Agile Embark - Quoting & Configuration
Agile Embark

Case Study:

Quoting & Configuration

In this example, Agile Embark is used to provide a web-based quoting system with configuration and quote delivery.

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Scenario

This client uses a distributor based sales model. A growing number of partnered distributor exacerbated the already existing issues with out of date pricing, incorrect configurations, proposal turn-around times and ease of access to quoting tools.

Agile Embark was utilized to centralize the quoting process and manage a single source for product logic and pricing management

Challenges

The client’s current system for managing quotes relied on spreadsheets hosted on a SharePoint server. This setup presented several challenges for both internal employees and external distributors, who needed up-to-date pricing and product information readily available.

The reliance on static spreadsheets often led to discrepancies in pricing, as updates were not always communicated promptly or uniformly across all users. The use of different systems and platforms by internal and external users resulted in compatibility issues, hindering seamless collaboration and data sharing.

Managing and distributing quotes required the use of third-party applications, which added licensing costs and complexity to the system. Internal sales teams were burdened with extra review processes to verify the accuracy and validity of quotes generated by external distributors.

This verification was time-consuming and diverted the sales team from their primary focus of generating new business. The need for manual updates and checks created inefficiencies, slowing down the overall quote generation and approval process.

Identified Issues

  • Incorrect Pricing: Using copied spreadsheets often resulted in outdated pricing being used.
  • Internal Sales Time: Due to the high likelihood of errors or mistakes, internal sales teams had to spend time reviewing and verifying external quotes, diverting valuable resources from generating new revenue.
  • Support Tasks: The clunky and inefficient manner of document distribution caused significant headaches for document management and for sales associates trying to access these tools.
  • Users and Permissions: Constantly managing permissions across various items and locations for a growing number of users led to several issues.
  • Security: The previous system was only manageable by allowing a single user for a given group of sales associates. This inability to manage on a per-user basis raised concerns about access to quoting tools for competitors if sales associates left the current group.
  • Cascading Issues: Since the system was managed at group levels, any need to update or change credentials or access affected all users immediately, regardless of their group.
  • Scalability Challenges: The resources needed to manage and support the previous system increased exponentially with the addition of new sales groups or staff.
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Agile Embark - Quoting & Configuration

Solutions

Agile Embark’s framework allows for making advanced systems simple and intuitive to use. 

Starting with our base application, we were able to remove the need for spreadsheets completely. 

We provided a central web-based quoting suite as a module for the given client. This included several benefits when it came to pricing, product logic, revisions, automated notifications, enforcing proper input, customer management tools, and much more. 

We took an iterative approach by directly copying the quote tools already in use. This allowed us to quickly produce a testing environment for the client to use and verify all aspects.

Once the client was satisfied with the calculations and product configuration logic, we moved on to items like a refined user interface, reducing required user input, and adding several life improvement items.

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Implemented Items

  • Web-Based Configuration: Developed an online quote configuration and delivery system based on the existing quote tools, pricing management, and product configuration logic.
  • Single Source: Agile Embark provided a centralized area for managing pricing and product logic, significantly reducing the time and personnel needed for support.
  • Analytics & Engagement: Implemented action event and view tracking to monitor usage and engagement.
  • Self-Support: Equipped sales associates with a quoting and configuration tool that automatically handled product configuration logic and adapted to date-related pricing changes.
  • Customer Management: Implemented automatic storage and suggestions for new or previous customers, including associations with sales associates and sales groups.
  • Revisions & History: Enabled the ability to view, copy, and alter current quotes, with automatic revision numbering.
  • Personalized Dashboards: Provided unique dashboards for sales associates, allowing them to filter open and active quotes to see only their own or those within their sales group.
  • Notifications: Established an automated notification system based on the client’s criteria to inform internal sales associates when an advanced quote needed review or when notable actions, stagnant periods, or engagement metrics occurred.

Results

By centralizing and simplifying the quoting process, engagement and preference for the client’s product increased significantly.

Features such as the ability to view all quotes in a more intuitive layout, quickly copy and edit quotes, and automate parts of the quoting process led to a higher volume of quotes being generated.

With Agile Embark’s tracking and analytics capabilities, our client is now obtaining data that was previously impossible to gather. Automatically tracking who quoted what, when, and where quickly became one of the most valuable datasets in their sales arsenal.

Cross-referencing quote generation with purchase orders provided invaluable insights into closing rates, product popularity, and weaknesses in the sales network.

The reduction in time required by internal sales team members for remedial support and quote review allowed them to use the new data insights to identify and focus on improving closing rates across the sales network.

The added automations and improved product logic have eliminated pricing mistakes and incorrect product configurations. This has also reduced the time spent generating quotes, contributing to an increased preference for the client’s product among external sales associates.

The Numbers

  • Sales Team: The internal sales team spends significanlty less time on review or support tasks related to quoting.
    • Time Freed up: 40%-90% reduction in supplemental sales tasks has been reported
    • Increasing Current Sales: Ease of use and helpful tools have helped increase the efficiency of internal and external sales associates.
    • Acquiring new sales channels: The new data being collected and reported by Agile Embark has resulted in focused efforts to improve sales methods, communication, and new customer acquisition.
  • Time Saving Benefits:
    • Lower Resource Requirements: By freeing up time consumed by tasks that don’t generate new or more revenue directly, sales teams have been able to apply their time toward finding and closing more sales opportunies.
    • Less Costly Mistakes: WIth a single source for pricing and configuration logic, mistakes are a thing of the past.
  • Reporting & Data: The advanced and unlimited customization of Agile Embarks tracking and reporting, completely new datasets are now available.
    • Heat Mapping: With the quoting tools now within Agile Embark, the client can track who is quoting, when they are quoting, and how often. This provided the opportunity to breakdown qclosing rates by region, sales group, and individual sales associates.
    • Making Decisions: The advanced analytics has provided an environment where time and effort are utilized in a more targetted manner. This includes internal sales identifying weak areas in the sales network or territories and focusing on improvement. This is true for the existing sales channels and discovering weak areas in their territories.
    • Providing Support: With our tracking and analytics in place, we were able to identify several actions or lack thereof that now benefit from immediate notification or regular report generation. This system allowed the client to set parameters for notifications, priority, and direct them to the appropriate people automatically.

More Case Studies

Discover how Agile Embark has transformed businesses across various industries. Explore our case studies to see real-world examples of how our flexible platform has streamlined operations, enhanced efficiency, and provided powerful data insights. Learn from the success stories of our clients and see how Agile Embark can drive innovation and growth for your business.

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