Our customer specializes in custom cabinets and countertop design, including installation of those products, our customer is a regional distributor operation in both new residential and commercial construction, as well as custom remodeling projects.
Providing quotes to customers for highly customizable products proves to be very challenging. An application must support variable product attributes that are selectable, limits subsequent selections based hierarchical relationships, ensures accurate item level pricing based on these selections and ensures the resulting item number (SKU) is 100% accurate for procuring the products, calculate taxes, manage fuel sur-charges, manage installation costs and interface to SAP’s Business One ERP system.
Our customer initially developed an Excel based template to support their Configure-Price-Quote needs. Although the spreadsheet worked reasonably well for providing a quote to customers it was fraught with other challenges. Version management of the Excel template proved to be very challenging, incorrect SKU’s were common resulting in dirty data created in SAP Business One, pricing was generally close but seldom 100% correct. As a result, every spreadsheet submitted had to be reviewed by the sending location’s administrative personnel. They were also printing out and manually managing the process through a series of folders for each step of the process. Additionally, every sales order created in SAP Business One from the spreadsheets had to be reviewed by the accounting department to correct pricing errors and add additional information the spreadsheet was unable to supply. The manual processes consumed approximately 40 hours per week of non-value-added manpower. The supplying manufactures also had to manually review the resulting purchase orders sent from Business One and interpret and correct the SKU’s based on the product description and then hand key the purchase orders into their system. This manual translation created opportunities for incorrect SKU selection and the delivery of incorrect items to the job site.
In addition to the costs related to the manual reviews and processing the Excel based solution was not scalable. It was only being used by a single location and could not be rolled out company wide. There was no visibility or access into the CPQ process as a whole. The current design did not ensure accuracy, repeatability, and could not support the business growth rate.
Approach and Discovery
Customer needed a software platform that would solve numerous application and business process improvement opportunities. The technology needed to have business rules, workflow, and reporting and dashboarding, and the ability to interface with multiple systems for data synthetization. The software also needed be a rapid delivery product that did not include programming skills for design. Our customer ultimately selected Configurable Management’s (CM) Decisions for SAP Solutions™ BPM software to design a best of breed Configure-Price-Quote application to replace the Excel template with a state-of-the-art web-based solution that would ensure accuracy, consistency, visibility, and scalability. Leveraging Decisions for SAP Solutions™, our customer now has a web delivered application that can be accessed by their sales team and executive management via any browser and platform (PC, tablet, smart phone) and can quickly create a customer quotation with 100% SKU and pricing accuracy. Upon notification of being awarded the business the quotation is automatically sent to SAP Business One and a sales order is created. Subsequently, Business One creates a purchase order(s) for the respective products and vendors.
The new CPQ application powered by Decisions for SAP Solutions™ has reduced the keystrokes required by the sales team to create a new quotation, streamlined communication with the customers, eliminated the manual processes and reviews, improved data quality and integrity with 100% accuracy for SKUS’s, pricing, taxes, etc., ensures process consistency, provides visibility (including Key Performance Indicator measurements), can be utilized by every company location, and will support exponential business growth. The design, testing, and implementation was completed within a few months with a single CM consultant. The ease of use of the application resulted it being readily accepted by the sales team making change management a minimal component of the project.
Return on Investment
It is estimated the project will have full ROI in eighteen-months based on labor savings alone.
Based on the success of the CPQ process, our customer is expanding the use case into the service order process. Configurable Management will simply enhance the CPQ design powered by Decisions for SAP Solutions™ to include service order processing. The project is estimated to take six to eight weeks including design, testing, and implementation. This investment is estimated to result in a 40-day ROI after implementation.