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Homegrown vs. Third-Party Quoting Solutions: When to Transition

It’s common to take pride in your company’s homegrown quoting solution. A lot of love, hard work, and time went into creating it, and you want to make sure that you honor that.

But here’s the problem: it’s difficult for homegrown quoting solutions to scale as your company grows and evolves.

In this post, we’ll share how homegrown quoting solutions usually come to be and—if you do already have one—how that can actually help you transition to a third-party solution.

The Birth of Homegrown Quoting Solutions

Most homegrown quoting solutions are written by talented individuals whose intent is to solve personal on-the-job problems and improve productivity. These team members often leverage their expertise to create an Excel sheet or write a program in order to make themselves more productive.

What happens next? Colleagues find out, and so the person shares that sheet or program with others. Soon they find that they have not one, but two jobs: one as a salesperson, engineer, etc. (their original role) and the other as a developer and manager of their quoting solution, getting feedback and incorporating changes to the homegrown solution they've built.

Over time, that solution becomes their full-time job. And while some companies are good at giving that person support (staff, technology, etc.) to sustain the solution, others don’t—expecting the individual to continue doing it as a side-gig in addition to their core job functions.

Due to a lack of support, or an inability to grow the solution to meet evolving business needs, the company becomes complacent with the tool. And when judging it alongside other, more advanced, industry-specific and company-tailored solutions, what the homegrown solution is actually delivering would garner a C or D rating.

How Third-Party Solutions Can Help

When a homegrown solution no longer serves its purpose—when it’s no longer increasing its creator’s productivity or able to serve other team members in an efficient manner—it's time to consider a third-party solution.

While many people may be hesitant to ditch their homegrown solutions—seeing it as a waste of the past X amount of years spent developing it—having experience with your own homegrown quoting solution can actually give you an advantage when looking to change to a third-party vendor.

That’s because the fact that you’ve already built a solution means it's easy to digitize your existing know-how. You already know your basic quoting rules, technical requirements, and more. By teaming up with a vendor, you can begin to leverage and digitally migrate your legacy information into a new platform. This not only gives your company a head start, it means you’ll be more comfortable with the solution from the onset.

Vendors can also build upon the great work you’ve already done, taking all the good aspects of your homegrown solution and implementing best practices the vendor has developed over the years to provide your business with the very best-in-class solution.

If you can find a third-party quoting vendor that specializes in your industry, you can alleviate some of the pain points associated with homegrown quoting solutions—or avoid creating them in the first place.

At FPX, we’re dedicated to creating a CPQ solution that works with and for your business, ensuring that it scales and grows alongside your company. That’s why all of our custom CPQ solutions are value-priced—meaning you pay for the value you get out of it—and that’s more cost-effective than any homegrown solution.

Trygve Dahl, Ph.D. P.E.

Trygve Dahl, Ph.D. P.E.

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