June 22, 2020
Why it can be highly advisable to invest in CPQ solutions at this precise moment is underlined in a conversation with our new customer Vogelsang GmbH & Co. KG.
The current economic crisis caused by the corona pandemic is hitting industry hard. Many companies are reporting problems relating to sales and supply chains, and the crisis has exposed shortcomings in digitisation. With CPQ and eCommerce solutions, multiple-variant portfolios can be better digitally managed, customers and dealers can be reached in a more reliable, crisis-proof way, and processes can be designed more efficiently.
To person: We spoke to Hans-Rainer Hesler, Head of Engineering Data Management at Vogelsang GmbH & Co. KG (see photo).
Mr. Hesler, we are very happy to welcome Vogelsang as a new customer! You decided to take this step in the middle of the global corona crisis in which quite a few other companies have stopped all investments. What prompted you to do this in these challenging times?
Vogelsang is very well-positioned to meet the challenges with its wide range of products, and we are glad that we have not been too badly affected by the current crisis compared to other international machinery manufacturers. We are now set to digitally optimise our quotation and order process in order to become even faster and more cost-effective, more profitable, and more competitive – both in times of crisis and in times of growth.
What we are currently seeing is that shortcomings in digitalisation are becoming even more apparent in companies than before. Here, Vogelsang is already well-prepared in a variety of areas, for example, we have already been successfully practising working from home for some time now. However, our current quotation tools are process-intensive and lack transparency. We will therefore introduce a web-based CPQ solution that will make our enormous variety of products more manageable for the sales team, and in the future this will also be available for our dealers and customers.
We focus on customer satisfaction. And today’s customer expects a fast, transparent and smooth process right from the initial customer contact and the various touchpoints to the quotation, delivery, and other services. Here, the CPQ is an important component in the digitisation of the sales process and throughout the entire customer journey.
What specific and above all monetary potential do you wish to leverage with a CPQ solution?
The objectives are shorter turnaround times and lower error rates. As I said, our wide variety of products is our strength. The product groups of the various segments, such as pumping, maceration and spreading technology are only related to a limited extent and are also very complex within their segments. With the CPQ solution, the sales team will have better control over this wide range of variants and a much lower level of coordination effort will be needed, which will reduce the workload of our office staff in particular. The training of new employees in the office and in the field and their activities in a range of different product areas are also facilitated with CPQ. This saves time, it frees up capacity for our staff, and they are able to work more effectively.
Another objective is to increase the efficiency of our quotation and order process. We aim to minimise manual processes and automate technical inspection as much as possible. The quotation and order layout should be more consistent and easier to understand. Currently, the process is still time-consuming and very expensive. We believe there is great savings potential here.
And we also want to use the software to competently include additional offerings such as the right spare parts, maintenance contracts and services. The customer no longer wants to have to deal with the product; instead, they want the right solution for their requirements. This requires a high degree of expertise – or a configurator.
How do you think Covid19 will change your world? Will we see more e-commerce, and will people travel less?
We have already experienced major changes. There is a lot happening online at the moment. I think Corona is the beginning of even more rigorous digitisation. There will be more online shops and portals for customers and dealers. The era of paper documents is over.
There will probably be fewer business trips, and online meetings are here to stay. Here, a great new culture of its own has developed that often leads to a more disciplined and successful discussion than before. However, this new way of working also requires new tools, because you are no longer physically present and it is more difficult to explain and present things.
One last question: How and with what did encoway in particular impress you?
The first point was the software functionality. With encoway CPQ Studio, we are able to move the responsibility for the configuration to the individual departments – without them requiring any programming knowledge. For example, the respective product management will maintain the product matrix, while the sales team will maintain the price lists. The high level of personal responsibility and the strengthening of the specialist departments has proven to be very successful at Vogelsang.
encoway also supported us with technical expertise during the initiation phase, especially in the analysis workshop, and openly expounded the opportunities and the limitations. We were also impressed by the excellent results of a two-day intensive workshop in which we were able to set up a first configurator ourselves. We always had the feeling that we were in good hands with encoway.
Mr Hesler, thank you for talking to us!
Vogelsang GmbH & Co.KG develops, produces and sells high-quality, service-friendly machines worldwide. Vogelsang is a specialist in individually configurable machines, plants and systems in the wastewater, agricultural, biogas, industry and transport segments. The innovative medium-sized family company with its headquarters in Essen/Oldenburg currently employs around 1,000 people worldwide. As a globally oriented mechanical engineering group, the company operates production facilities both in Germany and internationally, and has subsidiaries and representatives at over 25 locations worldwide. In 2019, Vogelsang had a turnover of 125 million euros.