One of the most common questions when looking into new software solutions is, “what’s my return on investment (ROI)?”
For some solutions, this is as simple as if you choose product A you will get X back. For our solutions, there is no cookie cutter ROI calculator as it's dependent on how a manufacturer chooses to implement. But one thing is certain, manufacturers who choose Configura increase sales and decrease unnecessary costs internally and externally.
The most successful companies on our platform, who see the greatest ROI, are fully prepared to create more efficient processes in their organization. In return, they can see several different areas of improvement.
Below we list the seven most common areas.
1. Increase sales through a customer centric approach
Believe it or not, hiring more salespeople is not always the best way to increase sales. Instead, we would argue that some of the best sales strategies utilize technology to improve customer service, automation of tasks and visualization.
Today, customers are more informed than ever. With more resources at hand, a lot of research is typically done even before they raise their hand to talk to a salesperson. By utilizing the right tools and creating an omnichannel solution, you can engage with buyers earlier in the sales process without the need to talk to a salesperson.
The way to engage with the customer sooner is through visual tools. Most customers struggle to imagine what a future space will look like based on a 2D drawing and fabric samples.
Instead, giving the customer 3D drawings, renderings, 360-renderings, fly-through videos or virtual reality (VR) will ensure they can envision what their future space will look like.
Another way is to create your own online storefront. This enables customers to browse and explore your product online, configure their own products or create their own layouts and draw with your products directly on your website.
Inspiring your customers to play around and explore their ideas on their own terms will empower buying habits, shorten the sales cycle and reduce the number of resources needed to finalize the sale. Half of the job will be done by the customer!
Once the customer is ready to make contact, being able to draw live in front of a customer to bring their vision to life will lessen the number of customer revisions.
Live design has become a real concept thanks to CET, particularly in the commercial interiors industry and it’s here to stay!
With this approach and the right tools in place, the same workforce can make their sales process more efficient, which in turn means they have more time to take on more bids and new projects.
2. Decrease human errors with less redraws
We’ve heard many stories from customers who redraw the same project multiple times within the bidding process. On average companies redraw each project up to seven times.
This average is before they have even won the deal!
So, why is so much time and resources spent on redrawing the same project?
The simple answer, different departments need different parts of the drawing and each of them is using different tools.
A mockup is created by sales to give an idea of what the customer project might entail. It then goes to the engineers or designers to create an accurate drawing before the same project is redrawn a third time to be specified to calculate the costs. After the project has been specified it is time for installation to take a stab. In this simplified example, we already see four redraws done by different teams.
Then you add the average three to ten rounds of changes with the customer. For each change, every department needs to make the same updates in every drawing for each round. With a minimum of three rounds of changes in our example, that’s 12 redraws. If we have a more complicated customer with ten rounds of changes, that’s 40 redraws!
That’s 40 instances of potentially making mistakes that can make or break a deal, result in lost profits, and increase costs.
With CET, there is no need to do multiple redraws as several people can work simultaneously in the same drawing, automating many steps along the way.
Sales always work with accurate products and pricelists and can instantly provide a more accurate quote to the customer without having to rely on multiple departments.
Designers and engineers can continue to work with the drawing from sales, which is already aligned with what the customer wants.
Everything is automatically specified in the background as it is being drawn and installation drawings can be automatically generated once the drawing is completed.
Thanks to this streamlined process, customers have reported that project times have decreased from months to weeks, or from weeks to hours depending on the industry.
3. Rely less on experts and get new hires up to speed faster
The complexity of specifying products for a commercial interior, a kitchen or a warehouse is often underestimated. To be successful you need to rely on product experts that have gone through years of training and learning tribal knowledge to be able to sell the products efficiently.
So, what is it that makes this complex?
First, a product may come in thousands of variations – color, size, configurations, etc. – but these variations may change if they are combined with other products. Different parts and pieces may need to be considered if they are connected to other products and just small alterations could result in substantial changes in the specification.
Remembering all these rules is possible if you have one product, however, the reality is that most companies sell dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of products with this type of behavior.
Even if someone was able to remember all these rules and specifications (we are looking at you designers out there that have hundreds of part numbers memorized by heart) the amount of time it takes to both memorize and create these specifications manually is a problem.
What sets us apart from the competition is the level of intelligence that we add to each product:
In CET, products know how they can behave both by themselves and in relation to other products. CET contains all the necessary product knowledge and application smartness.
This means that many steps can be automated and calculated by the software, allowing you to bring all salespeople, designers, or engineers up to the same base level – regardless of previous experience.
Less experienced salespeople, designers or engineers can take on more advanced tasks and projects with the help of CET. Meanwhile, the most experienced engineers can focus on the most advanced inquiries and projects.
4. Save money by reducing waste and improving your environmental impact
We have had customers report that they lose up to 20% of profits in inaccurate orders each year. This could be from simple mistakes like:
- One wrong number/letter in the part number which results in the product being specified in the wrong color such as kitchen cabinets being delivered in blue instead of white
- Product pieces missing at installations which delays installation due to the need for another delivery
- Too many parts are delivered which results in a lot of unnecessary waste since a lot of companies don’t have a process to bring these parts back into production to be reused in other projects
With automatic specifications and less redraws, your orders will be more accurate. It’s as simple as that.
This in turn will lead to less errors during delivery which means less waste and less trucks on the roads. Additionally, photo-realistic visuals with accurate finishes reduces the need to provide multiple samples, which in turn means less waste. With CET, your environmental footprint will lessen, and our planet will feel a little better.
5. Decrease number of software licenses to maintain
There are many great software solutions out there, all specialized in their specific niche.
CET is what we call all-in-one software but what does that mean?
Historically, our customers were previously using up to five different software programs to handle their sales, design and specification needs. CET can handle it all.
There’s no need to create layouts in one program, specify in another, create renderings in a third, create the order in a fourth and installation drawings in a fifth program.
With CET, it’s all done in the same program without the need to export. This means that instead of five different licenses, you only need one!
But what about drawings you get in other formats? For example, many of our customers work with architects. They need the architectural drawing from AutoCAD or Revit to know the specifications of the room they’re designing.
No worries, AutoCAD or Revit drawings can be imported and cleaned up in CET so you have all the information you need to create the interiors without having multiple licenses. We also support imports and exports to other file formats like IFC for BIM and STEP (.stp).
But what about orders? We need to send orders through our ERP or CRM system.
CET can connect directly to companies’ ERP and CRM systems to create a streamlines process and minimize the need for extra licenses for other programs.
6. One source of truth – repurpose the same data for multiple solutions
One big company cost that is often overlooked when you calculate ROI, is upkeep of data. Data is not stagnant but is constantly changing.
Pricelists need to be constantly updated, you have different promotions running, new products are released, old products are removed, something is shortlisted or out of stock – there’s a lot of data that needs to reach the right people at the right time.
Most of the time, this data also needs to be updated in multiple systems, creating yet another area where companies are prone to human errors which can cause major problems.
We see this as one of the biggest issues our customers are facing today.
With Configura’s platform, the same data can be used in all our products and other external solutions. This means that the same data that powers CET also powers our other solutions Stage and Design Studio.
There are multiple benefits to repurposing data:
- Data only needs to be updated and maintained in one location
- Drawings can be shared seamlessly between Configura’s solutions
- Updates and new products can be pushed out seamlessly
7. Save time
If you made it this far, we’re sure you already see multiple ways that CET can save you time and we all know that time is money.
- By speeding up and automating your sales, design, specification and order process you will automatically see significant ROI.
- By implementing CET, customers have reported faster sales cycles – from months to weeks, or from weeks to hours depending on the industry.
- Save time getting new employees up-to-speed faster as there’s no longer the same demand for product knowledge. CET knows and guides the user in how products can behave and fit together with other products and automatically specifies everything in the background.
- Last, eliminate the need to manage data in multiple locations. Save time by using one source of truth that can be used throughout all of Configura’s products.
What’s your ROI?
Depending on how an organization is set up, the processes in place and how open a company is to change, it differs how much and where a company will see ROI.
From our experience, companies can see profit margins increase by as much as five percentage points when introducing CET.
What’s also important to remember is that there is more to gain than just numbers.
- Better customer service will result in happier customers which in return could become ambassadors or references for future business and have a positive impact on your brand.
- Less tedious tasks and better tools to enable creativity will result in more satisfied and driven employees. The happier your employees are, the more likely they are to stay with your company.
- And best of all, you will contribute to a better future when you improve your environmental footprint with more accurate orders and photorealistic visuals.
Where will you see the biggest ROI? Our Business Developer team is happy to help you evaluate how Configura and our solutions could help your business.
Contact us today to get an estimate of how much you could save by switching to our platform.