10. To handle complexity.
Manufacturing companies have complex product portfolios that go beyond what standard quoting tools can handle. Manufacturers typically have a large number of products, product bundles and kits with optional components, a need for tiered pricing for various distribution channels, and configurable products.
9. To keep sales out of the ERP.
More often than not manufacturers have their sales teams quoting in their ERP system. This means you now have the sales team buying expensive ERP licenses, you have them in an unfamiliar system that is often times difficult to use and requires training, and you have them tied down to a system is not as accessible as it needs to be.
8. To make sure the right people are quoting.
In order to keep sales out of ERP (due to the issues highlighted in #9) we find that manufacturers task other people in the organization to do the quoting. This causes bottlenecks and delays, and ultimately, frustrated customers. Getting the right people into the right systems is key to success.
7. To get real time collaboration.
In manufacturing there are multiple stakeholders in the quoting process. This includes everyone from internal engineering colleagues that are leveraged to recommend the best products to complete a quote, to managers providing approvals for discounts, to the end customer providing feedback to make sure the quote. When this communication takes place real time it significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to quote the customer.
6. To meet the turnaround expectation of customers.
Sales staff typically spends too much time creating quotes and have difficulty meeting the turnaround expectations of customers.