With the Configure Price Quote project at Bizerba SE & Co. KG, valantic is currently working on one of the world’s first SAP CPQ projects to integrate SAP variant configuration. In addition to market-leading products such as scales and slicing machines, Bizerba offers installation and maintenance services. Then there are labels, care products, financing, and other accessories. Sales needed a tool to create complex quotations that unites all these dimensions in a single interface. At the same time, the company wanted to provide its customers with a clear quotation document for a custom-tailored solution at the touch of a button. This is where the idea for Solution Quotes came from.
In the beginning: Who is Bizerba?
Maren Weiler: Bizerba was established in 1866 and is a family-owned company. In total, there are 4,300 employees in 120 locations. Via our main sales channels, retail and industry, we sell products and services along the entire food chain, from production to the end consumer. In addition, numerous customers in other industries such as non-food and logistics also use our solutions. People tend to think of Bizerba in connection with classic scales, for example at the butcher or in the produce department at the supermarket. The label that is printed after weighing and data entry and the software on the display are also Bizerba products. Similarly, Bizerba also sells slicing machines, industrial scales, and software; not to mention labeling systems and the associated service contracts.
What is a Solution Quote, the kind we’re talking about in this project?
Maren Weiler: At Bizerba, we focus on solutions. Each customer is different. A small butcher shop needs a scale that meets its needs, and also appropriate software and a service contract. A large food-producing operation, by contrast, frequently needs several lines, perhaps also a customer-specific solution including control mechanisms. Our internal initiative “My Bizerba – as unique as your fingerprint” focuses on ensuring that we do justice to our customers’ very diverse requirements. We offer solutions that are as unique as our customers’ fingerprints – that’s our mission.
That’s why it’s important in this project that certain things are mapped by the system for the so-called “Solution Quote.” Customers have to be able to see their requirements and themselves reflected in our quotations.
Matthias Bös: In SAP CPQ, both products and services are included in a quote. This means, for example, that you quote a scale – that’s a product from the sales sector. However, at the same time, you receive a proposal for a service contract that I can take over directly into Solution Quote. Maybe the customer also needs labels from the third sector. I can add these to the current quote as well. In the system, there is a tab in the quote for each sales organization, behind which relevant business partner roles can be maintained. This is how the system maps the Solution Quote approach.
How can the Solution Quote be arranged in the end-to-end overall process?
Maren Weiler: Bizerba is a solution provider. We have various sectors: software, hardware, services, labels, and financing. Our company strategy determines our processes: That’s why we use a “Solution Sales Process.” In other words: Our systems have to adjust to our processes, not the other way around. CRM and CPQ are completely integrated into this. We start with the lead: For us, this is the indication of a possible sale. It can involve a regular or new customer. This lead is then qualified. As soon as a sales opportunity can be created, it is created in CRM. The sales opportunity is the phase in which the customer’s pain points are recorded. Here, we work with the customer to find the solution. The actual configuration of the solution is then done in CPQ. Here, we configure the products; add the services, labels, financing; and then we have our complete quote. As soon as the customer has accepted the solution, we present a quotation with prices. The quotation that the customer orders is transferred into SAP ERP, then produced, delivered, installed, and paid for by the customer.
What were or are the biggest challenges and focal points of this implementation?
Maren Weiler: From a technical standpoint, one of the biggest challenges in the project was certainly the connection to Microsoft Dynamics 365 (D365). We transfer a lot of data bidirectionally between the systems – for example the partner roles and the customers themselves. That was a focal point that had to be technically possible. On the other end, afterwards, we transfer the finished quote to our SAP ERP system. We also need the appropriate interface for this. And of course we also need the materials and prices from the ERP system so that these only have to be entered there once.
Matthias Bös: On the one hand, we have the integration between SAP ERP and SAP CPQ in the standard. With this, the products themselves are transferred. Then we have other information that comes from other systems. For example, D365 is already connected to the ERP system and has all of the customer data on board. In addition, there is other information such as price lists, etc. in D365. When a quote is created, we transfer all of this data from D365 to the SAP CPQ system.
Ingo Schneider: Anyone who knows their way around pricing in SAP knows that frequently a lot of header data has to be added in order to locate the correct conditions and calculate prices. That’s why we have mapped three different technical price documents in the background, one apiece for the areas of sales, service, and “labels & consumables.” The respective items are allocated accordingly so that the prices are calculated correctly here. Essentially, this isn’t provided by default in SAP CPQ, that one quote always represents one document. Technically, this is quite a challenge, especially since it shouldn’t be visible to the user. It should be possible to offer the customer’s solution transparently, without having to understand precisely the steps that are performed in each system.
But we also adjusted the interface for transferring the quote to the ERP system, so that all necessary documents in the ERP, such as a production order, a service contract, etc. are created automatically from a Solution Quote. Thanks to the integrated solution, now customers receive quotations custom-tailored to their needs and all internal steps go hand-in-hand with this.