Resource Type: Customer Story

Yaskawa

The Challenge

To meet the growing demand, the company realized its sale quoting process wouldn’t be able to cope. When quoting for new business, the sales team relied on Excel to capture a list of customer requirements.

This Excel file was handed over to an inside sales group who manually created a quotation based on the list. Yaskawa product portfolio includes over 120 different robot models, all with configurable options and add-ons. Factor in a long and complex price list with customer-specific discounts and the situation gets complicated quickly.

For each deal, the team would waste time chasing information internally, sometimes even needing to involve the Japanese organization to get clarification on product availability, lead times, and compatibility. This, of course, led to delays.

The Solution

Yaskawa decided to look for a sales configuration solution and evaluated three commercial tools. They also challenged whether they needed a commercial tool at all, and looked both at improving their existing Excel calculation and at working with their ERP vendor, SAP.

The first thing that spoke for Tacton was the easy and powerful way the logic is represented within the configuration tool. The second factor was that it can be easily maintained by people in our company. Because the configuration logic is separate from the product data, we found that the modeler just defines the model and the relationships. After that, all the parts, products, prices and lead times can be fed into those models and updated very easily.

About Yaskawa

“I know many companies hesitate to introduce a configurator because they think – our products cannot be streamlined. There were people in our company who said it wouldn’t be possible, but it was. It was the right step and the right decision to select Tacton.”

Dr. Michael Klos, Yaskawa

Founded in 1989, Yaskawa Motoman is a leading robotics company in the Americas. With over 400,000 Motoman robots, 10 million servos and 18 million inverter drives installed globally, Yaskawa provides automation products and solutions for virtually every industry and robotic application; including arc welding, assembly, coating, dispensing, material handling, material cutting, material removal, packaging, palletizing and spot welding.

The Results

  • Full integration with Yaskawa’s ERP system
  • the sales teams are now generating high-quality quotes with pricing, without any extra help
  • Able to quickly react to create custom quotes
  • 100% accurate quotes

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ABB

The Challenge

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industrial customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impact. ABB sales staff and partners historically used two different configurator solutions and this resulted in many incomplete factory orders. ABB wanted to make their sales process more efficient by reducing the need for engineering support.

The two different configurators for their accessories range –covered only 20% of their products. This warranted a big change from ABB to find a new way to configure their products.

The Solution

Tacton Configurator is embedded in ABB’s order management system and its eCommerce system for correct and fast configuration. All Accessories orders (valued in excess of USD 270 million annual) were consolidated into just one system, Tacton Configurator was implemented nearly 10 years ago and the progress is still going strong. The number of minimum rules was greatly reduced.

Four months after switching to Tacton, ABB is now covering 100% of the product range and has replaced 500,000+ configuration rules with just 150 constraints.

About ABB

ABB is a global leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industrial customers to improve their performance while lowering their environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs some 104,000 people.

The Results

  • 100% of product range is covered
  • 500,000 rules are now 150 constraints
  • Fewer ABB engineers need to support the sales process
  • Higher hit rate leads to improved productivity

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Kramp

The Challenge

With some 40,000 customers, over 500,000 products – many with tight margins – commercial and operational scalability is of critical importance. Over the past ten years, Kramp has moved purposefully towards an eCommerce model, and today the company receives a vast majority of orders directly via their webshop. The company processes an average of 70,000 line items per day, increasing to 120,000 in the agricultural high season.

The reliance on engineering input to validate product design, manufacturability, and pricing as well as the knowledge gap between customers, sales reps, and product experts, was hampering Kramp in its effort to grow and expand into new markets. This challenge made Kramp consider new solutions to deal with their expanding business.

The Solution

Following a comprehensive evaluation process, the team identified Tacton and SolidWorks as the key suppliers for the solution. The implementation was not without its challenges though. Before moving away from the manual ordering process, in favor of a fully automated CPQ process with built-in design automation, a new modeling approach for the products had to be put in place.

Today Kramp’s customers can place orders for hydraulic cylinders (MTO) and hoses (ATO) 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Once a cylinder is configured and an order is placed in the webshop, a validated production drawing is available to manufacturing just 10 minutes later.

About Kramp

“Our goal was to make the customer feel as if they were getting a custom product, but the experience is as easy as buying a standard product from the web shop.”

Marcel Walvoort, Manager Product Configurator

Today Kramp is one of the largest wholesalers into the agricultural sector in Europe, with 3,200 employees and branches in 24 countries.

The Results

  • 35% growth in new customer numbers
  • 40% growth in order lines for their hydraulic cylinders business.
  • Validated product drawings in minutes
  • Expanded Kramp’s eCommerce business

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Meyn

Meyn Food processing

The Challenge

Meyn provides everything from standalone machines to wall-to-wall factory solutions which can include up to 80 different pieces of equipment. As Meyn grew, the number of contracts it was bidding for increased, the company was preparing 2,000 quotes per year. To produce these quotes, Meyn relied on a product configurator that had originally been developed to support manufacturing requirements.

This meant the sales team often had to turn to product specialists, who in turn needed to contact the customer. This process took a lot of time and effort. A typical quotation took two days – sometimes up to a week. With a hit rate of roughly 30%, the company was spending a lot of time and money producing quotations that didn’t amount to anything.

The Solution

Meyn realized that they needed a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool that would allow the sales team to quote quickly at the initial stage of the sales cycle. They also wanted the tool to be able to generate detail for those cases that were further along. And they wanted the solution to be available online.

By simplifying the quotation process, the company reasoned that they could save time and money and focus efforts on the sales cases that were further along in the process. Meyn has managed to reduce the number of questions required to produce a quote by 85%. A quotation for a single machine can now be produced in less than 15 minutes, while a budget quote for a complete line takes just 3-4 hours. This previously took between two days and a week.

About Meyn

“We have a great cooperation with Tacton, we’ve found them to be very flexible and responsive. It feels more like a partnership rather than a customer, supplier relationship and they are really helping us to succeed.”

Sicco Saft, Meyn

Meyn is the industry leader in the manufacturing of poultry processing equipment. Meyn’s technology and services provide local answers, globally.

The Results

  • Reduced quoting time by 60%
  • Meyn has managed to reduce the number of questions required to produce a quote by 85%
  • Full integrations with Meyn’s CRM
  • Zero incorrect configurations

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FL Smidth

The Challenge

The company offers everything from single machines to complete cement plants and mineral processing facilities. As with all industrial equipment, customization is a necessity. To optimize workflow, FLSmidth used legacy product configuration to optimize proposals, orders, and design for many years.

When their current configurator solution no longer supported their needs, they chose to replace it with Tacton’s stronger constraint-based solutions. It was also important to FLSmidth that Tacton Configurator is XML-based and designed to be embeddable in other applications

The Solution

During the evaluation, FLSmidth was impressed by Tacton Configurator’s ease of use and maintenance, and interactivity as a product configurator and sales configurator. Together with Tacton Design Automation, it strengthened the automated output of 2D/3D and ERP documentation. working, consistently across all products.

FLSmidth was able to reuse existing integrations to their legacy system, and the user interface was tailored to the organization’s way of working, consistently across all products. Tacton’s solution is now used in approximately 50 different FL Smidth product models.

Tacton Configurator seamlessly integrates FLSmidth’s system with external programs that do complex equipment sizing calculations. Utilizing the same Tacton model, FLSmidth strengthened its automated output of 2D, 3D, ERP, Microsoft documents, etc.

About FL Smidth

Global engineering company FL Smidth supplies equipment and services to the cement and minerals industry. The company replaced its legacy configurator with Tacton’s constraint-based system and has streamlined product configuration, design and proposal generation.

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Siemens

The Challenge

The turbines are extremely complex pieces of equipment. Each sits within a wider power plant solution which is tailored to each customer’s unique specifications and site conditions. The air intake assembly alone, for example, has 120 variants. Factor in all the configurations and combinations that come along with that; and things get complicated very quickly.

This complexity posed a challenge for Siemens. Because the turbines are highly customized – and the combination of variables almost endless – producing customer quotes was a lengthy and complicated process.

A full customer proposal was often 500 pages long, took eight weeks to produce, and required specialist engineering help on almost every sales case.

The Solution

The answer came in the form of configuration software from Tacton. Tacton’s technology redefines how products are configured – making it radically easier to design, configure and sell complex products.

With the Tacton CPQ, Siemens quickly saw that they could streamline by creating pre-made assemblies, including standardizing much of the core turbine engine. Simplifying the product architecture in this way has reduced demands on engineering.

About Siemens

“The beauty of Tacton Configurator is that it will guide the sales rep through the sale and get the configuration of the product and the quotation correct each time. Any potential conflicts and errors are resolved automatically by the configurator.”

Jan Nilsson, Siemens

In 1847, inventor Werner von Siemens developed the pointer telegraph and followed up in 1866 with a prototype for the dynamo. Today, the company he founded is a household name and Europe’s largest electronics and engineering company. Siemens is also the world’s leading supplier of energy technology

The Results

  • Reduced quote time from 8 weeks to minutes
  • Sales can now focus on deals, instead of admin tasks
  • Takes 5 minutes to generate a complete budget offering
  • Better understanding of Maintenace contracts

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Hilge GmbH & Co.KG

The Challenge

Hilge’s products have many variants and every quotation must be precisely specified. Their customers expect drawings and 3D models. To ensure that the engineering knowledge will be kept in the company, Hilge used to use a special 3D model during the sales process, which required one to three days of design work for each quotation. Hilge felt this was too long and needed a way to complete the quotations and get them to the customers quicker.

The Solution

Hilge chose Tacton Design Automation as the system that best met their requirements. Hilge gave real CAD models to Tacton, who prepared them for the configuration pilot project.

After a few days of training, Hilge implemented the quotation design for the new generation of rotary lobe pumps in Tacton Design Automation in just a few months. The implementation was so favorable that designers from other product groups daily ask when their products will be converted. Grundfos is also taking a great interest in the new design automation solution their German subsidiary brought about.

About Plus Pack

“The 3D-models and drawings required in customer quotations are now produced in 10-15 minutes instead of several days. As a result, sales can be much more responsive, while the design department is freed up to focus on product development instead of supporting sales.”

Hilge GmbH & Co. KG, a German manufacturer of centrifugal and rotary lobe pumps, is a subsidiary of the Danish conglomerate, Grundfos. Hilge serves the areas of food technology, pharmaceutical, and biotechnology, as well as industrial applications around the world.

The Results

  • Tasks that took up to three days are now completed in just 10 to 15 minutes.
  • 80% of all Hilge’s tasks can now be performed using Tacton Design Automation
  • Reduced workload in the design department
  • Quotes now meet the customers’ expectations

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ClearStream Environmental

The Challenge

While water treatment systems are made up of fairly standard elements, each unit is custom-designed and fabricated to each individual customer’s needs.

Changing the diameter of a sedimentation tank by half a foot, for example, has a knock-on effect on many other components – and their interdependencies.

Keeping on top of this complexity was a challenge. And quoting for, designing and engineering the systems was tedious, time-consuming and error-prone. Producing a design specification for a sedimentation unit, for example, would involve 100 plus drawings, and typically take four to six weeks.

Today, ClearStream can complete the same process in as little as two days. In an industry where margins are extremely small, these efficiencies make a big difference to the bottom line.

The Solution

One area where ClearStream has seen great benefits is in the bidding process. Previously, designers would work from an existing proposal, changing the details for the new specification. To give even a crude approximation of what the customer wanted would take up to two days.

With Tacton Design Automation, ClearStream is now producing accurate, high-quality quotes with detailed drawings in a fraction of the time it takes the competition. And the company’s hit rate has gone up dramatically.

About ClearStream Environmental

“This type of automation has been a key factor in our business growth.”

Brian Bartholomew, Senior Project Engineer ClearStream Environmental

ClearStream Environmental was incorporated in 2002 to provide superior process equipment to the water and wastewater treatment industries.  ClearStream has experienced tremendous success over the past few years, and has grown by approximately 100% per year for the past seven years.

The Results

  • Reduced design time for six weeks to minutes
  • Created detailed quotes in a fraction of the time
  • Created time saving for engineers
  • Eliminated back charges due to design errors

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VAK Oy

The Challenge

Finland-based VAK Oy specializes in developing heavy transportation equipment. VAK’s products appear to be similar, but they are typically customized for each customer, so both design and the need for components in the products are always changing.

VAK’s assemblies can include up to almost 1,000 individual parts, and matching them to ensure that they fit together is virtually impossible without using CAD.

The Solution

VAK automated routine design tasks using Tacton Design Automation integrated with SolidWorks. This brought significant time savings, far fewer design errors, and the 3D design made it possible to integrate and modularize VAK’s products.

Additionally, 3D modeling with SolidWorks enabled VAK to assess the functionality of new products already in the design phase. VAK will next start using Tacton Design Automation in the sales process to support calculations for customer bids.

About Vak Oy

“Tacton Design Automation minimized construction errors and helped modularizing products, enabling last-minute changes based on customer’s demands when necessary.”

VAK Oy is one of the largest transport equipment manufacturers in the Nordics. It is a full-service company that also offers maintenance and rental service. Part of the company is also a rental service company VAK Vuokrapalvelut Oy and Swedish sales company VAK Sverige AB.

The Results

  • Design time was reduced significantly because all the parts are ready-made
    Design Automation minimized construction errors and helped modularizing products
  • Reduced design errors
  • After-sales and spare parts business became much easier

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