When it comes to finding a CPQ solution that meets mechanical equipment manufacturers’ needs, the process of weeding out what doesn’t work for your business so that you can find what does can be daunting.
That’s because there are a lot of generic, horizontal tools out there that claim to be built for your business, but in reality aren’t truly purpose-built for it. These generic tools can be tweaked to “fit” any industry—and by “fit” we mean undergoing a costly process to customize the solution. Simply by having this ability to be configurable to any industry should be a red flag that it won’t work for yours.
And if you’re a manufacturer of pumps, motors, compressors, valves, actuators, and other types of mechanical equipment, you know why: Your industry is an intricate one with many variables and where the tiniest error can result in catastrophe. Selecting and configuring your products must be done right the first time around in order to provide value for your customers and boost your bottom line.
So what should you be looking for in a CPQ solution? Here are a few questions mechanical equipment manufacturers should ask potential CPQ providers in order to ensure their tool is a good fit.
4 Questions to Ask Potential CPQ Providers
1. Do you offer an integrated selector?
What makes the lead-to-order process work quickly and efficiently from the get-go is a selector that’s purpose-built for your industry and tightly-integrated with the CPQ offering. But integrations between selectors and CPQ tools can be tough to build, which is why many generic tools simply don’t offer them—or require you to pay to build out an integration (either in house or via another vendor).
2. Is your configurator able to handle complex products?
A CPQ solution’s configurator should also be able to handle the complexities of delivering solutions that meet the project’s conditions of service. This includes having products priced to preserve margin, as well as being buildable—meaning all of the selected options (out of, at times, thousands) will fit together properly and be compatible with each other when the solution is built. Organizations that don’t have a reliable means of submitting buildable orders to their manufacturing or fulfillment groups (usually relying on spreadsheets or manual order entry) incur substantial costs in terms of rework, as well as additional, unpleasant communication with prospects.
3. Do you offer a knowledge base that’s already configured to my industry?
More generic CPQ tools simply don’t understand or deliver the intricate information (e.g. performance curves, selection optimization for efficiency, units of measure and multi-language capabilities, etc.) and processes associated with your industry out of the box. This means you’ll have to build your own knowledge base and learning system to understand such things on top of the CPQ tool you’ve already purchased.
4. Is your solution purpose-built for mechanical equipment manufacturers?
The CPQ solution you choose should be purpose-built for your industry. You’ll know you’ve found the right vendor because they have the industry in their DNA. The right vendor’s people should come from the industry, having taken their lived experiences and built them into the product. At FPX, we offer a purpose-built solution for mechanical equipment manufacturers through our Intelligent Front Office solution that delivers the Select-Configure-Price-Quote (SCPQ) capabilities that manufacturers of mechanical equipment require. How were we able to do this? Because we have 30+ years of CPQ experience and 20+ years of SCPQ experience—all in the mechanical equipment manufacturing space. We know that it’s about more than just the solution itself, it’s about the people behind the solution.
The Bottom Line
Every part of SCPQ needs to be bespoke to your industry, and at FPX, we ensure it is. How do we do this?
Throughout the lead-to-order process, we ensure your customers’ pain points are top of mind, making the entire experience more intuitive for you, and the process itself more efficient.