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Tacton CPQ for sales and product configuration
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    Do you like solving logic puzzles? Great! So do we and we would like to give you a challenge today. You may recognize this classic puzzle, The Einstein Riddle, as it sometimes appears in the quiz section of newspapers etc. It is often claimed that Einstein came up with this puzzle and has said only 2% of the world’s population could solve it. Although that probably is not true it still offers a fun challenge. The Einstein Riddle is not only a challenging puzzle to solve but also offer a great way of understanding the attributes and constraints that are important features of a configurator. For that reason the puzzle has also been modified to an easy to understand the product that is also often configured: cars.

    Your task

    Your task is to figure out which car is Environmental Friendly (a Sales Pitch) using the given situation and clues.

    The situation

    1. We have 5 car brands, with five different Colors, parked in a parking space next to each other.
    2. Each car uses a specific type of Fuel, is a certain Car Type, and has a specific Sales Pitch.
    3. No car uses the same Fuel, has the same Color, the same Sales Pitch or is the same Car Type.

    Clues

    The Volvo is Red The Land Rover is Safe The Toyota runs on Diesel The Green car is parked Left to the White car The Green car runs on Hydrogen The Truck is Exclusive The Yellow car is a Van The car parked in the Center runs on Electricity The Ford is parked in the First (leftmost) parking lot The Sports Car is parked Next To the car that is Fast. The Economical car is parked next to the Van The Compact car runs on Natural Gas The Renault is a Station wagon The Ford is parked next to the Blue car The Sports Car is parked next to the Gasoline car

    As you may notice, the Sales Pitch does not in itself hold any logic towards the Car Type, e.g. the Sports Car does not necessarily have to be marketed as the Fast Car just as the Truck is obviously the Exclusive car.

    The contest

    Solve the puzzle and fill in the form below with the answer to ”Which car is the environmentally friendly” as soon as you are done. Next week we will publish the correct solution and the week after we will explain how the Tacton configurator can be used to solve this puzzle as well as far more complex versions of the puzzle.

    The post Are you smart like Einstein? Can you solve this logic puzzle? appeared first on Tacton.


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    Companies don’t want products – they want solutions to their problems. Meet Vencomatic, a Tacton customer who knows the difference a good sales tool can make.

      Vencomatic is a Dutch equipment manufacturer for the poultry farming industry. The company’s products are highly customized and no two customers buy the same solution. With a presence in more than 70 countries and an extensive network of partners and re-sellers, Vencomatic needed a CPQ sales tool that was smart, quick and accurate. But more than that – they needed a tool that could answer their customers’ questions.  

    The Challenge: Providing a solution, not just a product

    Vencomatic’s customers have chickens in common, but that’s where it ends. Each has their own very unique set of requirements. There isn’t even consistency in terms of how they approach Vencomatic. And herein lies the challenge.   Koen Boot, CIO at Vencomatic explains:
    “Some of our customers come to us with a building specification and say, ‘I want to house chickens in this building, which system should I use? And how many birds can I keep?’ While another might ask, ‘I want to produce X number of eggs per day, which system should I use and how large should the building be?’ This requires a degree of flexibility and sophistication that our existing sales configurator just couldn’t provide”.
      What Koen describes here is a common thread for many of the manufacturers that we work with. Customers often ask how you can solve a problem, or meet a need, rather than coming with an idea of which product they want to buy. And in this situation, you’d better know your offering inside out.   But even this isn’t enough. You also need to understand the unique business context your solution should fit into. This may sound obvious, but with complex products (even with not so complex ones!) it’s far from easy. Koen explains the situation like this;
    “If you take one of our standard nest products – we might have 20 different options for each nest. Consider then that we have 25 different product lines and that we’re active in 70 countries, each of which has its own country-specific regulations and requirements…it makes for a pretty complex equation.”
     

    A sales tool that loves the complexity

    What’s needed is a CPQ tool  that can handle this level of complexity, and also one that’s smart enough to capture a customer’s needs and translate that into the optimal offering. And that’s Tacton.   Tacton’s technology has the ability to connect customer needs to specific product features and functions. You can offer solutions that provide an answer to your customer’s questions – and crucially, you can do it every bit as quickly and profitably as you would with standard products.  

    Unexpected benefits

    Embarking on a configuration project like this one often acts as a catalyst that sheds light on issues and brings unexpected improvements. Koen explains:
    “The project with Tacton highlighted a lot of issues with our processes, but in a good way. It forced us to really examine our products from a logical point of view, and to think about what is the core and what we should offer as options. We had always modularized to some extent, but this really made us rethink. It was a big eye-opener for us to look at our product line in this way and to really consider what we could and should offer our customers. We’ve adapted Tacton’s ideas to our product architecture and it’s already looking very promising.”
      The main takeaway for Vencomatic was this – if your customer wants you to build a custom solution, you need a clear understanding of your building blocks.  

    Time savings of up to 60% – and that’s just the beginning 

    Even before the Tacton solution was fully implemented, the project had already started to show efficiency gains in both production and sales. The first phase of the project handles six complete product lines, including country regulations and many other important parameters. This work is already producing time-saving of as much as 60% per quote. Koen says,
    With our new solution, all the product and configuration knowledge is captured in the system and not just in the heads of our product experts. We are very happy. It is saving us a lot of time and we are a more competitive business as a result.”
     

    Does any of the above resonate?

    If you’re nodding yes, then our smart CPQ tool could be a good fit for you. Read about it here or drop us a line. We’d be happy to arrange a demo.

    The post Quick…are you selling products or solving customer problems? appeared first on Tacton.


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    Gaining a competitive advantage in manufacturing can be a difficult task with so many cheap options on the market for your potential customers to choose from, which makes it important to find different ways to compete on value. In today’s online market B2B customers want their products, and they want them ASAP which makes filling orders integral to the success of any business.   How can you make your manufacturing company the first option for your current customers, but also for new customers? Streamlining your order process will help you run laps around your competition for years to come.   The manufacturing industry has struggled with filling orders correctly for years, but that can change by enabling the right solutions for your business.  Using a configurator such as Tacton’s CPQ can go a long way in making every order 100% correct. Companies who fail to streamline important processes like quoting and ordering will get left behind. You may find yourself asking how eliminating order errors will help your business, and we’ve got the answers:  With high customer expectations, it is important to address the increasing demands by providing them the right product, but also an omnichannel experience. A Tacton study shows 30% of orders contain errors, which makes it is easier than ever for a customer to leave for the competition that will get the job done right the first time. Retaining customers is just as important as getting new ones. Enhancing customer experience by giving them what they want quickly and correctly should be something every manufacturing sales team strives for.  To reiterate, customers are increasingly intolerant of human error making it easier to switch to a competitor rather than tolerate easily avoidable mistakes. These errors can come from poor workflows that involve a constant back and forth between sales and engineering. Finding a solution that breaks down the silos that impede progress will go a long way in helping your customer come back.  Enhancing the customer experience- Bring back customers time and time again by offering them the right product, the first time. Eliminating slow fulfillment- slower fulfillment means fewer sales opportunities, negatively impacting the bottom line. Improve operational efficiencies- Finding why slow orders are common will enable your company to eliminate them for efficient processes. Eliminating order errors isn’t an option, it’s a necessity for your business to sustain and grow. Discover how Tacton helped Kramp, one of Europe’s biggest technical wholesalers, offer a new standard of fast and reliable orders and quotes.  

    The post Don’t Get Lapped in the Order Fulfillment Race appeared first on Tacton.


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    Understanding your customer is critical to the success of your business, so why wouldn’t you go the extra mile to meet them when and where they want? Manufacturers need to learn how their customers are researching their product both online and offline. Check out our 5 big stats about the new B2B buying journey:   Is your business doing the best it can to utilize these stats for the perfect customer buying experience? If not, it’s time to schedule a demo with Tacton to discuss how we can help improve your customer’s buying journey!

    The post [Infographic] The Manufacturers Guide: The New B2B Buying Journey appeared first on Tacton.


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    Here at Tacton we’re always listening and learning to try and further understand how our manufacturing customers do business. With that in mind, our latest update is offering exciting ways for manufacturers to enhance their customers’ experiences.  

    What’s new 

    Tacton is now offering Customer Self-Service, integration to Microsoft Dynamics and API for analytics. Combining the latest updates with the existing Tacton platform will continue to prove great for your business. Still unsure? Check out just a few of the values the latest update to Tacton can provide:  

    Self-Service

    Customer Self-Service is an API based option to give your company the ability to set up at customer self-service portal for budget quotes, where your customers can select configure and download budget proposals. With customers doing more than 57% of research online (Accenture, 2018) our new self-service can allow your existing customers to browse your complete product catalog. Customers do more searches than ever when purchasing an item, which makes having a place to display your products is an integral part of your success. Customer self-service also offers: 
    • A true omnichannel, with a connection between direct/partner and eCommerce sales in one quote 
    • Let customer create their own quotes to dramatically shorten the quoting process 
    • Empower your customers and sales team to work together  
    • Enhance the customer experience by enabling them to serve their own needs, quickly 

    Integration to Microsoft Dynamics

    Our latest update also includes integration into Microsoft Dynamics. Our CPQ solutions integrate seamlessly to Dynamics for simplified workflows. With integrations it’s important for your team to be able to leverage the existing data quickly and effectively together. As a result, sharing data for your sales reps will be easier than ever with this integration. No more entering data twice in the quoting process. 
    • Sales Reps can work in the environment they are comfortable with full access to all functionality in Tacton CPQ from Dynamics   
    • Accelerating sales velocity and efficiency by generating faster, error-free quotes – speeding up quote process (shortening the sales cycle and reducing the time to market) 
    • Offer a single point of administration for your entire sales team 

    API for Analytics 

     CPQ data is unique and our latest release now includes an API for analytics. With the new analytic API, you will be able to gain insights unique for CPQ data that aren’t stored elsewhere- including sales cycle, quote versions, process information, BOM info and customer needs. Now you will be able to gain product insights based on demand patterns, which items bring the most value and which parts get quoted the most.  API for analytics will allow you to accelerate your sales by understanding the demand of your product portfolio and tailor the logistic flow and stock availability.   Sound too good to be true? It’s not! With the latest from Tacton, it’s possible to engage the customer even further with this update. Manufacturers who adopt new digital and analytical tools can gain strategic advantages for their customer experience.  If you’d like to learn more about how Tacton can change your business schedule your personal demo today!

    The post Check out the Latest Product Updates from Tacton appeared first on Tacton.


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    Customers are smarter than ever, and they want to be able to interact with your product online. Tacton now offers customer self-service that allows your customer to configure and quote products seamlessly. Here are three self-service stats you should know about: Self-Service with Tacton   Want to know more about self-service? Check out our Self-Service Product Sheet. Interested in seeing how Tacton self-service can change your business? Get in touch today and book your personalized demo!

    The post [Infographic] The Manufacturers’ Guide Part 2: Customer Self-Service appeared first on Tacton.


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  • 11/08/19--05:48: So, What is Smart Commerce?
  • I’m sure you must be wondering “what do you mean by enabling Smart Commerce for Manufacturers?” Don’t worry, you’re not the only one. In fact, I have had to answer that question a number of times from a number of people inside my own organization.   Enabling Smart Commerce means preparing manufacturers for the new digital commerce economy. Buying behaviors have changed and B2B customers are now shopping in a B2C way– even in manufacturing. In fact, according to Gartner, buyers are 57% of the way through their buying process before they even reach out to a vendor. Additionally, by 2025, Accenture predicts 50% of all transactions in manufacturing will take place over the internet.   That sounds crazy, doesn’t it? There is NO WAY anyone is going to buy a semi-truck, tractor, Medtech device, or any other highly configurable, customized product online. Except, in many cases, this change in manufacturing has already begun! 

     Focus on the big picture 

    How can manufacturers sell configured, customized products online? By investing in a digital transformation strategy with a strong focus on digital commerce and customer experience. To execute, organizations must become operationally efficient to accelerate sales and deliver excellent experience customers expect.   Manufacturers have traditionally dealt with internal silos, long sales cycles, inaccurate quotes, struggles to deliver what the customer ordered, and internal inefficiencies that lead to costly delays and inaccuracies.    While CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote) tools improve efficiencies and enable faster quoting as a selling tool, the customer experience is now omnichannel. This means sales reps are not the channel, they are one channel, and customers expect more. 

     What do your customers expect?  

    They expect the seamless experience they receive in their B2C experiences– in their B2B buying journey. They demand selfservice, visualization, customization, and fast delivery across all channels. Manufacturers must extend beyond the traditional definition of commerce and be prepared to understand their customers regardless of where they enter the buying conversation while delivering the right product, the first time–every time. 

    The future is here and it’s digital  

    As a manufacturer, that might seem like a daunting task… but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, many manufacturers in specific industries have already adopted a strong digital strategy that has led to compelling results.  For example, our heavy vehicle customer, Scania, wanted to enable their dealers and customers to configure trucks through their website. To Scania, they saw this as an opportunity that would be industry-leading, but impossible without a system that enabled anyone to configure a semitruck. Anyone… even me, who is a creative marketing type. If you don’t believe it’s possible, check it out for yourself.  The online revolution isn’t coming, it’s already here. Manufacturers that fail to invest in digital commerce are vulnerable to lose revenue to their competitors that do. Tacton has the expertise and smartest solution to enable manufacturers to improve their internal efficiencies, accelerate sales, enhance their customer experience, and ultimately compete on value. Don’t get left behind!  Learn more by downloading our free ebookThe Manufacturers’ Guide to Smart Commerce.” 

    The post So, What is Smart Commerce? appeared first on Tacton.


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    In manufacturing to beat out the competition it’s important to enhance the customer experience in every way possible. One place that customers want to see change is how they get support for their unique issues. With inefficient processes leading the charge for customer issues, it’s important to nail how you support individuals who need help. It is essential to support your customers, so they keep coming back for more purchases. Customers also want a place where they can configure the products they want to purchase. One way to eliminate these inefficiencies is to offer self-service where customers can find answers while also building their orders.  67% of people prefer self-service over speaking to sales reps, making it important to offer the people what they want.

    What is self-service?

    Customer self-service is a place where customers can get instant answers and fixes for their issues with your product. Offering self-service can help take the pressure off your support team by offering an alternative to calling or emailing. Self-service can also offer a place to showcase and purchase. Having a great self-service gives your customers a sense of control over the process instead of feeling helpless. Offering a mobile-enabled self-service app will also allow your customers to work out their problems from anywhere, at any time. Self-service can also be used to sell your products, something that used to be difficult with complex product configuration. Now it’s possible to allow your customers to build their own quote for your custom products. Allowing your customers to build what they want on their own time will keep them engaged with your product. Online self-service can also be a powerful marketing tool. Having a great self-service will keep customers engaged with your company by enabling a place for support and also products and customer success stories.

    What is the problem without Self-Service?

    With an estimated 30 billion self-service tickets expected by 2030 (Gartner), it’s critical to enable your customers to work freely with self-service. Customers are more online than they’ve ever been and they want products and answers fast. Having a helpline with limited hours doesn’t help because everyone’s been on hold, leading to frustration. The B2B buyers want convenience, they don’t want to wait on the phone for answers. Without a self-service option, it makes customers more likely to tie up your support team with questions. With self-service, it’s possible to send customers somewhere that answers are easily and readily available. Emailing has made it easier to communicate quickly with users, but it takes time that the customer may not have or be willing to sacrifice. Email may also get lost in the shuffle of hundreds of other issues your support team is working on. If your business only offers the old ways of doing this, you may lose business to the competition that offers an online self-service. Consumers don’t want to rely on someone else, they want to be able to quickly address their issues. Offering an efficient way of supporting your customers without them getting on the phone or sending an email will go a long way in keeping them with your company. This impatience makes it integral to your customer experience to provide a service that allows them to get answers fast. It’s clear that not having a self-service can cause headaches for your support team and customers. But what goes in the self-service is equally as important as actually having one. Without good information, your self-service will fail to help anyone. Also without a self-service shopping cart, your customers won’t be able to interact with your products.

    What things should come with self-service?

    Having the right type of features and applications on your self-service can change your customer experience.
      • An online store: A place where your customers can configure, price and quote their own products.
      • Knowledge articles: FAQs, product sheets, how-to articles, blogs and even customer stories can go a long way to helping your customer find a solution on their own, while also showing your additional features quickly and effectively.
      • Demo videos– Offering a visual of common problems can help customers who are more likely to watch a short how-to video instead of reading a long-form problem-solving article.
      • Community forums– This may not be essential to all good self-service, but it’s something worth discussing. Offering a place where your different customers can interact with each other to crowdsource answers to problems can go a long way to solving different issues. These forums may require moderation which may make having this feature be more of a headache.
      • Somewhere to submit a ticket– This would be the last option, allowing your customers to submit an issue that they weren’t able to solve in the self-service. This can help streamline your processes by having one place for all tickets to go through instead of having a long phone call or an email chain.
      Here at Tacton we recently launched our new Smart Commerce platform to further enable manufacturers to do what they do best, sell their unique products and be on the cutting-edge of innovation. The latest update features a Customer self-service that can change how your company interacts with your customers. These new features come in addition to our classic suite of solutions that include CPQ, 3D Visualization, Augmented Reality, and integrations to any CRM or ERP in our Smart Commerce Platform. Still interested in learning more about self-service? Check out this infographic or schedule your personal demo today!  

    The post Improve How You Reach Customers with Self-Service appeared first on Tacton.


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    The internet has fundamentally changed how we as buyers purchase the items we want. With the end of the 2010s in clear sight, a big lesson we’ve learned is eCommerce is here, and it’s not going anywhere. You can buy anything online at any time with just a few clicks, so why are some industries still falling behind in the race to make it as easy as possible for their customers to buy their products?   If you’ve ended up on the Tacton blog you’re more than likely a manufacturing company employee asking the same question. So how about we help you with a quick story to bring to your coworkers onboard who also want a change.  

    Let’s go shopping for some boots, shall we? 

    Let’s go on a metaphorical shopping journey to prove a point. Say you need a new pair of boots for the upcoming winter, how do you go about shopping? Your first task more than likely is typing into your favorite search engine, “boots.” After you’ve rendered hundreds of results you get down to a few pairs you think would be ideal for you. Once you’ve got these few pairs down you probably read reviews for the boots, some say the boots run large, others say the boots can’t handle the cold as well as advertised.  

    The purchase isn’t as easy as expected:

    Now you’ve eliminated a pair of boots and are getting ready to finalize your purchase….but wait there’s more! You’re now being served ads for another pair of boots that have also piqued your interest. The secrets out, the shoe stores know what you want and will do anything to get your purchase, cheaper deals, buy one get one, etc. So, your choice just became even more complicated. Buying a pair of boots is increasingly difficult, can you imagine what your manufacturing customer goes through when buying complex, highly configurable manufacturing products?    That’s right, manufacturing has faced issues when it comes to digitization efforts aimed to make buying as simple as possible for their customers. But that can all change with Tacton Smart Commerce. Offering a complete, omnichannel buying journey is critical for the success of your business.   Imagine if you could configure the boots to your specific needs every time. Leather, number of eyelets, color, tread and so much more. That’s something many manufacturers have missed out during their sales pitch, being able to QUICKLY address exactly what their customer wants and deliver on that promise of a perfect boot or product. 

    With so much of the buying journey being based on the first impression of your product, it’s the most important aspect of your sales pitch to get the product right.  

    And we know that with highly configurable products, mountains of spread sheets and teams that haven’t nailed down workflows how mistakes can happen and happen often. With those mistakes comes discounts. Improving these operational inefficiencies will save you time and money and keep the customer coming back for more time and time again. 

    Make lead generation a priority

    Remember how those boots you wanted started showing up in your dreams… I mean ads all over? That’s part of the marketing team’s best lead generation efforts to get you to jump in and finally purchase the product. Showing off your product is a great way to get your buyers into finally joining your countless other happy customers who use your manufacturing goods. So why wouldn’t you have a lead-generator built right into your company website to show how quickly you can serve your customers their ideal product?   You guessed it Tacton can help bring your lead generation to the next level with an online configurator. It really is that simple, customers are more likely to buy your product if they’ve seen how quickly they can make it.

    You thought we just stopped at an online configurator, didn’t you?  

    We can help take your sales pitch even further with our visualization solutions that can show your product in real-time in the customer’s actual environment. Showing your prospective customer how the product, they want would fit in places like a doctor’s office, garage or even warehouse is a great way to get the customer engaged and focused on buying from you, not from others. It’s like looking at photos of your new boots on your feet before you’ve even slipped them on.  

    Sound too good to be true?

    It’s not, at Tacton we have over 15 years of manufacturing expertise with solutions that help improve your operational efficiencies while enhancing the customers’ experience. Quit doing commerce the old way and add value to your company with us. Ready to talk with us about your next project? Join us for a personalized demo!   

    Interested in learning more about Smart Commerce? Get the eBook here!

    The post Make Configuring Products as Easy as It Should Be with Tacton appeared first on Tacton.


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    With so many factors going into manufacturing medical devices it’s critical to find a solution that streamlines processes.

    With Tacton Smart Commerce it’s possible to make the lives of your engineers and sales teams easier by connecting processes. As a result, we’ve put together this infographic for you: Configure Price and Quote Medical Devices Ready to take your operations to the next level? Schedule a demo with us or check out our Smart Commerce eBook!

    The post [Infographic] 3 MedTech Device Manufacturing Challenges appeared first on Tacton.


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