“Infor Product Configurator brings greater depth to our ERP and gives us a practical way to capture product knowledge in product models which guide order entry, ensure valid products and generate manufacturing information.”
Sometimes it seems our vehicles have more “special” features than “standard” features.
There are literally thousands of private, commercial, industrial and governmental niche markets for vehicles needed to perform highly specialized duties and tasks. From all-terrain recreational vehicles, to emergency response vehicles, to luxuriously-appointed buses & coaches, to crime scene laboratories, to pet grooming salons on wheels. While the total market is huge, it is too fragmented into thousands of niche markets that are too small to be profitably served by the large Tier 1 manufacturers such as GM, Ford, Navistar, and the like.
This creates an enormous opportunity for entrepreneurs to purchase stripped-down chassis & engine platforms from the Tier 1 manufactures and then using their insider knowledge and experience to build a custom solution for their favorite niche market. Only such entrepreneurships are nimble enough to address the custom and special features expected by their customers. The executive of a well-known firetruck manufactures once lamented that “we have never made the same truck twice.”
Infor Configure Price Quote (CPQ) provides a platform to manage the unique requirements of the Specialty Vehicle market. Most configurators do a decent job when the features, options, constraints and rules for a product are finite and well-defined, but not well at all when confronted with unanticipated special requirements. Infor CPQ is unmatched in its ability to address these problems; just ask us to prove it.
How Infor solutions can help
With the image-driven, easy-to-use Infor Configure Price Quote (CPQ), you can offer a buying experience to your customers that’s fast, visual, and accurate.
Infor® CPQ gives you the processes, rules, constraints, and associated data to meet your specific needs. You’ll have the power to create comprehensive product models that make selection and configuration of the most complex vehicles intuitive and error-free.
And since you can easily integrate Infor CPQ with your CRM, ERP, and CAD applications, you can capture all the knowledge about your customizable vehicles once, and share with everyone who needs it—anytime, anywhere.
With Infor CPQ, you get tools that help you:
Offer step-by-step consultation—With a guided quoting process, you can offer dealer-added options in a clear and simple way in direct consultation with the customer. Sales representatives and customers can both see relevant technical specifications of selections, such as seating choices, engine types, and other options—precisely when they are needed. You’ll be able to quickly and efficiently capture and validate exactly what the customer wants. And with a rules-based configuration engine, you can ensure that you assemble only valid configurations.
Provide a greater range of choices—A robust CPQ solution that supports all the different component types and configuration variables on the back-end allows you to support a wider variety of choices on the front-end. For instance, a Nordic bus company needs different types of tires and transmissions to deal with different weather challenges among its customer base. A tractor company might want a different tractor configuration for clay vs. mud. With Infor CPQ, you can organize and save core configurations for vehicles like these, as well as fire engines and ambulances. This means that you can use previous orders as a starting point, eliminating the need to start complex vehicle orders from scratch.
Provide better vehicle visualization—Because you’ll be able to dynamically generate and show customers 2D and 3D product representations of the vehicles they’ve specified, you’ll increase the likelihood that customers will buy. When buyers can compare pictures, the process of evaluating options becomes much simpler.
A trailer buyer, for instance, can see all dimensions clearly labeled, so that they know that their requirements have been captured. A fire chief can share a 3D model with municipality clients to win support for allocation of public funds. An engineer can dynamically generate 3D CAD models to walk a buyer through the differences in a product family.
Generate automated documentation— Streamline the sales and manufacturing processes by generating compelling quotes, accurate orders, and complete BOMs and routings—all personalized to customer and company needs. If a municipality orders a varied fleet of complex vehicles, it receives accurate, detailed documents immediately for simpler processing by an already-lean department. You’ll also be able to significantly reduce the number of bills of materials (BOMs) to just a few.
Simplify training, administration, and security— Minimize training with an intuitive user experience that helps guide sales representatives, step-by-step, through best-practice approaches. Simplify administration by being able to make changes to the configurator without IT help and being able to set security by using rolebased access.
Simplify processes and improve visibility with ERP integration—Transform the workflow of your entire business when you integrate Infor CPQ with your ERP system. You can also simplify order entry, accuracy, and billing—while accelerating support and service. In addition, you can reduce manual administrative work because you’ll have complete visibility into all vehicle options, up-to-the-minute cost and availability data, and detailed customer information.
Reduce materials shortages—By integrating Infor CPQ with your ERP system, you also gain the ability to pass open quotes to your demand planning software. By being able to consume open quotes, in addition to placed orders, you’ll get a more accurate picture of actual demand. As a result, your material planning execution will more closely match actual demand, and you’ll be able to reduce the likelihood that you’ll experience materials shortages—which could otherwise adversely impact delivery times and production costs.
Better navigate material price volatility—With the powerful, rules-based, Infor Product Configurator, you’ll be better equipped to deal with the price volatility of materials. You can capture multiple supplier price books in the Infor Sales Portal, which helps ensure that your pricing is fast, flexible, and accurate. With guided selling through Infor CPQ, you can also easily swap out materials for less expensive alternatives.
How you benefit
By simplifying the customization process with Infor Configure Price Quote, you can better meet your customers’ changing needs and offer a strong competitive advantage.
Not only can you give your customers increased ownership in the vehicle design process, you’ll also be able to let your salespeople respond to bids faster and focus more on relationships and problem solving. You can even showcase innovations more quickly by highlighting new features to customers. With Infor CPQ, you’ll be able to improve your brand’s reputation, speed up fulfillment, and get orders right the first time.