In the manufacturing and distribution sectors, industry professionals face continuous pressure to optimize operations—including tightening timelines and streamlining processes—in an effort to further increase company profits. Employing the right software can help overcome these challenges by facilitating the completion of various supply chain processes.
Software suppliers like QSTRAT provide manufacturing and distribution customers with industry-leading sourcing, quoting, and costing software solutions. These ERP products focus on automating a company’s supply chain operations, resulting in lower investment costs regarding time, money, and resources.
The following checklist offers supply chain management solutions that will help you lower costs, automate processes and improve your company’s bottom line.
Solution #1: Accelerate the Quoting Process
Accelerating your quoting process gives your company a competitive advantage, improves customer service and closes deals more quickly for your bottom line. Consider a cloud-based price quote (CPQ) software, which automates the quoting process by designing high-accuracy quotes for even the most complex product offers.
What to look for: Software that includes a management interface so your team can compile and compare different quote responses, select the most desirable options, and automatically generate a quote.
For distributors, the software’s consolidation of the quoting and sourcing timelines reduces the average time between initial request and final proposal. This quality accelerates the overall sales cycle, which can result in a greater number of sales and higher customer satisfaction.
Learn more: QLM Distributor Quoting Software
Solution #2: Automate Proposal Generation and Order Entry
Manually vetting requests and developing quotes can take significant amounts of time, which can delay the sales process or push a customer to turn to another company. Using an automated quoting system can save time and increase profits as manual proposal vetting is eliminated and time between customer request and quote receipt is reduced.
What to look for: Software that allows your team to customize rules that govern quotes, proposals, and customer-facing documents, so that every communication follows the company’s standard operating procedures.
Solution #3: Manage Supplier Bids and Contracts in One System
Managing supplier bids and contracts can be challenging, especially if your systems don’t accommodate multiple supplier or price comparisons. Consider a software solution that brings all your active contracts into one tool.
What to look for: software that pulls in all your lists of verified suppliers, unique pricing contracts, and terms into a single interface. From this centralized hub of information, your team can easily input requests for orders to source the most cost-effective suppliers.
Learn more: QLM Supplier Management Software
Solution #4: Track RFQ Metrics to Improve Future Quote Preparation
Are you using data to power your supply chain decisions?
Analyzing quoting data such as products quoted, order processing time, and order history will help you better support your business’s supply chain management and fulfillment operations. The insight provided by this information also allows your team to identify potential pain points and areas for improvement and growth.
What to look for: a tool that can route and track RFQs within a workflow and generate reports that show trends in key performance metrics.
Learn more: QLM Sales Quoting Tool
Solution #5: Aggregate Quotes and Drawings for Faster Cost Estimating
Spreadsheets aren’t able to capture all the details many manufacturers need to communicate effectively with suppliers or customers. If you’re interested in upgrading from spreadsheets, there are software solutions that create detailed quotes for more comprehensive customer-facing analysis.
What to look for: Software that will allow you input all quote materials, such as:
- Product drawings and diagrams
- Activity-based cost breakdowns
- Labor-based allocations and estimates
- Bill of materials
These details remain in the order record throughout the project management lifecycle. They can be easily accessed by verified users and updated or passed to other applications as needed.
Choose a QSTRAT Solution for Better Supply Chain Management
Investing in software to improve supply chain management operations can lead to significant increases in both savings and profits for a business. QSTRAT software offers manufacturers and distributors innovative management solutions that facilitate faster and more accurate quoting, better information organization, and improved communication.
Contact our team today to learn more about our supply chain management software solutions and how they can benefit your business.