Cisco and its many competitors, Dell, HP and Lenovo, and even BMW with its Mini all share a common trait; they all have the ability to take highly specific, customized requirements for their products and quickly transform them into deliverable products. Cisco completely re-defined their ERP system to be more demand-driven, enabling their manufacturing, sales and channel partner organizations to track customized product orders as they were completed.
Responding back to customers with the status of their orders and the exact delvier dates is a major comeptitive advantage.
Each of these companies have been able to earn customer loyalty and trust by making the qoute-to-order process both transparent and highly effective in fulfilling customer demand.
What Differentiates Successful Companies: Financial Accountability Of Product Configuration
What all these successful companies have in common is first the ability to quickly quote then deliver non-standard product configurations to both direct customers and channel partners.
Second, there is a constant, unrelenting focus on how to make the quote-to-order process as efficient as possible.
Third, each of these companies, especially Cisco and Dell, never stop looking at how quoting accuracy impacts their bottom line.
As a result, these companies and others like them have been able to tie back their quote-to-order and product configuration performance to financial measures or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
The graphic is based on research completed by AMR Research, Gartner and other research firms that quantify the performance of product configuration strategies on the financial performance of the companies who adopted them as a core part of their channel management strategies.
Bottom Line: Look at how to streamline and make more efficient your quote-to-order and product configuration strategies in 2009 to increase revenues and profits.