Consulting variant management

Digitisation meets individualisation

Are you aware of the challenges and opportunities when it comes to making your company fit for the future? Although most companies are familiar with the challenges, they find it difficult to identify specific potential or to derive new business models here. Above all, many companies lack a clear picture of their initial situation. As a result, it is difficult to set appropriate objectives and to define the right approach.

Unclear strategies and a lack of transparency regarding the effects of variant management and the design of modular product systems can also slow companies down. We often see inefficient processes due to a lack of integration between different departments, and thinking in silos. Companies also struggle with inadequate quality of their master data and product structures – without recognising this as an actual cause of high process costs.

Well prepared!

Together, we create the basis for:

  • End-to-end variant management with reduced process costs
  • Digital business models based on modular product data structures

Our services at a glance:

Often, CPQ projects fail due to a lack of strategic direction and planning. At the beginning of the project, many companies are not aware of their potential, their initial position or the need to take action to achieve their (usually very vaguely worded) objectives.

encoway Consulting supports companies with the preparation of their project. We first work out a detailed overview of your initial situation, the current sales process and its future potential. We perform a complete process analysis, examine your IT infrastructure and evaluate the existing product portfolio. The result is a meaningful decision-making basis, which you can use to optimise your sales process and the IT landscape you use for it. In addition, we identify the products in your portfolio where you would benefit from the use of a configurator, and we make a specific recommendation for the further course of action.

Every area of a company has its own processes and its own data requirements. Process optimisations are usually not considered holistically, but only from the perspective of a particular department. Therefore, improvements to processes and product data structures often fall short of the expectations, because an increase in efficiency is only developed for the affected area. In order to create real added value for the whole company, it is important to consider the interaction of product development, quote generation, order processing, commissioning and service.

We create system-independent product data structures. In doing so, we go backwards from the use case of the user, we identify the actual requirements in addition to the data that is already available and create a holistic data model. In addition, we explicitly pay attention to modularity and future expandability. Only then do we distribute the data model across different IT systems - depending on the existing or future system landscape.

Inefficient processes are often just symptoms whose causes can be found elsewhere. Insufficient quality of master data is in our experience the "hidden champion" among the process problems. We are happy to improve inadequate master data directly in the customer system in order to move forward quickly. However, this is a non-value-added activity - because the data source is not affected. This leads to the same compensating line being run through again and again. Another approach that we often see is the evaluation and improvement of master data quality isolated in the source system. Although this improves the quality of the master data in principle, it does not provide optimum support for the customer processes. Because the assessment of the master data quality depends on their use.    

Together with you, we analyse the symptoms of inadequate master data quality – assessed from the perspective of the customer processes. We then evaluate the actual causes and develop a strategy for increasing the master data quality in the source systems and thus throughout the process chain. We also create a prioritised roadmap and provide you with support during the implementation.

Fixed departmental boundaries and thinking in terms of IT systems complicate the smooth flow of the data supply. Frequently, the data supplier is not aware of the actual needs of the customer. This leads to a “we have always done it this way” attitude and not to the desired improvement. In our experience, the greatest difficulty in optimising the data supply process is the lack of transparency regarding the current situation.

encoway Consulting conducts a value stream analysis of the current data supply process for you. Using methods from lean management we identify your potential for optimisation. In addition, we create a holistic data governance process that shows who in the future should maintain which data in which system and when. Together, we then develop a prioritised roadmap and support you during the implementation.

From practical experience for practical application

The encoway Consulting team provides comprehensive and sustainable support in all questions relating to the topics variant management, sales configuration and eCommerce, process analyses and product data structures. We see ourselves as part of your team, and a trusted partner. We work together with you, both in defining your objectives and in achieving them. Thanks to the experience of our consultants gained in numerous customer projects and their own many years of practical experience in mechanical and plant engineering, we are able to offer companies optimal support.

We attach great importance to individual advice tailored to your requirements, because we do not believe in “one-fits-all” consulting according to a pre-set formula. encoway Consulting therefore offers individual consultancy projects based on tried-and-tested methods. We are very familiar with the processes and challenges of modern variant manufacturers. You will benefit from best practices thanks to our strategic partnerships with leading companies in the capital goods industry as well as from our expertise as part of the Lenze Group.

Get to know us!

We will support you in all your matters related to Variant management and CPQ.

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Useful information about Variant management