enables management to visualize and control the entire engineer-to-order process from a single dashboard. Pooling data and storing it centrally eliminates silos, manual re-work, and other inefficiencies.
This article explores some of the benefits of CPQ and ERP before explaining how integrating CPQ with Epicor can produce huge returns in terms of revenue, sales cycle speed, and productivity.
Why Should Manufacturers Invest in CPQ ERP Integration?
The Benefits of Epicor CPQ
CPQ automates product configuration, pricing, and quoting processes for manufacturers of complex configurable products. It cuts complexity from the sales-to-manufacturing process and empowers end customers to self-serve.
CPQ is built on top of product rules–the logic that dictates how products should be configured and priced. All sales reps or end-customers need to do is enter their requirements into the system. CPQ then outputs a configuration, a price, and a quote document, facilitating an immediate purchase (or at least speeding up the process.)
With Epicor CPQ–a visual CPQ solution–users configure products using a visual product configurator. The configurator provides 3D product renderings that users can interact with to build products on-screen. They can change anything from colors to parts and watch as their creation comes to life.
Epicor CPQ also features CAD and manufacturing automation, which means in addition to producing quotes, it generates sales drawings, CAD files quotes, BOMs, and CNC cut sheets for engineering and the shop floor. Whatever information is needed to serve customers more quickly can be generated automatically by Epicor CPQ.
The Benefits of Epicor ERP (Kinetic)
An ERP system is a set of business process management tools that companies can use to manage all of their data and business intelligence. It integrates every part of a business into one cohesive and comprehensive information system accessible to every department organization-wide.
ERP serves as an instantly accessible, centralized source of real-time data. It provides data-driven insights that enable employees to make faster, more accurate decisions. It makes manufacturers more agile and flexible in the face of rapidly changing markets and customer needs.
Epicor CPQ provides business leaders with real-time visibility into their operations, accessible from everywhere on any device. It gives employees the tools and process automation needed to excel in their roles and achieve their potential, improving productivity and collaboration among teams and third-party vendors.
Why Integrate CPQ with Epicor?
Integrating CPQ with Epicor combines your front-office processes like configuration, pricing, and quoting with your back-office functions like finance and accounting, production management, warehouse management, business intelligence, inventory management, supply chain management, and more.
Suppose you aim to have CPQ automate your entire engineer-to-order process from shopping cart to shop floor and beyond (as you should). In that case, your CPQ solution needs access to real-time data from every department, which it gets by integrating with Epicor–your primary data repository.
Without ERP CPQ integration, sales reps have to exchange information between systems manually, which is slow and error-prone. For example, a sales rep configuring an order for a customer might have to reach out to the warehouse or supply chain management team to check whether materials are in stock, and if not, when they might arrive.
However, with ERP CPQ integration, reps have this information at their fingertips, so they can act decisively and provide customers with a fast, frictionless experience that increases satisfaction and win rate.
Manufacturers can even set up product rules to take information like inventory levels, lead times, and live pricing into account. Rules can automatically steer sales reps towards configuration choices that make the most sense to all parties based on the current selling environment, customer history, and past performance.
Why Integrating CPQ with ERP Is More Crucial Now Than Ever (The Self-Serve Imperative)
As we all know, the average B2B buyer has changed. Today’s buyers live in a world of always-on accessibility, instant gratification, and Amazon-level customer experiences. The majority are Millennials who have grown up on the internet and feel more comfortable transacting online than in-person.
Combine a growing preference for online shopping with a global pandemic that has curtailed face-to-face sales interactions and business travel, and you have a recipe for a meteoric rise in B2B eCommerce. Today, 70-80% of B2B buyers prefer remote sales interactions and self-serve.
Visual CPQ is an ideal self-serve solution. With Epicor CPQ, manufacturers can easily embed a visual product configurator into their website and let visitors configure products independently with zero input from the sales or engineering team. Product rules ensure configurations are optimized and error-free.
However, for CPQ to work seamlessly in self-service scenarios requires integration with ERP. Only through integration can CPQ pull all of your essential business data and information to give customers the information they need to place an order or check the status of an existing one. Crucial information might include stock levels, delivery costs, order history, and outstanding invoices.
If a lack of readily available information forces eCommerce customers to reach out by phone or email, they’ll just visit one of your competitors instead. Most likely, they will have a wealth of alternatives just a click away.
What ERP CPQ Integration Can Do For Your Business
Here’s a list of benefits you can expect from combining Epicor’s CPQ and ERP solutions:
- Customers using visual product configurators can access live inventory levels and lead times. Never again will you sell a product that you thought was in stock, only to find out later that it wasn’t.
- A single source of information eliminates back and forth between sales, engineering, and manufacturing, providing a seamless experience for customers. Having all of your data in one place makes for more accurate forecasting and insightful reporting. Plus, no more duplication errors.
- Data silos are broken down, enhancing collaboration and communication, minimizing redundancy and re-work, and supercharging employee performance.
- Syncing CPQ and ERP reduces the need for manual data entry, saving time and eliminating opportunities for human error.
- System integration provides more opportunities for automation. Staff can play a more creative, strategic role in your organization when they’re not bogged down in repetitive, menial tasks. Plus, more work carried out by machine means a lower wage bill.