Blog Category: CPQ

Tacton CPQ for Mountable Accessories

CPQ for Mountable Accessories

When configuring manufacturing goods it’s important to go above and beyond just offering the basic product. Accessories are an essential part of the final use of the product, so why do many manufacturers make it so difficult to buy them? The right accessories are the icing on the cake that transforms a suitable solution into the perfect solution. Many suppliers, therefore, have an extensive catalog of optional accessories to meet the most individual customer requirements. This can present its own challenges without CPQ for mountable accessories.

The problem is that suitable accessories are often only offered after the product has been configured – and not during configuration.

The Module Variant Catalogs feature from Tacton CPQ provides a solution. This makes it possible to integrate mountable accessories directly into application-based Guided Selling.

The advantages of CPQ for mountable accessories:

  • The configuration engine ensures that accessories are 100% compatible with the currently configured product and can be assembled.
  • Mountable accessories (catalog) can be assigned to precisely defined positions on the configured product.
  • To make it easier for customers to select optional accessories, matching accessories can be displayed according to selected product properties.
  • When changes are made to the configuration, selected accessories that no longer fit the current product configuration are visually highlighted.
  • Selected accessories are automatically added to the parts list and priced.

Module Variant Catalogs in a practice test

A supplier of high-quality endoscopy equipment offers monitors to go with its equipment, but these are not manufactured in-house and therefore correspond to standard market sizes. In the past, the supplier only had a few selected monitors in its range to ensure that the monitor was also compatible with the configured endoscopy device. Over time, customer requests increased: more and more customers wanted to use monitors that were not part of the accessories catalog. In order to fulfill these customer requests, the supplier had to check each individual request and ensure that the monitor requested by the customer could actually be fitted. Effort and distribution costs increased.

The solution is called Module Variant Catalogs with Tacton CPQ: With the feature, the medical technology provider is no longer tied to a few monitor models. The provider can easily integrate complete product catalogs directly into Tacton CPQ. Based on defined product characteristics, models matching the currently configured endoscopy device are filtered and can be selected during the configuration process.

Today, customers can simply select the appropriate monitor from an extensive range. This increases both service quality and customer satisfaction. The provider, in turn, saves valuable resources because customer requests no longer have to be checked at great expense. This is done directly during product configuration by integrating product properties of the individual monitor models, stored in external catalog systems, directly into the configuration logic.

Discover how using CPQ module variant catalogs can help increase win rate, increase customer loyalty, reduce cost and errors, and more in our latest CPQ video! If you’d like to see more on Tacton’s products check out our other videos on our youtube page.

 

CPQ Success: Trusting the Configurator

Success with CPQ starts with trust

CPQ Success begins with Trust

Let’s face it when it comes to working habits, we all have our routines. From checking your inbox to seeing what the day holds to how you interact daily with customers and prospects. Change can come at a glacial pace at times for manufacturers. Adopting solutions like Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) is a challenge many manufacturers face after they purchase it. How can CPQ buyers get their teams to change habits that have formed over the years of both success and failure? Building trust with a product configurator is easier said than done. Let’s look at some tips on how to get your team to buy-in. 

Shift the sales mentality  

Think about the typical selling process for highly configurable products for a moment. A prospect connects with a request for your product. This product can have a lot of moving parts, use an elevator for example. How many buttons does it need? What are the accessibility requirements? How many floors?  

These and many more questions are needed to be answered before a sale can be complete. Your team has a way of dealing with this by going back and forth with the customer and engineering. This creates a lengthy inefficient process that takes time and can still be incorrect when it rolls off the assembly line. Not to mention your customer could change their mind at a moment’s notice. All these challenges cost time and money, but they still usually get the product to the customer, even if it’s at a discount. Which makes it important to both trust your sales team while giving them a solution that considers their experience and optimizes how they sell.  

Building trust between configurator and experience 

Building trust with any product isn’t an easy task. CPQ is no exception. With years of experience, your sales team has a defined way in which they sell, taking them out of their comfort zone isn’t something that is an overnight change. Bridging the gap between their excellent sales experience and a configurator is a way to not only trust your team but also show how much faster they can sell. With guided selling, it’s possible to shift the sales mentality by removing constant product reviews, while also accounting for changing customer demands.  

CPQ Success

Check out how our customer Burkert created a bridge between experience and product (free direct download!).

Preparing for CPQ: Creating compatibility between product and user  

The first step to creating a solution that enables success for all parties is to drive a constructive dialogue. At the end of the day all most people want is to control how they work, no surprises or unexpected errors. That’s why creating a seamless selling journey for your team and customer can build a process that gets deals done while engaging with the customer.  

Every sales journey is different, from returning customers to new ones. At the start of the process, it’s all about defining the end-product. What purpose will It serve? Does the customer know exactly what they want or just a general idea? CPQ with guided selling can answer one of these questions or all of them depending on the sales rep.  

Every selection shows the consequence of the action, added or removed products are shown in a bill of material that before CPQ was done manually and related to the role of the user. Now instead of your sales team relying only on their intuition, it’s possible to validate your customers unique needs. This creates a safety net of sorts, the more answers you have for the product, the more constraints are shown.  

Setting the expectations  

The more your team understands the product the better. Using CPQ enables your team to understand the product with or without in-depth experience. This helps everyone involved learn about the application of the final product. Analytics can show that one item is selling more than another, or one configuration is clearly more popular than another. Creating these realistic expectations can take the uncertainty out of the selling process.  

Interested in reading more? Check out our guide to the B2B Manufacturing Trends of 2021!

 

In closing  

Confidence takes time, your best sales rep has years of trial and error when selling to prospects. Every mistake was a learning experience that led to optimizing a manual sales process that would still take days to produce a quote. That’s why building trust with a product configurator is critical to long-term success selling to the new B2B buyer. The knowledge of your sales rep isn’t discounted, it’s optimized with CPQ, together they can use instincts built over years of selling while producing firm quotes in minutes instead of weeks.  

Interested in learning more? Schedule your personalized demo today! 

What is CPQ for Vehicle Manufacturing?

cpq for vehicle manufacturing

What’s unique about sales and product configuration in the heavy vehicles manufacturing industry (or in other words – CPQ for vehicle manufacturing)? 

I might be the person that has analyzed and spoken to most truck manufacturers in the world in relation to CPQ for vehicle manufacturing. I’ve met 7 out of the 10 largest truck corporations in the world. I thought I might summarize the unique requirements of this industry: 

Legacy 

All truck manufacturers are heavy users of semi-old legacy systems. They have all been configuring their products since the ’80s or ’90s. This means that whatever system (and specifically CPQ) you introduce – needs to be heavily adjusted to fit into the existing system landscape. Many of these systems are very specialized – and sometimes uniquely built for the manufacturers. Since they are often old, good APIs may be missing.  

Systemized BOM usage 

It’s quite common generally in the manufacturing industry to separate Engineering BOMs from Manufacturing BOMs. It’s also getting common to introduce a Service BOM. Since truck companies have been working with configurable products for so many years – they’ve systemized the usage of multiple BOMs.  

One thing that most truck manufacturers use is the concept of a Sales BOM (they might call it something else like ‘Variant Codes’). The idea is to separate the ‘As-sold’ BOM from the ‘As-delivered’ BOM. This also separates engineering updates of BOM-items from Sales. So only when engineering updates actually changes the function the customer receives – that’s the Sales BOM item is updated. This decreases the need for maintenance of CPQ during the product lifecycle.  

Localized needs 

The needs of the customers differ quite a bit between markets, due to environmental, regulatory, or cultural reasons. Local market offices have a big influence on all the three letters of CPQ (configuration logic, how to price the product, and the look-and-feel of the quotes).  

 This means that the global configuration needs to be created differently for each market – with market unique defaults and optimizations. Local accessories may be needed in addition to being included in the CPQ. 

 

 

 

Bodybuilder integration 

A truck is nothing without its body. And bodybuilders are usually local, specialized, and (most often) small companies. Ideally, the customer should be able to configure the vehicle and the body in one CPQ – but that requires a tighter co-operation between the two types of manufacturers.  

As a bare minimum, the CPQ needs to allow for sharing CAD-drawings for the bodybuilder before the truck is actually built. An easy workaround is of course to limit the configurability – and use semi-standardized drawings – but that limits the sales. Note that this does not only apply to mechanical CAD but also circuit diagrams etc.  

Calculations 

There are a number of calculations that need to be done as a part of the sales configuration (e.g. turning radius, weight distribution per axle, powertrain optimization). Some of these calculations are simulations. Let’s take the powertrain optimization: the optimal combination of engine, gearbox, and axle gears for specific usage of the vehicle can’t really be configured. Essentially you have to use heuristic rules to find the most likely good combinations – and then run an external simulation of the combinations. This means that the CPQ has to be ‘open’ for including these calculations – during runtime.  

Complex Configuration 

A truck consists of a large number of configurable options (500+), and each option can consist of many alternatives (20+). This means that the theoretical number of configurations is even larger than the most complex configurations. Most manufacturers solve this by creating ‘sub-models’ – a sub-set of the product which they let their sales reps offer. However, one big issue with this approach is that quite often neither the customer nor sales rep knows exactly which model is the optimal one.  

Traditional guided selling just doesn’t do the trick – because you might not be able to know the best model until you’re halfway through the configuration. The trick here is to let the user configure the whole product family at the same time – and let the configurator help the user find the optimal solution – not necessarily a predefined model.   

There are a lot of unique complexities in CPQ for the vehicle manufacturing and truck industry. These challenges are further complicated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With less time spent with actual customers in-person, vehicle manufacturers must find ways to engage and optimize their sales processes. With CPQ for vehicle manufacturing, it’s easier than ever to connect the end-to-end buying and selling journey through integrations, visualization, guided selling, and more. Learn more by scheduling your specialized demo with our truck manufacturing experts today! 

This originally appeared on CPQ.se written by Patrik Skjelfoss Principal Business Consultant at CPQ.se 

Before co-founding cpq.se Patrik worked with Tacton CPQ for 13 years focusing on Heavy Vehicles and Manufacturing Equipment. 

A little about CPQ.se 

CPQ provides a true competitive advantage for manufacturers. A smooth implementation of CPQ requires the right combination of experience and expertise. cpq.se has successfully carried out CPQ-implementation projects since 2001. This has led them to become experts in the field of CPQ. Today, many large organizations seek their consulting services for updating and expanding CPQ to new divisions and business areas. Their pragmatic approach to CPQ implementation invites their customers to identify their priorities in order to quickly deliver tangible results. 

CPQ.se is headquartered in Uppsala (near Stockholm), and provide their services to the entire northern European region. 

Tacton and Scania Automotive Celebrate 10 years Together

Recently Tacton and Scania celebrated 10 years of working together to sell their highly configurable automotive productsThis milestone is a testament to Scania’s goal of defining the future of manufacturing by using Tacton’s powerful configuration technology to improve internal operations that would enable a one-of-a-kind customer journey. Let’s take a look at how Tacton has been able to help Scania dealing with product configuration. 

Who is Scania? 

Scania is a leading supplier of solutions and services for sustainable transport (trucks, busses, engines). Service-related products account for a growing proportion of the company’s operations, assuring Scania customers of cost-effective transport solutions and maximum vehicle uptime. Scania also offers financial services Scania’s research and development is concentrated in Sweden, while production takes place in Europe and South America. 

How is Scania changing how vehicles are sold?  

Before Scania and Tacton started working together, Scania struggled to manage the inherent complexities of delivering a customized truck that met the exact requirements of the customers. Their configuration process was resource-intensive, often requiring entire engineering teams to get right. The process was known to be slow, with the occasional quoting error and misconfigurations. The process was costly, not just in monetary terms, but also in customer confidence. 

Errors aren’t acceptable to the B2B buyer because when they happen, customers are likely to find an option that can fulfill their needs. This of course leads to errors and unhappy customers which makes creating a cohesive internal experience even more important. Scania was no exception to these growing pains.  

Putting the customer first 

Working with Tacton has enabled Scania to simplify their product configuration in such a way that enabled them to build a configurator directly on their website. Using guided selling which creates an interactive dialogue based on the needs of the customer to find an optimal solution, Scania creates an experience that anyone, with or without product knowledge to find their perfect product.  

Interested in learning more?

Schedule your demo or sign up for our Tacton CPQ Test Drive!

Tacton CPQ Pricing: Protecting Deal Margins [Video]

Tacton CPQ Pricing Video

In our latest video, Tacton’s Per Rohdin discusses how Tacton CPQ Pricing can help protect deal margins when selling complex manufacturing products!

In our Tacton CPQ Pricing Video we discuss topics such as:

  • How to work with B2B manufacturing customers who are more demanding than ever
  • How Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions can help deal with processes that cause time-consuming and uncertain pricing estimates that discourage customer confidence
  • The connection between needs and technical solution to clarify the customer value
  • How to optimize pricing that’s in line with the expected business outcome of both buyer and seller

The Manufacturing Year in Review: A Shift to Customer-Centricity

Powerplant chimney

A Manufacturing Year in Review: The move to Customer-Centricity and Digitalization  

Let’s face it, the beginning of 2020 was dramatically different from where we are with less than a month left in the year. The pandemic has changed how we do everything about how we work, every industry has had to find new ways to work efficiently. Manufacturing has faced a difficult pivot, with many production lines having to close while searching for solutions to do more with less. 

We wrote our annual trends guide in January of this year, how do those look in retrospect?

Like the majority of people we couldn’t foresee the COVID-19 pandemic that would disrupt every industry, manufacturing included. Trends such as online customer self-service have increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. With more than 70% of B2B decision-makers preferring remote human interaction or digital self-service since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic (McKinsey), it stands true that self-service is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Effective sales tools was a trend we forecasted as well, solutions such as CPQ have seen an uptick in interest. G2 notes that searches for Quote-to-Cash software saw a 48 percent jump and CPQ software traffic increasing 22 percent in the first weeks of the pandemic alone. That gives support to the idea that CPQ software is increasing efficiency in manufacturing, and buyers are beginning to note the importance of accurate quoting, sales, and improved operations.

So, what has Tacton learned talking with our customers about not only the challenges of 2020 but the opportunities for 2021 and beyond? 

Now is the time to move online 

Every customer and prospect we’ve talked to since March has had one similar question, “what a customer empowered digital commerce journey can look like?” A simple answer would be to provide an exciting way to buy manufacturing products. A potential customer wants to interact with your products anytime and anywhere regardless of channel.  

That may seem impossible with highly configurable products, but it’s easier than ever with Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) softwareIntegrated directly into your website, CPQ can empower your customers, anonymous or not to build your products online, complete with powerful visualizationsWithout a smart CPQ system, it can be exceedingly difficult for you to provide a one of a kind online buying experience complete with automated and expedited quotes.  

(The new buying journey) 

Empowering anyone to configure products 

An issue many manufacturers have is making it difficult for anyone other than product experts to create valid, and optimized product quotes. Guided selling can empower anyone, regardless of product knowledge, to create optimized products. With a few simple questions based on what they need, customers can start the configuration process from anywhere.  Complete with visualization your customers can see what’s changed when they add or subtract certain product features. Guided selling isn’t just for customers. Your sales team will benefit by quickly being able to quote products regardless if they are a senior salesperson or new to the organization.  

Connecting end-to-end processes is more important than ever 

 Manufacturers have also struggled with silos in their business, sales, marketing, engineering and customer-service have had trouble staying on the same page. Disconnected processes lead to product order errors, disappointed customers and discounted products. Creating a way to work in comfortable environments for your teams. With the wealth of data from different systems, it can be difficult to leverage customer buying info into actionable insights. That’s why it’s critical to optimize the information flow from the various systems that are used. CRM, ERP, CAD and more can all be connected using CPQ integrations 

Opportunity is knocking are you ready?

With such uncertainty in the manufacturing industry, it may seem like now is the time to stand pat and weather the storm. But now is the time to invest in solutions that connect you better to your buyer by creating a way for them to buy from anywhere. Making it easier to buy will ensure your company gets to continue innovating while worrying less about order errors because using CPQ offers the optimal solution every time. Every year we see a further shift to customer-centricity, 2021 will no doubt demand manufacturers become more online and omnichannel.

Want to learn more?

Schedule your demo and learn how your company can become even more of a leader in the industry! 

What Can I Learn from a Tacton CPQ Test Drive?

tacton cpq prototype

A Tacton CPQ Test Drive may be the first step to your fully digital customer journey, what are the benefits?

Buying software products can be very similar to buying a car. You’d be much less inclined to buy a car sight unseen, without feeling how the car drives, stops, and even parks. So why would you buy software blindly? Especially one you may have never heard of such as Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) software. That’s why we’re excited to give you a chance to test-drive our industry-leading CPQ solution, built specifically for manufacturers. We launched this pilot program to give real users the chance to see why Gartner gave us visionary positioning on the Magic Quadrant, and why real users on G2 agree with the analysts. Which is why we launched a one of a kind CPQ test drive that lets manufacturers get under the hood of our industry-leading product. We’re confident you won’t want to miss this opportunity. But if you’re still on the fence we’ve created a list of a few reasons you should take a drive with us!

CPQ Software a quick definition

If you’re new to the CPQ space a definition may be needed to understand what exactly CPQ is. Configure, Price, Quote is a sales tool that helps companies produce 100% accurate pricing and quotes for highly configurable products. CPQ helps drive revenue growth by making it simpler, and faster to sell complex products. Improve efficiency with CPQ by automating processes and eliminating errors.

cpq test drive

 Learn more in our CPQ Software Fact sheet 

What is a Tacton CPQ Test Drive?

A Tacton CPQ test drives provide a way for manufacturers to learn more about Configure, Price, Quote technology, complete with their own product for free. This time-limited opportunity allows your own employees to have full control over a working CPQ environment and prove the business value of reducing quoting time from days to minutes.

Learn what the CPQ hype is all about

Manufacturers have learned a lot of lessons in 2020. The most important one is how to be agile in any selling situation. This has been exceedingly difficult with changing customer demand for fast, scalable, online buying experiences. With this need for innovation to help sell high variance products, manufacturers have turned to CPQ solutions to transform their operations while offering a unique omnichannel buying experience. Which makes our positioning as a Visionary on the Gartner Magic Quadrant Report for CPQ even more important for manufacturers.

New to the Gartner Magic Quadrant? Here’s What You Should Know*

Customer Reviews

We’ve also been named a Leader in the Fall 2020 CPQ Software Enterprise Grid by G2. Products in the Leader quadrant in the Enterprise CPQ Grid® Report are rated highly by G2 users and have substantial Satisfaction and Market Presence. This is an exciting way to learn how real users interact with our products!

Why is this important to manufacturers? 

With so many solutions out there it’s difficult to navigate which is optimal for manufacturers. Our CPQ solution enables manufacturers to visualize, build and sell products faster than ever. Enabling an omnichannel experience that is the envy of the industry.  

Experience a live CPQ system based on your product

Seeing a CPQ software demo is great, but usually, the first interaction isn’t with your products. But with our test drive, you’ll be able to see the value of CPQ with your own products. This will enable you to understand how CPQ can expedite your sales process for a transformative customer buying experience that empowers your sales and engineering teams to do more. All of this is done with Tacton’s own CPQ experts who have more than 20 years of experience working with manufacturers such as Husky, Yaskawa, ABB and Siemens. This internal knowledge will help shape how you see your CPQ project going forward.

Learn what it takes to set-up, administer, and maintain the leading CPQ solution in the industry 

Going behind the scenes with CPQ can show you the internal workings of the product for a better understanding of CPQ. Working together on this test drive will enable us to provide the knowledge, tips, and tricks to set up, and maintain your unique CPQ solution. This can help up key KPIs to measure the success of your future CPQ implementation. Setting these goals will help you understand the value CPQ can bring quickly to your organization.

Craft your own success story

Let’s face it, it’s incredibly difficult to get new software adopted across any business. Customer success stories can only go so far in convincing anyone to jump on board with you. The goal of this test drive is to make your solution appealing to not only you but your coworkers, C-Suite, and even partners. Offering a complete look at how CPQ enables you to do more for free can offer a low-risk way to introduce a game-changing piece of SaaS into your stack​. Pitching a purchase of CPQ will be a lot easier once you can show everyone in your organization how smoothly you’ve been dealing with high customer expectations while increasing margins with CPQ, eCommerce, and Guided Selling

The Tacton CPQ Test Drive is your chance to transform how you work

When opportunity knocks, you must answer the door. Working with Tacton on this test-drive is a unique, and rare opportunity to see how an industry-leading CPQ for manufactures works, all for free. This test drive will help you uncover insights about your readiness for a CPQ implementation, help you get an idea of the state of your product data, and prepare for your CPQ project in detail. Check out a quick preview below!

 

*[“This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Tacton.” Gartner, 2020 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Configure, Price, and Quote Application Suites. Mark Lewis, Dayna Ford, , 28 September 2020]

Why is the Tacton and Intershop Partnership Important to Manufacturers?

Tacton and intershop partnership

If you missed the latest news, Tacton and Intershop have partnered together to provide an end-to-end  B2B eCommerce buying experience for manufacturing customersOffering a truly omnichannel experience for buyers can make a difference with scarce customer demand on the market. Let’s look at how the Tacton and Intershop partnership can enable you to do more with less. Let’s start with a quick introduction to both companies. 

Who is Tacton? 

For over 20 years, Tacton has worked closely with manufacturers to navigate accelerating sales and improving operational efficiency when selling highly configurable products using Configure, Price, Quote and Visual Configuration software. CPQ software enables users to utilize self-service, guided (and remote) selling to accurately configure complex products and services for prospective customers quickly and accurately.   

Visualization helps customers see how their products will fit into their unique space, while also showing how each product feature interacts with one another. Finally, Design Automation enables engineering teams to ensure detailed 2D and 3D designs of configured products straight from your CAD system are correct. Reduce order errors, automatically generate configuration-specific drawings and manufacturing information for a seamless sales process. 

Who is Intershop? 

Intershop is an eCommerce solution provider that enables manufacturers and more to deal with the challenges of the new buying journey. For over 25 years Intershop has advised and supported companies in their digital transformation journeys by optimizing productivity and customer value.  

Intershop empowers manufacturing and wholesale companies to grow in a digital-first world by building unique digital commerce solutions. Servicing 300+ B2B customers around the world, Intershop’s cloud-based commerce technology has a proven track record of successfully digitalizing businesses with platform as reliable and future-ready foundation. 

Tacton and Intershop a partnership for a connected journey  

Now that you have a little more information about each company, we can discuss why this partnership is so important for manufacturers. While eCommerce has changed the buying journey for many industries, manufacturing has lagged due to high product complexity. Customers also expect a B2C like journey, one where they can quickly research and buy products without any contact with a sales team.  

Now working with Tacton and Intershop it’s easier for manufacturers to give a B2C-like buying experience for their customers. Setting up a product configurator directly onto a website will enable customers to quickly configure their unique product with stunning visuals included. With self-service included the customer can quickly bring items into the shopping cart provided by Intershop.  

This connected process will ensure quick, accurate and speedy buying like manufacturers have dreamed about. Enabling customers to buy on their own time will keep your teams closing deals fast while still working closely with offline buyers.  

Book your Tacton and Intershop demo 

Digital transformation starts online 

In closing, the buying journey is more difficult than ever. 74% of industrial buyers now research at least half of their purchases online (Accenture)With numbers like that its time manufacturers make it easier for their customers to buy products. While it sounds difficult, a strategic investment with Tacton and Intershop can lead to success even in the most difficult markets.  

With Tacton and Intershop, manufacturers can now deliver a full end-to-end digital commerce experience for customers buying highly customizable products. Ready to see it for yourself? Schedule your personalized demo today.

Watch the full demo Intershop & Tacton demo here: 

The Rise of eCommerce for Manufacturing

The demand for eCommerce for manufacturing has rapidly changed from a low priority to a top priority in the past decade alone. With nearly every industry shifting to an online buying journey it’s critical for manufacturers to offer a fully integrated eCommerce journey for customers.

While this is commonplace in other industries such as retail, eCommerce for manufacturers has at times been a long, slow journey. Many manufacturers are wondering how we got to this point and are looking for ways to transform how they deal with online selling, to understand where eCommerce for manufacturing is going, we must understand how we got here.

A global pandemic and a shift in buying power

Let’s face it buying highly configurable manufacturing products hasn’t ever been easy. Without reliable internet and cell phones, manufacturers we’re in a good spot selling products in-person to their valued customers. In the past when searching for product buyers would find themselves in the office of the sales team discussing product specifications and pricing. That info would be sent to engineering, CAD modelers to create a final product. This old way would lead to misconfiguration, disappointed customers, and discounts to keep their business.

Now that the majority of buyers are Millenials with access to the internet and buying power directly on their cell phones it’s no longer feasible to only sell in-person and compound that with the ongoing pandemic pivot to online sales, selling isn’t going to go back to the way it was.  54% of millennial buyers make purchases online (Martech). With an estimated 72 million Millenials in the United States alone, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that buying power has fundamentally shifted to individuals who have grown accustomed to a B2C buying experience.

ecommerce for manufacturing

A shift from in-person buying to online has accelerated faster due to COVID-19

An expectation of Self-Service

With the accuracy needed for custom product quotes it’s important to implement products like CPQ as a solution that enables eCommerce for manufacturing. Proving fast accurate products will help customers get what they need when they need it.  This has created a shift that enables customers to buy using self-service without interacting with a sales team. Enabling an online shopping cart makes it easy for customers to buy from home, the warehouse, or in the field for an expedited process. A great self-service experience for manufacturers will highlight the value of any specific product.

Discover how Tacton is helping manufacturers achieve their eCommerce goals with CPQ and visualization in our upcoming webinar! EU, North America

A move towards a seamless experience

Omnichannel has been a popular buzzword across industries for the last few years. Simply put an omnichannel experience for manufacturing customers creates a seamless, multi-touchpoint buying experience. Manufacturers have failed to create an experience that is like Amazon or big retailers, which lets them know the status of their products after a purchase.  87% of customers think brands need to put more effort into providing a seamless experience. (Zendesk) With that in mind, many manufacturers’ have shifted to creating an omnichannel experience that will keep the customer close, informed, and ready to buy again.

Customers want to have a unified experience that gets them their products from any channel at any time. Your customers want to be able to check the status of every order whether it’s in design, in production, or being shipped to their office. Without a connected experience, customers will opt for companies that let them know every detail about the product they’ve purchased.

Putting the product at the center of the eCommerce journey

Product information is nearly as important as the final product that’s delivered to your customer’s door. But many manufacturers have failed to give anything more than text-based product descriptions coupled with CAD drawings to their customers. Ask yourself a simple question, when was the last time you bought any product site unseen? Without proper visuals in an eCommerce shopping cart manufacturers will continue to struggle selling to an increasingly demanding customer pool. That’s why it’s important to enable customers to be as informed as possible about your product offering by giving them visuals and tech specs. Visual configuration for manufacturers has made it easier than ever to not only give visuals but let customers build their own products that are 100% configurable. This will lend trust to your business while also providing a new exciting way to showcase your products, online, anytime.

The change is here are you ready?

Simply put, if manufacturers fail to offer an eCommerce journey for their customers they will struggle to sell and ultimately lose to the competition who enable an exciting and easy buying journey. With so much at stake it’s time to start looking for solutions that transform how to sell highly-configurable products. Setting up an eCommerce solution coupled with CPQ can help make your business the envy of the industry by creating quick, accurate quotes that can be sold bought and sold online.

Ready to learn more? Schedule a demo with one of our CPQ and eCommerce experts today!

The Secret to Customer Centricity When Selling Manufacturing Products: Buyer Enablement

manufacturing buyer enablement

Manufacturing Buyer Enablement begins with a reshaping of behaviors

I think we can all agree that buying behaviors and expectations have evolved over the years thanks to the highly personalized experience B2C shoppers get when making purchases. As a rule, customers want the highly personalized B2C-like buying experience they have grown accustomed to in their everyday life… but now they want it when in their B2B experience as well. 

Whenever I speak with a customer or prospects– digital transformation is always at the forefront of the conversation.  We talk about the digitalization of internal processes, how to become more operationally efficient, how to speed up sales, improve or protect margins, etc. Some of our largest customers would talk about digital commerce, but consider it “phase two” or say, “we’re not there yet.” However, they always know they will need to get there. 

The current economic state has changed one thing about these conversations: Virtually all customers and prospects now talk about digital commerce. They inquire about ways to increase their web presence, leveraging digital investments, extending sales tools to other channels, and how to simplify their selling processes. They need to make it easier for their customers to buy their products for both standard and highly customized. 

Anyone reading this from the industry knows that traditionally the buying experience for these types of products is high-touch, very complicated, and often times disjointed. Partner that with recent economic uncertainty, social distancing practices, and unease about travel– there’s a new sense of urgency to digitalize quickly!  

Disrupting the traditional manufacturing buyer enablement maybe the next step for many 

In an increasingly competitive market paired with all the uncertainty, it’s created a demand to re-imagine a B2B buying experience that completely transforms the way customers are buying the complex products you manufacture.  

The leaders in your industries, and many of our customers, are already using or planning to use disruptive technologies to meet the demands of customers that are conducting business across channels, with a focus on buyer enablement online.

While there was a movement of your buyers to online channels prior to the pandemic, I started seeing a huge acceleration earlier this year as travel halted and more of our daily business was conducted digitally. All our customer concerns and curiosities about how to meet the moment were validated when Accenture released an updated report on the industry. 

According to new research from Accenture, the new normal has 74% of industrial buyers researching at least half their purchases online. This stat is clear proof that your customers are rapidly moving from offline to online interactions. By 2025, the same study reports 20% of all industrial manufacturing purchases will take place online. 

Learn how to challenge the manufacturing status quo in our upcoming Smart Commerce Summit: Customer Centricity in the Age of Disruption

Additionally, as millennials come into purchasing power, they are already accustomed to a B2C-like experience when they buy. I simply cannot imagine a scenario, pandemic accelerated or not, where younger generations purchasing primarily in any other way than primarily through online self-service channels. 

Whether you call it digital commerce, eCommerce, omnichannel leaders in your industries are already exploring and implementing a customer empowered digital commerce experience. If you are expecting to be a leader in your industry, you MUST invest in a buyer enabled digital commerce experience that meetthe needs of customers today and ensures continuous future growth. 

To learn more about what this can look like for leading manufacturers, reach out to us today and schedule your demo