Leveraging CPQs (configure price quotes) are a derivative of IIoT (Industrial Internet of Things) and Industry 4.0, which are driving innovations in e-commerce.
Business-to-business (B2B) buyers require a 3D Visual Configurator via web browser on manufacturers’ websites to make selections and pass them on to the manufacturers’ sales reps in real-time. This time-saving is quantifiable, says Zac Cooper of Atlatl Software, and it’s called bCommerce.
Because the customer and configuration information in bCommerce is captured in Atlatl Software’s QuoteBooks Cloud, sales teams can respond rapidly. Manufacturers who frequently work through distributors can enhance the customer’s web experience, proving a smoother and more efficient portal for members of the sales team.
Nearly all B2B procurement officers report that a supplier’s online customer portal is a determining and critical factor when selecting a supplier. Because bCommerce offers detailed supply product content, online purchasers have significantly more confidence in the products ordered.
15-minute product build and price quote
Instead of taking two weeks discussing a product design concept, going back to engineers to build the model, and then coming back for further iterations, the customer or salesperson builds the model on the OEM’s website with bCommerce and within 15 minutes has a price quote. Sales teams can follow up with the qualified lead through QuoteBooks bCommerce or share the quote with the end-consumer in real time, significantly reducing the sales cycle and acquisition cost.
Atlatl Software is computer-aided design (CAD) agnostic, enabling customers to interface 3D configurations directly with any CAD environment such as SolidWorks, CREO, Revitt, or OnShape. With QuoteBooks bCommerce, customers or resellers can visit an OEM’s website, complete a 3D configuration with a quote/price.
Once the sales team finalises the quote and PO, QuoteBooks can interface the 3D configuration with the OEM’s preferred CAD environment. The model is sent to engineers after the deal is completed closing the loop between sales and the shop floor.
The cost saving in engineering time is a significant metric explaining the interest and demand for the bCommerce solution. The shift toward a consultative sale is feasible because in the engineered-to-order space, various permutations in design and price can be easily and quickly calculated.
Research indicates that the ROI (return on investment) for bCommerce is four times greater than traditional solutions lacking the automation and the ability to reduce costs at the sales, engineering, and bidding levels.
bCommerce works because it allows manufacturers to define product artwork and rules to create the interactive configuration experience used by sales channels.
Manufacturers implement bCommerce as reseller’s leads are captured to the manufacturer’s Atlatl QuoteBooks Cloud. Alternatively, manufacturers deploy an interface giving resellers direct customer interaction that generates leads in QuoteBooks for the manufacturing sales team facilitation. B2B companies utilising bCommerce use website branded user interface.
Atlatl’s solutions are built on the Unity game engine, used to create 3D and 2D simulations for desktops, laptops, mobile devices, smart TVs, and home consoles. 3D allows specification of texture compression, mipmaps, and resolution settings for each platform supported. It provides support for bump, reflection, and parallax mapping screen space ambient occlusion dynamic shadows through the use of shadow maps, render-to-texture, and full-screen post-processing effects.
Unity supports the creation of custom vertexes, pixels, tessellation, compute shaders, and Unity’s own surface shaders, using Nvidia’s Cg programming language. bCommerce works by allowing manufacturers to continuously reduce overhead and maximise profitability, while delivering on the promise of actionable real-time IIoT value.
bCommerce: Time saved = Increased profitability
Fast-growing consumerisation of the buying process means every interaction must be worth both the time of engineers, sales, and purchasing. bCommerce is following the Industry 4.0 initiatives which include active listening and advanced questioning, as well as flexible negotiating, making virtual presentations, and providing the business case for rapid ROI analysis, perspectives, and engaging in social selling techniques.
bCommerce is breaking through to manufacturers who are notoriously slow at enterprise technologies. At a time when employee engagement is critical, due to record-low unemployment, keeping engineers, purchasing agents, and sales teams productive and happy with technology may prove the most valuable asset of bCommerce.
The author of this blog is Zac Cooper of Atlatl Software