When it comes to sales, Engineer-to-Order (ETO) manufacturers face multiple challenges arising from the very nature of ETO manufacturing. In ETO manufacturing, each customer’s order is different from the other, right from the problem that the customer faces to the unique, customized solution that is required to solve them. 

The approach to each problem is creatively unique and completely out of the box. Therefore, manufacturers have to devote 100% of their time, personnel, and expertise in finding the right solution to their customer’s needs. 

How does this impact the Sales Process?

ETO manufacturing is time intensive right from the pre-sales phase till delivery. The sales process is complex and involves the sales team, 

  • To quickly respond to customer tenders or RFQs. 
  • Conducting a thorough assessment of the requirement both from a technical and financial standpoint.
  • Creating an accurate quotation by taking reference data into consideration. 
  • Making consistent changes to the quotes till the customer is satisfied.  

All of these typically take months to materialize and we are only talking about the pre-sales phase.         

In order to successfully navigate through the pre-sales and sales phases, the sales team needs to have comprehensive engineering and domain knowledge. Having these enables them to understand and evaluate customers’ requirements and decide whether they can build the solution from scratch at the right cost. 

Apart from this, they need to have real-time access to historical orders, pricing details, BOMs, inventory levels, supplier data, budgets, costs, etc. from previous projects. They need to have in-depth knowledge and the capability to use a product configurator for configuring prices; create accurate cost estimates and discount options based on the templates from similar customer orders. 

They should also have a thorough understanding of all the possible scenarios and hurdles that they might face for a particular ETO order, especially in the RFQ creation and approval stages. 

In a nutshell, the sales team should have an environment where they don’t spend a large amount of time, trying to find information from various sources and creating quotations, estimates, and other relevant documents in response to customer’s RFQs. 

How can ETO Manufacturers improve their Sales Process?

Speedy Response to RFQs

The ability of a manufacturer to increase sales and close orders in a short period of time depends on how quickly they roll out quotations in response to their customers’ RFQs. As compared to conventional manufacturing, ETO manufacturers need more time to create accurate quotations as every customer order is unique. The initial steps require them to collate data from similar historical order such as reference BOMs, CAD drawings, cost details, resource data, etc. The sales team takes relevant data and creates an approximate quote based on customer requirements. 

In order to perform this activity quickly, they would need to have an efficient documentation and tracking system that is connected to a centralized database. A capable ERP software can help them retrieve crucial data from its centralized database and be used to create accurate quotations. 

Speedy quotations mean you beat your competition to clinch the deal and close the sale. 

Accurate Quotations

For ETO manufacturers, every order is unique and different from the others. Therefore, the process of creating accurate quotations becomes more challenging. The main challenge is to produce an accurate quote that reflects the true cost of manufacturing the solution. Of course, minor deviations can be handled but a larger difference will cut through the profit margins of the manufacturer, which in this case would be huge considering the magnitude of an ETO project. 

For ETO manufacturers to arrive at accurate quotations quickly, they would need to adopt an ERP system that automates quotation workflows. With an ERP, manufacturers can,

  • Retrieve historical data on similar orders, BOMs, costing, CAD designs and models, product configurations, etc., and use them to arrive at quotations.
  • Check current inventory levels and past consumption.
  • Share draft quotations with suppliers through EDI and get real-time communication updates.
  • Use the product configurator to arrive at quotation pricing and discounts if applicable. 

Once the quotation is generated, it can be emailed from within the ERP and the entire communication thread can be tracked via CRM

Once the quotation is approved by the customer, then it’s a matter of time till the Purchase Order is received and the entire team proceeds toward the next steps to manufacture the product. 

Sales = Winning

The sales phase is when the customer gets a first-hand experience of interacting with the ETO manufacturer and knowing their enterprise. This is when the manufacturers have to be at their best in terms of speed and efficiency. Of course, they should be like that from inquiry-till-delivery-till-post sales. However, they can only do this, if they have a powerful, flexible, and capable ERP system automating workflows for them. Sales = winning and as an ETO manufacturer, that hardly comes easy. 

OmegaCube ERP is designed to meet the complex requirements of ETO manufacturers. Its comprehensive Sales and CRM functionalities allow manufacturers to speed up the entire sales process and closure. This enables manufacturers to win deals quickly and improve overall sales.

Contact us for an in-depth demo today.