Automation is a hot topic these days as more and more solutions help businesses streamline manual processes. When it comes to considering what you should automate, it can be overwhelming to think through which processes and teams can gain the most from automation. In working with manufacturers and distributors of all sizes, my recommendation is to start with automating the most important part of your business—the one that stands between you and bringing money in the door.
Manufacturers and distributors send out quotes constantly; for many, a quote is the main method of communication with customers looking to place orders. However, siloed quote-to-cash (Q2C) processes and systems make this process inefficient and inconsistent which impacts customer experience in addition to the bottom line.
If you’re wondering if this applies to you, here are 6 ways to tell if you need an advanced quoting solution:
- A good amount of your business involves quoting custom products
- Many of your quotes are same-as-except
- Your products require a rules-based configurator to determine pricing, BOMs, Routings, and costing
- You use Template item records in your ERP as placeholders
- You change WO components on the fly, resulting in inaccurate cost history for that item
- You’re spending too much time in “folder-land” looking for that Excel estimate you created for your customer
Companies that implement an integrated and automated Q2C system that’s tailored to the specific needs of their business are able to reduce order fulfillment costs by eliminating manual processes and subsystems. Particularly when a Q2C is layered on top of a fast Cloud ERP platform (like NetSuite), businesses see benefits including:
- Better customer service
- Improved cash flow
- Reduced inventory carrying costs
- Reduced Q2C processing costs
- Faster quoting processes help you deliver accurate estimates and quotes to customers