IT departments and others with digital transformation initiatives within manufacturing companies have a lot to consider when selecting new technologies (yep, that includes CPQ) to bring into their ecosystems - integrations to existing systems, rising costs and headcount, data security, etc.
To help navigate the noise and build a shortlist of vendors quickly, it’s helpful to look at the three “P’s.” That is, are the vendor and solution: 1. Peer Proven, 2. Partner-Centric, and 3. Providing Personalization out of the box.
Let's dig into what we mean by each of these points and offer some suggestions regarding what to look for when making your CPQ or other application selection to better connect with your customers.
The Three “P”s of Choosing A Manufacturing-Aligned Tech Vendor
Peer Proven: The impetus behind many new tech initiatives comes down to “my competition has it, so I need it.” While that may not be sound logic, the truth is that successful peers within your industry can provide some insights and a potential roadmap for how you can improve your business.
When it comes to CPQ solutions for manufacturers, it helps to look at vendors with a strong stable of customers that resemble your business. In many cases, CPQ vendors are broken into industry-aligned niches with some of the larger platform providers attempting an “everything to everyone” offering. By evaluating a CPQ application for manufacturers, one that is currently used by manufacturers, and ultimately one that is proven to work well for manufacturers, well, the decision of which CPQ vendor to choose becomes a lot easier.
Partner-centric as opposed to just another vendor: Digital transformation initiatives require extensive commitments around time, money, personnel, and other company resources. Although it’s easy to view the tech solutions you’ll be adding as “bolt-on” or “implement and forget” applications, the truth is that the impact across your business and the ROI you can see from these investments are game-changing.
It’s for these reasons it helps to choose solution vendors that act more like a partner than just an application provider. In the case of CPQ, selecting vendors that your team connects with, that have a company mission that matches your own, and show staying power with their existing customers are all indicators that the CPQ solution you select will be backed by a team that will stand by your business and help you achieve maximum ROI (want to see what CPQ can do for you in terms of ROI? Check out the Forrester Total Economic Impact of CPQ).
Personalization out of the box: Nearly every SaaS vendor is going to harp on their out-of-the-box capabilities. The thing to consider is whether those standard capabilities align with your specific needs. For manufacturers looking into CPQ or other applications, it’s helpful to take a hard look at what you really need in terms of CPQ functionality before diving too deeply with a vendor.
In many cases, the flexibility of CPQ makes it possible for vendors to customize and offer anything and everything you could want, but at what cost? Rather than tackling the time, cost and headaches of a custom rollout, manufacturers are often better served by looking at CPQ solutions that offer an out-of-the-box application built for manufacturers with similar requirements.
To put it simply, by looking at a vertically-aligned CPQ solution, you’re better positioned to get everything you need and nothing you don’t. This translates into a faster, cheaper implementation, greater user adoption due to a more intuitive solution, easier and cheaper maintenance, and greater ROI over the short and long-term.
A Consultative Approach to CPQ Success
As you start down your digital transformation journey, we encourage you to work with vendors that provide a consultative experience. This means leveraging years of experience, industry expertise, and personnel who really understand your business and what you’re trying to accomplish.
Contact us at FPX to speak with our experts about your potential CPQ project and how our CPQ solution for manufacturers aligns with your requirements and goals.