Bridging the Gap Between Engineers and Salespeople with CPQ and Design Automation
Not too long ago, we worked with a wood panel manufacturer. They lacked a smooth, well-functioning process between two crucial departments - sales and engineering.
Here’s a typical conversation, to give you a feel for the kinds of problems they dealt with. Maybe you’ll recognize it:
Salesman: Yesterday’s meeting with Wood Panel Professionals went really well. However, there was one situation that caused problems. The distance between the saw and the pallet was too short, so I solved the problem by making it 10 meters longer. That works, right?
Engineer: Well, no, that doesn’t work with the Small Conveyor they’ve requested before. If they need a conveyor that’s 10 meters longer, they need the Big Conveyor. What you’ve offered them is not possible to deliver with the current set-up.
Salesman: Well, I’ve already said yes - so I need you to find a solution!
These conversations were a common sight, and often meant a lot of extra work and uncomfortable conversations with the end-customer.
When you offer customization of your products, you can’t expect sales to know all product details and their compatibility by heart. Neither can you expect engineers to provide sales with all the possible and impossible combinations and correlations. So, what to do? Our customer chose to ask us for help (obviously).
With a Tacton solution in place, the previous problem is now non-existent.
With the tight integration between Tacton CPQ and Tacton Design Automation, all product rules and data are at the fingertips of our customer’s sales rep. This effectively steers and helps to offer the best (and correct) solution. Simultaneously, accurate and valid information is sent directly to the engineer. And not only that - the automatically generated 2D and 3D CAD files also make the order ready to be sent straight into production, significantly speeding up delivery time.
Tacton automatically adjusts the entire configuration based on user input, regardless if the conveyor needs to be 10 meters (30 ft) longer or 10 centimeters (3 inches) wider. This way, neither sales nor engineers need to worry about invalid choices. Instead, these departments rely on their Tacton solution for a configuration that’s ready for production and delivery - and also provides exactly what the end-customer wants.
This has greatly increased our wood panel manufacturer’s collaboration and workflows. It’s also easier to promise, produce, and deliver high-quality products. But business isn’t the only thing that’s improved: our customer no longer has uncomfortable or tricky conversations. The improved atmosphere that’s followed? Consider it a bonus.