Blog Category: Sustainability

Sustainable Manufacturing and CPQ an Interview with Patrice Arnera

Sustainable Manufacturing and CPQ

Sustainable manufacturing with CPQ is an integral way to understand your products better while combating waste

Manufacturers alone contribute over 12% of the total CO2 emissions across the globe yearly. This number is raising global awareness and creating urgency to find ways to become more sustainable either by company choice or by government mandates. With these global imperatives, many corporations are searching for and investing in sustainable technologies.  

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) solutions are a big part of many companies’ sustainability practicesBeing able to provide digital transformative efforts can reduce waste, keep lean manufacturing goals, and more. At Tacton we’ve built our CPQ system to incorporate the environmental impact into our configuration process. While we recognize we have a long way to go to combat climate change, a meaningful digital strategy powered by CPQ is an integral part of that process.  

Recently we had a chance to talk with Patrice Arnera, our Director of Sales EMEA and Japan about the shift to sustainable practices across the different industriesPatrice has worked with Tacton since 2017 and enjoys seeing companies transform their digital experience and create business value throughout the process.  

Let’s start with an easy one: What is sustainable manufacturing? 

Sustainable manufacturing is a way of making products that minimize negative environmental impact, conserves energy, and resources. It also considers the employees, communities and buyers the product effects. This can come from optimizing the product and lifecycle management leading to a smaller environmental footprint and social benefits. 

How have you seen manufacturers evolve to more sustainable practices over the years? 

Sustainable practices have been, and productions have been building over the past decade or so in some industries. Consumers probably noticed this first in their everyday purchases of environmentally friendly products such as hand soaps, clothing, and packaging.  

This topic quickly began taking hold in more industrial areas such as manufacturing as it became clear that the environment was changing at a rapid pace. Reducing harmful emissions while making products and helping employees and the community around the site and globally has made manufacturers rethink their efforts.  

What are the objectives and targets of your sustainability and CPQ efforts, and that manufacturers are setting? 

A few common ones discussed are items like these:  

  • Reducing the carbon footprint is to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which contribute to global warming 
  • Responsible consumption, using resources and energy efficiently 
  • Sustainable innovation, better known as using innovation to achieve sustainability goals 

How does CPQ help manufacturers become more sustainable? 

CPQ in general is a way to put together a valid configuration with approved pricing using a combination of rules and workflow.  

Tacton CPQ is a unique solution in the CPQ space as it allows users to optimize the configuration of ecofriendly products without compromising the needs of the customer by giving them a full picture of the impact any product will have once it rolls off the production line.  

CPQ also enables manufacturers to offer an optimized product that is in line with local regulations on emissions and other sustainability demands in their specific region.  With CPQ it’s even possible to allow faster product introductions that are aligned with a changing market.  

What can CPQ play in your manufacturer’s overall strategic plans? 

Again, in general terms, CPQ will bring efficiency gains in the sales process and will result in much lower costs of sales and higher win rates for its adopters. Here I would like to focus on some of the Tacton specific benefits made possible by its unique combination of constraint-based configuration and its solver technology. 

Tacton CPQ finds its strength in optimizing the configured products around the end customer-specific needs rather than just being a validator of technical combinations. As such, it is helping manufacturers make and deliver what their customers really need at optimized costs, price, margins, speed, and resource consumption. 

CPQ is also a key accelerator in the new product Introduction or new variance introduction process which plays a major role in being first to market and or being able to react to competition, regulations, and market changes. 

What business value have manufacturers seen from their sustainability efforts? 

When we apply Tacton’s unique features to manufacturers’ sustainability efforts, manufacturers can track certain parameters such as resource consumption and materials to ensure the most sustainable options are provided during the configuration process around the criteria that really matter for their end customers. 

By showing such responsibility, manufacturers have also observed some “soft” benefits such as more demand as customers are more and more looking to work with responsible organizations.  Constraints and data management also provides a much faster time to market for manufacturers using CPQ which allows them to better adapt to regulatory changes and innovation which again will translate into a larger volume of sales and a reduction in sales lead time. 

Describe a customer who has used sustainable manufacturing and CPQ to reduce their environmental footprint?  

One of our customers, Plus Pack has been on a century-long transformational journey. Founded in 1914, this Danish pioneer in the food packaging industry has been supplying its customers with innovative and sustainable solutions that help them stand out. 

Check out the full video and more here

With CPQ and sustainability in mind, Plus Pack’s digital strategy centered around CPQ. To deliver 100% recyclable products with zero CO2. With CPQ’s needs-based configuration, Plus Pack finds it easier to offer its customers more sustainable packaging solutions supporting a circular economy. Plus Pack’s sales teams can easily compare different packaging options and to recommend customers the most sustainable materials that are fit-for-purpose as well as fit-for-future. 

In closing 

Change is coming for manufacturing across the globe. As new environmental requirements from local governments roll out, as well as demands for sustainability from communities and employees manufacturers must take notice. Creating sustainable products and reducing waste is possible using CPQ to ensure every requirement is met before even making a product. Schedule your personalized demo today to learn more about CPQ and sustainbility.

CPQ and Sustainability at Plus Pack

cpq and sustainability at pluspack

CPQ and Sustainability a major driver for success at Plus Pack

Plus Pack has been on a century-long transformational journey. Founded in 1914, this Danish pioneer in the food packaging industry has been supplying its customers with innovative and sustainable solutions that help them stand out.

The latest step of their success story – 100 years in the making – has been a digital transformation project with a focus on customer-centric product customization.

“Our first step in our digitalization journey was to replace our legacy ERP system with a new ERP platform. This project ran between 2016-17, which was the foundation for us to build on. Later in 2018, we revisited our digitalization roadmap and looked for ways to increase the revenue and experience for our customers, while improving our operational efficiency.” – Bastian Fietje, Head of Groups Projects at Plus Pack.

What follows is a closer look at how Plus Pack, in a quest to support their customers into the future, lead them to adopt Tacton CPQ as the key component of their digital strategy.

Partnering with Customers to deliver a superior customer experience

Plus Pack’s product line consists of food containers and trays used in the food industry with a focus on convenient meal products, take-away, and ready meals. Its customers are international companies – either food producers, retailers, or distribution companies and each day 4 million meals are served in a packaging solution from Plus Pack. In recent years, consumer behavior and environmental awareness have driven the demand for sustainable packaging solutions in materials that are easy-to-recycle supporting a circular economy.

As a result, Plus Pack not only needed to deliver quality products but also, needed to collaborate closely with suppliers, customers, and stakeholders to develop sustainable food packaging solutions. Plus Pack’s unique positioning, as both designer and manufacturer, means that they have the expertise to lead their customers through this experience-focused approach to packaging development and -innovation.

Partnering with customers to provide customized solutions is nothing new to Plus Pack, “Our most established customers would come to us to revisit the product, and together we would look at what their next move would be, how to lower their costs, improve their sustainability performance and even increase their sales” clarified Bastian. It was vital for Plus Pack that their digital strategy complemented and supported their established customer partnership strategy.

Customization as a Growth Strategy

Plus Pack’s approach to digitalization and product customization was in part, based on pioneering research from the Technical University of Denmark. Lead by Prof. Lars Hvam Ph.D., the research demonstrated how manufacturers that implemented a Product Configuration Software, like Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ). “have achieved numerous benefits such as better decision-making capabilities, more on-time deliveries, improved product quality, less rework and increased customer satisfaction”.

For Plus Pack, CPQ was the tool that would enable them to achieve their vision of becoming “The preferred partner for customized and sustainable packaging solutions”. “For us at Plus Pack, we needed a tool that would not only allow us to implement a partnership strategy with our customers but also that would allow our production to run more efficiently and to ensure that we can deliver exactly what was promised,” stated Bastian.

Thomas Bangsgaard Vestergaard, Sales Configuration Project Manager overseeing the CPQ implementation says, “We have thousands of products and variables to account for that require highly technical calculations. With CPQ our sales teams could interpret the needs of the customer and quickly identify which solutions within our entire product line best met those needs.”

Plus Pack’s plans to grow within an already competitive market are partly based on their ability to deliver a faster, flexible, more accurate, and superior buying experience for their customers. “With CPQ, within a few minutes, we are able to deliver a highly technical quote, with the price and supporting documents for the quote. In the past, this was a process that would take days if not weeks”, says Thomas.

With CPQ and sustainability in mind, Plus Pack’s digital strategy could be achieved. To deliver 100% recyclable products with zero CO2. With CPQ’s needs-based configuration, Plus Pack will find it easier to offer its customers more sustainable packaging solutions supporting a circular economy. Plus Pack’s sales teams will be able to easily compare different packaging options and to recommend customers the most sustainable materials that are fit-for-purpose as well as fit-for-future.

Abandoning Silos and Embracing CPQ and Sustainability 

While CPQ is described primarily as a sales tool, it carries many additional benefits, especially for a manufacturer like Plus Pack. When it comes to high-variant sales configuration, CPQ not only positively impacts the buying process, it also harmonizes the way product engineers and project managers collaborate. Manufacturers traditionally had to effectively manage the interest between 3 core areas: Sales, Product, and Factory. These areas tended to work independently, and at times tensions would arise when sales lacked the latest product information, or sold an impossible configuration, or even quoted the wrong price.

With CPQ, these tensions are eliminated because CPQ ensures that each sales configuration takes into account all aspects of manufacturing. CPQ can, therefore, ensure that the quote generated by sales is feasible, error-free, with the correct price, and that the production needs are also accounted for.

“CPQ gives our sales teams access to our entire product line, and they are able to come up with new innovative solutions for our customers, based on reliable product information. Project managers and those overseeing the production trust that they can deliver what was promised to the customer”, concludes Bastian Fietje.

CPQ can also be a source of unique product data with the integrations of the Analytics API. With this new source of data, Plus Pack’s business analysts and project managers can better understand more about each customer order and identify new commercial opportunities, as well as explore product improvements.

Schedule your demo to learn about CPQ and sustainability and more!