In the millwork industry, the moment a lead is captured and enters your CRM system until it gets converted to money in the bank can be a complicated and lengthy cycle. There can be multiple stakeholders in the game with their own motivations. This can lead to an incredibly inefficient and arduous process, as well as some very inpatient and dissatisfied customers, and with customer experience being the lifeblood of modern field service management, this is exactly what you DO NOT want. What’s needed to alleviate this bump in the road is a robust Configure, Price, & Quote (CPQ) field service management system, one that drastically reduces lag time and congestion and can get a customer’s order out the door as soon as possible.
It Always Starts with An Accurate Quote
The field service management process almost always begins with a quote or proposal and getting that quote as accurate as possible can be difficult to do without the right tools in place and in the hands of your field technicians and engineers. Today’s consumer is all about personalization, from the doors on their home to the products they order and to the experience they want from the businesses and brands they buy from. Products that offer them several choice variations fit into this model well, but they can be a nightmare for a field service tech trying to produce an accurate quote that allows for the customer to understand each line item and what value they are getting for each selection.
A comprehensive CPQ program allows for the field service and sales teams to communicate on a fully integrated platform, producing quotes quickly and accurately, with built-in integrations, pre-determined pricing for add-ons and specialty specs, and access to inventory and installation schedules. This gives customers a full project plan included in the quote, including the steps involved and the time it will take to move from quote, to order, to installation. Using a cohesive CPQ system means that all the information to produce an accurate quote is with your tech, accessible from a mobile device or laptop, so even in the field, they can produce a complete proposal utilizing pre-determined quote templates to streamline and speed up the process. It’s an added level of functionality that today’s consumers have come to expect, and as a benefit to you, it not only speeds up the sales cycle but also helps in developing sales channels further.
Proposal to Contract
Once the details of the proposed service and variables are nailed down and have been accepted by your customer, your next step is typically generating a contract for service. Without a unified CPQ system in place, this step can mean a long wait for sales team sign-off, administrative process and procedures to be carried out, and possibly your legal team to have give its stamp of approval before it even goes out the door. Additionally, a manual process requires re-entering product data, which leaves the contract and ensuing work order open to error of transposition or omission. With modern day consumers who expect near instant gratification in all things, this can lead to unhappy customers, cancelled business, and bad reviews for your business.
Using a comprehensive CPQ system automates this step, making it easy to move from agreed upon quote to producing a contract that it has accurate configuration and price information, and that all data and detailed order specs is included. In addition, sales can also be confident in profitability of the order since CPQ systems can calculate margins along with price.
Contract to Order
Once the contracts have been executed, it’s time to put in the work order. In a manual system, the configuration details and pricing would need to be manually re-entered into whatever non-integrated purchase order system being used, and potentially also whatever manufacturing system from which the pieces are being ordered. Each step being conducted in a system that isn’t integrated opens the door to more errors and omissions, costly mistakes that could leave you with frequent returns, more rework, higher costs, and unhappy customers.
With an aligned CPQ platform, the system handles seamlessly communicates the data to all other needed departments, so it moves quickly and accurately without manual intervention. The work order, the sales order and the invoice all contain the same information, and there are no delays or transposition concerns. A robust, fully integrated CPQ platform reduces order cycle time and cost while ensuring margins are met and most importantly, a great customer experience, which is the key to repeat business and referrals. With so many benefits, it’s clear to see why it automates your quote-to-order process with an aligned CPQ solution is the ticket to less stress, less error, and better customer satisfaction. Book a demo, today!