Quotation time envelope

Quotation time solved

This article looks at quotation time and considers whether this time can be reduced. All companies provide customer quotations, the time to create these differs widely for each company from a few minutes to several weeks. Creating a customer quotation requires several internal and external processes. After establishing the customer’s requirement, the sales engineer must configure products and services to meet this requirement.

It requires considerable knowledge and skill to select the correct products, describe them accurately and ensure that accurate costs accounted. By working differently, the company can reduce quotation time and cost.

 

Problems:

Manually preparing customer quotations requires considerable research. Information is often missing or inaccurate which requires additional support from engineering teams or suppliers. Gathering this information takes considerable time. Engineering support adds cost, although many companies do not record this cost. Engineering rarely schedules sales support work, disrupting other scheduled work. Bottlenecks and production delays can occur. With each transfer of information and process completed there is an increased risk of error. Having to check the information received, processed and issued increases the cost further.

Businesses which are in competitive markets may suffer from low order conversion rates which increases the cost to the business.

 

Solution:

A configurable standard product library ensures that good quality information is immediately available to the sales engineer with the minimum time select a suitable solution. The standardised product contains technical and commercial information, together with selection and application rules necessary to reduce risk.

The use of standard products reduces the time required to generate sales proposals. The information is fully verified and accurate which reduces risk. Specialist information is available through the standards library without specialist support.

Product configuration uses the standard product information. Selection rules are applied and enforced to ensure the correct selections made. Product configuration reduces the skill needed to prepare a quotation. Costs automatically calculate for the selections made. The quotation generated at the touch of a button. The cost of generating a customer quotation reduces.

Low order conversion rates have less influence on the business because the cost to prepare a quotation is significantly reduced. The customer receives a better quality proposal faster.

 

Advantages from different perspectives

 

  • Faster receipt of sales quotations
  • Increased accuracy of quotaions
  • Lower cost to prepare customer quotations
  • Less risk, fewer processes and transfers of information are required
  • Fewer bottlenecks requiring management attention
  • Increased customer satisfaction as quotations are received faster
  • Improved productivity as more work is possible
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Lower cost to prepare customer quotations
  • Less risk, fewer processes and transfers of information are required
  • Improved productivity as more work is possible
  • Increased profitability with the reduction of cost and risk, while improving  productivity
  • Reduced number of requests to support sales
  • Fewer bottlenecks requiring management attention
  • Reduced number of requests to support sales
  • Fewer bottlenecks requiring management attention

 

Further help and assistance

Gatehouse Design are specialists in product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. We can help companies develop highly effective product strategies, maximising profitability, productivity and customer satisfaction. We can help you reduce quotation time and improve the efficiency of your business. Please contact us to discuss any product design related issues that you may have.

There is an offer a free product audit to help identify opportunities for product standardisation, product configuration and design automation. Additionally, Gatehouse Design has published many helpful white papers and articles which are available on this website.

 

The author

Written by Peter Slee-Smith 14/05/2018.

Peter Slee-Smith founded Gatehouse Design in 2012, a Chartered Mechanical Engineer with more than 30 years experience in industrial design. Peter qualified with a Masters Degree and has held senior positions in many leading engineering and product manufacturing companies. He is passionate about product design efficiency and has written many articles on the subject. Based in Littleport just outside Ely in Cambridgeshire, Gatehouse Design specialises in product standardisation, configuration and design automation.

 

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