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Why Do We Need a Quotation Management System Anyway?

“I’ve already got an ERP system, why do we also need a Quotation Lifecycle Management (QLM) system? We don’t have the resources to support a unique system for each and every business function!”.

A good Quotation Management system complements your ERP and performs functions that the ERP does not do well.  ERP “quoting modules” are typically quote “forms” that can be sent to customers and turned into orders if the business is won.

Quotation Lifecycle Management covers a complex and collaborative process gathering inputs and approvals from all areas of your organization, with the objective of winning more business based on submissions that are high quality, complete and delivered on time.

Why not in my ERP?

What if the quote is for an entirely new customer and product? Do we spend the time and effort to enter all the supporting master data, e.g. Customers, Items, Bills/Routings and costs into my ERP, an effort that will be wasted if we don’t ultimately win the business?

A QLM system provides access to quote related master data information outside the confines of the ERP and requires only minutes to setup and use. Business users from Engineering and Sales will be able to leverage a system that works without the restrictions of ERP but still provide the database support, work-flow control and accountability that quickly and accurately allows development of a superior response to your customer’s request.

The restrictive nature of ERP also impacts the configurability of the process and its outputs, whereas a good QLM allows for development and use of customer specific quoting templates, process and output definition.

As well, ERP licenses are expensive. Why provide ERP access to all the various individuals involved in the sales or sourcing processes that have no need for access to the other areas of the system?

A state of the art QLM system will also provide the analysis tools and what-if comparisons built around key quote elements, such as production and sourcing location, volume scenarios and sales forecasts or other non-standard cost drivers. These “price development” tools and techniques are not a normal part of an ERP system.

ERP systems are built for execution, not for the pre-sales activities required for developing a complete and comprehensive quotation. For that process, you will need a QLM.

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