Archive for the ‘configurator’ Category

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Easy Connect is now in iQuote!

February 3, 2017

We are pleased to announce the introduction of Easy Connect BTO (ProLiant EC200a) products to iQuote, extending the portfolio of products on offer.

EasyConnectAn Easy Connect configurator has been specifically designed and developed into iQuote to assist users in navigating the complex product rules.   Users of iQuote are now able to configure Easy Connect products through a simple step by step wizard to ensure an accurate configuration every time.

Once you have selected your Easy Connect SKU, users are prompted to start the wizard:

Easyconnect2

After starting the wizard, users are asked a series of questions to select from such as:

  • Model
  • Storage and Accessories
  • Operating System
  • Additional Services
  • Hardware and Support

On response to all of the questions, users are given the option to ‘Update Basket’ as shown below:

Easy Connect 4

Easy Connect will then form part of your quotation and users can be assured of a fully validated configuration. We hope that you will enjoy using the new Easy Connect configurator and that it gives you the confidence to quote this great new addition to the iQuote product portfolio!

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See the All New iCreate Software for Westcoast!

January 30, 2017

iCreateWe are delighted to announce the latest release of our iCreate Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software for Westcoast Distribution. The Software is now bigger and better than ever. It has never been easier for Resellers to sell the entire HP PC range to their customers’ exact requirements.

Here are just a few of the reasons Resellers should be using iCreate from Westcoast Distribution:

  • Configure the HP Workstation range
  • Configure the NEW HP Premium range
  • Configure by graphics card
  • Export validated quotes to Excel for upload directly into HP’s bid system
  • Save and name popular configurations for future use
  • Full slot configuration and accessory selection
  • Maximise your margin opportunity

And best of all…it is simple and easy to navigate!

Use the Westcoast iCreate tool today for all your HP business. Visit Westcoast iCreate.

iCreate is developed exclusively for Westcoast Distribution by channelcentral.net. channelcentral specialise in quotation software to enable the IT Channel Worldwide.

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You want to show stock in your Configurator. That must be easy right?

October 24, 2016

shutterstock_17837185For ex-stock sales showing stock (inventory) in a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool offers a better chance of a “right first time” quotation. In Sales, how often has a solution been created but has to be re-worked and re-worked at great expense because it can’t be shipped in time?

Customer expectations are high and in some geographies same or next day deliveries are considered normal. One of the reasons factory configuration (aka configure to order) business models that were popular at the start of the millennium in the IT Channel are not as common anymore.

Surfacing stock should be easy. With our experience we know it’s not as easy as you’d think.

CPQ: a separate system
It’s very rare for an ERP system to be able to offer CPQ capabilities that exactly match the business or technical complexity. So stock has to be “fed” to the CPQ system. Today that almost certainly means a web service as even hourly text files can be out of date. A business turning over stock every two weeks in volume or value terms is shipping a lot of products per hour and it only takes 1 part from 10 to be sold to invalidate a configuration.

Web services are real-time and with the best programming techniques stock figures can cascade in once a page has loaded, to improve performance and handle complex configurations that have hundreds or even thousands of parts.

Pulling stock through in tandem with price makes sense so this is often a single process.

Stock is Stock
Well surprisingly not. At any stage a Manufacturer or Distributor may have orders placed on their suppliers so there’s what is in stock, plus what is on order. Then add in expected due dates so the user can accurately forecast when a configuration can be shipped. Sometimes products in constraint have “back orders” or “forward due date orders”. So the due quantity isn’t the amount on order it’s the amount after back/forward orders.

Imagine losing a sales opportunity today for 50 units when you have 5000 units arriving in the warehouse tomorrow.

Bundles
The concept of bundles is usually associated with promotional discounts so buy these 5 products together and get a better price. In addition, bundles also exist where “large deal” price lists are in place where all products must be ordered from one supplier on a single invoice. It doesn’t stop there though: for large geographies stock exists in multiple warehouses so to build a configuration, all the items have to be in the same location otherwise the shipping is a) more expensive b) slower. Lastly, some countries have complex tax laws and to pay the “correct” tax, products have to ship from specific locations.

Virtual Stock & Electronic Licenses
If you are a Reseller that carries some stock but can buy from multiple sources, you have the advantage of being able to show “aggregate” stock numbers but be careful not to fall foul to the Bundle rules that may be in play. Also some products are ALWAYS in stock as they are basically licenses or services delivered via an email. So your user interface needs to make it clear that they are ALWAYS available not ALWAYS out of stock.

Visual Aids
New word for the dictionary: shippability. Show products in the basket that can ship now in green and those that can’t in red. OK that makes sense. Especially if the “electronically” delivered parts are also green. The user can instantly see the entire configuration is shippable. You will also want your CPQ tool to update shippabillity in a quote that was created 2 weeks ago. If a product can’t be stock refreshed warn the user.

Still think showing stock is easy? Well it’s not impossible. All of channelcentral’s CPQ tools cope well with ALL of the complexities laid out here. If you are having issues managing stock for your Channel contact us to hear about the different CPQ tools that we can offer.

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How can CPQ Software help your marketing teams?

April 14, 2016

It shouldn’t be all about the sales teams! The marketing folk tend to get forgotten when the industry talks about Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software and the benefits that it brings. The truth is, there are probably even more benefits to a Marketing Manager than a Sales Manager. Here are the key ones:

  • Return on Investment (ROI) – Time and time again Marketing teams are asked to show their return on investment and it’s not always easy to do. Seeing your quote volumes increase YoY after adopting CPQ Software with detailed reporting not only demonstrates your ROI but breaks it down to a granular level.
  • Promotions – Ensure your promotions are not missed or forgotten with auto-add technology in your CPQ Software. Detailed reporting will show you the typical configuration types for market insight.
  • Go-to-Market Strategy –  Control exactly when, what, where and who sees your new products and promotions.
  • Market Research – With real-time, detailed reporting find out exactly when, what and where your customers are quoting for valuable segmentation data for your next promotions and campaigns.
  • Advertising – The most targeted adverts you’ll ever run! Get right to the heart of your market by advertising in your CPQ Software or better still, if your CPQ Software is Multi-Vendor like Freebird, why not sell advertising space and make some money?!
  • New Product Introductions – A new and additional route to your customers. The greatest value here is for Channel Marketing teams where Multi-Channel CPQ Software such as Freebird are used. Add your new product at host level and release it to every instance of your tool and instantly you’re market-wide!
  • Upsell – Something we are all asked to do more of! It has never been easier with auto-add features  as well as recommended options.
  • Brand – Beat your competition with faster quote-to-order cycles and lower error rate (less returns) for a reputation all marketing teams would be proud of.

To learn more about CPQ Software, how it can integrate into all your internal systems and how it can help your marketing (and sales!) teams visit our website or contact us.

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Ever wondered what CPQ integration looks like?

March 2, 2016

channelcentral CPQ Ecosystem

For those that are new to Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tools it can be hard to understand what an integration could look like and how it can work for your business.

The following diagram shows a typical CPQ integration for one of our customers. channelcentral offer the Software as a Service (SAAS) to their customer (CPQ Host) so they can make their sales processes more efficient. For those customers that would like to gain maximum efficiencies, the service is extended to their customers (CPQ Consumer) through webstore integrations. The CPQ tool suddenly becomes very powerful as it has B2B and B2C functionality to open up your market and provide real-time reporting. Whichever CPQ Service and level of integration is required, you can be assured of on-going channelcentral support and lifecycle management as part of your SAAS contract.

channelcentral CPQ Ecosystem

If you would like to learn more about how a CPQ tool could help you grow your business, contact us.

www.channelcentral.net/cpq

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A Buyers Guide for CPQ Software

November 3, 2015

A way to make the right decisions.

Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software is well established in certain industries, but to the IT Channel it is only really just starting to get recognised. CPQ Software has many benefits to the IT Channel including increased quote value, shorter quote-to-order cycles, reduction in returns and of course a boost in customer satisfaction.

While those job roles that are tasked with growing their Channel may be well aware of these CPQ Software benefits, it could be that your colleagues who are in charge of budgets, or IT projects, have never even heard of CPQ Software. As such, channelcentral has produced a CPQ Buyers Guide which acts as a template for potential customers to use, manipulate and present to their colleagues.

The CPQ Buyers Guide is available for download from the channelcentral website and should give customers a good starting block for embarking on a CPQ Software project. If you have any questions or need any assistance in completing the document then please contact us, as we would be delighted to assign you to one of our Channel Experts who can complete it with you.

If you would like to learn a bit more about CPQ Software generally and what it could do for your business then why not download our Whitepaper ‘Increasing Revenue and Reducing Workload with a CPQ Tool’?

As established developers of bespoke and off-the-shelf CPQ Software, channelcentral is ideally placed to provide guidance on the best CPQ Software solution for your organisation.

channelcentral CPQ Buyer Guide

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#BackToTheFuture with CPQ Software

October 21, 2015

#BackToTheFuture didn’t predict a world where there is software developed for Sales Teams that would Configure, Price, and Quote.

A world where efficiencies are maximised, revenues doubled and workload is halved!

Did your sales team make it into the future or are you still using spread sheets and taking too long to get quotes out of the door?

Configure, Price, Quote Software is a Sales tool designed to help companies produce accurate, configured quotes in the most efficient way possible. A CPQ tool makes configuring complex products, common in the IT Industry, easy. The tool has built in product validation rules, pricing, promotions and stock which are available in real-time. Sales Teams can have everything they need at their fingertips to both shorten the Quote-to-Order cycle but also free up the valuable resource which is your Technical Support team. Download our Whitepaper ‘Increasing Revenue and Reducing Workload with a CPQ Tool’.

CPQ Software is the core of channelcentral business. We offer bespoke developments or off-the-shelf CPQ solutions all focussed on the IT Channel and Technology Sector to help improve efficiencies in your Sales Teams .

Contact channelcentral today and discuss how CPQ Software can bring you and your sales teams into the future!