Lincoln Electric Optimizes their Sales & Quoting Processes, Reducing Turnaround Time to Minutes
The team witnessed an approximately 90% reduction in time spent to generate a proposal from a blank quote – from 30 seconds to 5 minutes for a standard quote, and from weeks to 10 minutes for more complex orders.
A company creating world-class automation equipment was lacking technology to automate their sales process.
Lincoln Electric is a multi-national company with over $3 billion in annual revenue and more than 10,000 employees that design, develop, and manufacture arc welding products, robotic arc-welding systems, plasma and oxyfuel cutting equipment, and have a leading global position in the brazing and soldering alloy markets. Their products are often engineered-to-order, with complex variables and parts. Prior to working with eLogic, Lincoln Electric’s sales and engineering teams had a completely manual process to create customer quotes.
From Manual Quoting to an Automated Process
Sales and engineering were using highly manual processes to create quotes – a combination of spreadsheets and Word templates with no automated rules to warn a rep if engineer-to-order products were compatible with parts. Sales engineers were looking through a spreadsheet of SKUs, and then creating the quote, which was incredibly time consuming. They needed engineering review for very complex quotes in order to verify the product would work. It often took up to two weeks to process a quote. And, once a quote was complete, the SKUs had to be entered separately into their SAP ERP. Lincoln Electric needed a way to create consistency & efficiency in their quoting process.
eLogic worked with Lincoln Electric to create an automated quoting solution to enable consistent quote output and proposal documents. The solution includes a multi-level Variant Configuration (VC) model in SAP to support the complex requirements from the engineering and sales teams, as well as a Price Procedure based on complex cost/margin requirements that grant the internal sales team greater flexibility in defining margins based on categories of features.
Lincoln Electric now uses Configit, integrated with their SAP ERP environment to allow for an offline quoting solution as well. Dynamically generated output documents present the customer with images and feature descriptions in a consistently formatted document containing itemized prices, appropriate terms of conditions, and other business literature that can be toggled on or off as needed.
Sales reps have improved quoting accuracy with pre-approved configurations, and dynamically generated visuals and quote formatting improve the customer experience.
Engineer-to-Order products are exponentially faster to configure – 10x faster than the legacy approach – and most quotes can now be done in minutes, saving significant time and money.
Time Savings in
Weeks to Minutes
The quoting tool has all combinations of products pre-approved by engineers, so there is no need to go back to engineering for approvals on every single quote. And if a sales rep enters a configuration that is inaccurate or incompatible, the solution automatically detects it and prevents it from being sent to the customer. Customer service is greatly improved with faster turnaround on quotes, consistently accurate quotes, with zero human errors from wrong combinations of SKUs.
The solution design handles multi-level configuration of Flexible Robotic Welding Systems as well as the ability to select “options of interest.” These options provided a means to recommend and price additional features that may be of interest to a customer based on their configuration. A customer could then review these recommended options in the output document and decide if they wanted to include them in the actual quote. All improved capabilities around pricing, options of interest, and margins apply to Custom Requests as well.
The project team from Lincoln Electric presented a side-by-side demonstration of the old and new quoting process that simply wowed upper management. The team witnessed an approximately 90% reduction in time spent to generate a proposal from a blank quote – from 30 seconds to 5 minutes for a standard quote, and from weeks to 10 minutes for more complex orders. For large Engineered-To-Order (ETO) systems, time may vary, but in practice the Configit solution is at least 10 times faster than the legacy approach. The response is overwhelmingly positive toward the consistent presentation of the quote document and the time saved to actually produce quotes.