A Phased Approach to Implementing Configuration Lifecycle Management for Sales

As a provider of Configuration Lifecycle Management (CLM) solutions, we often meet customers who are keen to realize the benefits of a reliable, single-source-of-truth for product configuration information, but are unsure how to get started. It can be difficult to visualize what is involved, the kind of solution that needs to be implemented and the concrete steps that need to be taken.

A recent webinar entitled, “Deliver an exceptional customer experience with one integrated sales solution,” presented by Alberto Russo, SAP Project Manager, CNH Industrial, provides an excellent example of how CLM solutions can be used to implement both a more effective Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution as well as a powerful sales app that supports multiple brands across multiple sales channels.

Russo provides a historic overview of how CLM was introduced in multiple phases, where each phase was focused on a specific challenge, delivering tangible value. This multi-phase effort has recently culminated in the release of an integrated sales platform that promises to make selling through multiple channels more effective.

Configuration Lifecycle Management for Sales

Speed up your sales cycle, increase customer satisfaction, and eliminate configuration errors.

The Multi-Phase CLM Journey

CNH Industrial Group is a public company listed on the NYSE and Borsa Italiana with multiple divisions and brands. This includes manufacturing of vehicles for agriculture (CASE, Steyr and New Holland brands), construction (CASE and New Holland brands) as well as commercial and specialty vehicles (Iveco, Heuliez and Magirus brands). They also provide powertrains/engines via the FPT brand.

With 12 brands, 63,499 employees and 67 plants, CNH Industrial Group is a large corporation manufacturing complex products sold and delivered to customers in 180 countries across the globe. Coordinating and synchronizing efforts across multiple divisions, products, brands and sales channels is a major challenge. However, this is what the business required to ensure more effectiveness and avoid duplication of effort in each division. In 2010, CNH Industrial embarked on a project to redesign the web application supporting the dealer network, which was the start of their CLM journey.

In 2012, Configit’s CLM solution based on VT® technology was rolled out to their dealers in their agricultural and construction brands. These products are extremely complex with many configuration options. The CLM solution provides a reliable, real-time validation of product configuration option choices enabling dealers to create orders that are accurate and deliverable.

In 2013, this capability was extended to end-customers allowing them to configure their own products. The CLM solution was embedded as a configurator engine in each brand’s website, in collaboration with Coolshop, providing a more user-friendly interface and simplified experience for customers.

A year later, CNH Industrial raised the bar again by introducing a sales application that works on multiple devices and is available online and offline. The offline capability provides significant value to sales and dealers as product configuration and order information can be shown to customers wherever they are, confident in the knowledge that it is synchronized and updated each time an internet connection is available.

The next phase in the journey was to enrich the available solutions with more information on the products and more guidance to the sales team and dealer network. Leveraging the CLM solution, it was also possible to create an inventory of product related information including offline price-books that could be downloaded to devices. This took two years to complete, but provided the inspiration for the latest phase focused on providing a more coherent sales process across multiple brands, divisions and regions that could leverage integration of CRM and CPQ solutions.

An Integrated, All-in-One, Sales Platform Powered by CLM

The focus of the latest phase of the CLM journey is the implementation of a common CRM and CPQ solution in CNH Industrial Group for dealers and salesmen to support the sales process of new, pre-owned and stock vehicles. In particular, integration to the CRM system was a missing link in previous phases that needed to be addressed in order to provide a more integrated sales solution.

The role of the sales app is to integrate with the existing CPQ solution, as well as the existing Microsoft Dynamics CRM solution, so that all information can be provided in one application.

However, it is not just these two integrations that need to be made in order for the sales app to achieve its objectives. It also has to integrate with the ERP system, the retail site, remarketing portal, content management repository and order management system. All of these systems provide content and information that can be actively used in preparing quotations and when configuring products.

Deliver an Exceptional Customer Experience with One Integrated Sales Solution

Watch the full webinar to see a demonstration of this new sales app, including how information and capabilities are pulled together to create a better experience for the sales teams, dealers and customers,
as well as customizing to match a brand’s color scheme and fonts.