Digital transformation is well underway and industrial manufacturers, along with many other industries, are feeling the extensive pressure to adapt their businesses models from simply creating and delivering products to selling solutions and outcomes. Within the next 5 years, key industry indicators are suggesting that the distinction between manufacturing and services has blurred.
In fact, many industrial manufacturers are facing challenges managing complex product configuration across all their channels, and it has hampered their ability to employ new business models. They struggle with process inefficiencies such as inconsistent data across the value chain, lack of control when making changes to configuration models, and the absence of a single source of truth for product modeling. It is clear they need an integrated end-to-end process for product configuration and transparency across the entire product lifecycle in order to grow and thrive.
Manufacturers need to be able to provide customers with the flexibility to tailor a product or solution based upon their specific needs and be able to do so in a consistent way. Also, they require efficient collaboration between sales and engineering to ensure the configuration can be built and operated to exceed customer expectations. Leveraging digitalization and data intelligence capabilities, is one way industrial manufacturers create a more intimate customer relationship while adding add value across the supply chain?
With SAP Variant Configuration & Pricing, industrial manufacturers of complex equipment can take advantage of “model once, configure anywhere” capabilities. In turn, this helps sales teams, customers, and channel partners to configure and price products with confidence, accuracy and efficiency. This additional digitalization enables customers, sales, engineers to work closely together as they are all using the same configuration model.
Let’s dig deeper into this to understand how it works:
The industrial manufacturer can easily model their robot or any equipment and solution in SAP S/4HANA Advanced Variant Configuration so it meets both customer and business needs, as you can use efficient modeling capabilities. The administrator user interface allows you to manage the replication of the configuration model in Advanced Variant Configuration (AVC) in the S/4HANA back-end to the cloud services.
This means that the same configuration model can now be used in the SAP Commerce Platform – where customers can intuitively select and configure the solutions they want. As the model has been passed from SAP S/4HANA AVC to SAP Variant and Configuration and made available in the e-commerce site.
Once the customer has completed the configuration – it is seamlessly passed back to SAP S/4HANA by the SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing reducing errors and the time to do validation.
For direct sales, or where the customer needs more support, the sales rep can configure the robot in SAP Configure Price Quote, on behalf of the customer. This also allows the sales rep to combine configuration and pricing rules to support optimal product bundles. This configured quote can be sent to a sales engineer for technical verification, and then back to the customer for approval before fulfillment starts. As the customer, sales rep and sales engineer are all working from the same product and pricing model–the quote is completed faster, improving the customer experience.
A single configuration and pricing model makes sure that complex configuration models are priced and managed seamlessly throughout the entire value chain.
The journey to becoming an intelligent enterprise requires collaboration between customers and partners, as customers are expecting customized products, services, and solutions that precisely fit their individual. This requires solutions and technology to drive automation and efficiency so that industrial manufacturers can deliver highly customized products at the price of standard products.
Learn more about SAP Variant Configuration & Pricing and how SAP can help industrial manufacturers deliver highly customized products and solutions that customers are demanding.
Please, share your thought about SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing business value and how this powerful service can drive business process efficiencies that ultimately translate into a better customer experience.
Thank you for this very good summary of the end-to-end product configuration process. We see great potential here for manufacturing companies as well. This will be a very interesting topic in the coming years 🙂
Great to see this industry trend materializing in the coming year as we see more and more a need for industrial companies to innovate their commercial models. Thanks for your comment.