One model for everything – this cannot work for an international construction equipment manufacturer. The requirements of customers faced with the most diverse climatic and geological conditions are simply too diverse. Record-breaking construction projects such as the tallest tower or the longest sea bridge require unparalleled foundations.
Numerous variants and equipment options are available to adapt the equipment to the requirements. Every piece of machinery sold is unique. So how can sales processes be efficiently designed for this wide variety of products?
The Bremen-based company encoway is experienced in developing software solutions to perfectly manage configuration, pricing and quoting for a diverse product portfolio. The standard software encoway CPQ Sales forms the basis for the improved quotation process at BAUER Maschinen GmbH, the world leader in specialist foundation engineering equipment.
The BAUER Maschinen Group is the global leader in the development and manufacturing of specialist foundation engineering equipment and is also active in the mining sector. At the group production sites in Schrobenhausen, Aresing and Edelshausen, BAUER Maschinen designs and manufactures heavy-duty rotary drilling rigs, trench cutters, grab systems, vibrators and deep drilling rigs together with all the necessary tools. The company also operates production sites in the USA, Russia, China, Malaysia, Italy, Singapore and Turkey. The BAUER Maschinen Group has a global sales and service network. The BAUER Maschinen Group is part of the BAUER Group, an international construction and mechanical engineering company with more than 110 subsidiaries in the fields of construction, machinery and resources.
Compared to its more than 225-year corporate history, BAUER is still relatively young as a mechanical engineering company. It has, however been almost 50 years since BAUER built its first specialist foundation engineering appliance for its own use. Since then, its innovations in machinery have continued to set standards in sophisticated construction technology. In the mid-1980s, thanks to increasing interest on the part of the construction industry, the company began extensively marketing their own products designed and manufactured in-house.
Today, the portfolio includes heavy-duty rotary drilling rigs, rope excavators, trench cutters, grab systems, vibrators and deep drilling rigs together with all the necessary tools.
Thanks to the new software, the quotation configuration process has now been properly structured. The BAUER Quote Assistant dynamically takes into account all essential dependencies and guides the user to the optimum solution. The sales staff select the product line and the size. The programme then guides them through the other input fields. If the length of a drill rod has to be modified to achieve greater depth, the configurator automatically provides the information that the length of the steel cable must be adjusted accordingly. These dependencies are completely transparent for the operator. The risk of forgetting something is significantly reduced. All the configurations have been tested regarding their buildability.
“With the BAUER Quote Assistant, even new employees are able to quickly and easily create accurate quotes” says Holger Fischer, Head of PPS (Pricing, Process and System Optimisation). Once assembled, the configurations can be saved as favourites and distributed. Complete transparency is guaranteed, because the configuration always follows a standardised pattern. The quotation documents generated are always easy to understand and are created in a standard format and in the corporate design of the BAUER Maschinen Group.
For the generation of quotations for its multi-variant foundation engineering equipment, BAUER originally used an in-house solution. The sales staff had a great deal of freedom, so the results of each configuration were highly dependent on the user. The path to the quote lacked in transparency. Whenever an employee was not at work, the person standing in for them had no sure-fire way of reproducing the results. The quotations were written using text modules, and there was simply too much manual effort involved in creating each individual quote. What made matters worse was the risk of forgetting an item or making incorrect entries. The structure and appearance were also not up to date.
"With the BAUER Quote Assistant, even new employees are able to quickly and easily create accurate quotes."
The introduction of the quotation configurator was part of a range of comprehensive measures to optimise sales processes. BAUER Maschinen GmbH is currently switching to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, thus creating a single platform on which the customer-related data can be centrally maintained. The CRM provides a transparent overview of the quotation status. Controlling is able to evaluate sales opportunities and thus has significant added value compared to the past. The quotation configurator should be integrated into the same user interface to provide every operator with a seamless, easy-to-use working tool.
encoway has already implemented many software solutions that integrate into existing IT infrastructures. The company is a Microsoft Competency Partner and has established proven, standardised software interfaces for its own products. The sales team can seamlessly switch between the CRM system and the quotation. The BAUER Quote Assistant accesses customer and supply-specific data from the CRM application. For the configured machinery, it generates the very extensive parts lists and then returns them to the CRM system. An optimum integration into the operational processes is thus guaranteed.
The introduction of the new software was labour-intensive. “The necessary preparations such as the data processing and the creation of the rule set required an enormous amount of time and effort” says Holger Fischer, “but it was worth it. The project implementation by encoway was highly professional.”
The software is currently used regularly by around 60 sales staff at the headquarters in Schrobenhausen, and another 20 in the USA, China and the Middle East. Fischer explains: “Especially new sales staff benefit from the guided quote configuration, as they are not yet familiar with the necessary extensive object dependencies. For our more experienced staff, increasing use of the new tool leads to a growth in acceptance.” Accurate, compellingly designed quotation documents are an essential tool for selling high-quality machinery.
At BAUER Maschinen, the positive effect of the optimised software-supported configuration on the operational processes can also be clearly seen. Holger Fischer explains: “The BAUER Quote Assistant only allows tested configurations, and this guarantees investment security. And it integrates the calculation of margins, thus providing full transparency for Sales and Controlling.”