Posts Tagged ‘configurator’

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See the All New iCreate Software for Westcoast!

January 30, 2017

iCreateWe are delighted to announce the latest release of our iCreate Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software for Westcoast Distribution. The Software is now bigger and better than ever. It has never been easier for Resellers to sell the entire HP PC range to their customers’ exact requirements.

Here are just a few of the reasons Resellers should be using iCreate from Westcoast Distribution:

  • Configure the HP Workstation range
  • Configure the NEW HP Premium range
  • Configure by graphics card
  • Export validated quotes to Excel for upload directly into HP’s bid system
  • Save and name popular configurations for future use
  • Full slot configuration and accessory selection
  • Maximise your margin opportunity

And best of all…it is simple and easy to navigate!

Use the Westcoast iCreate tool today for all your HP business. Visit Westcoast iCreate.

iCreate is developed exclusively for Westcoast Distribution by channelcentral.net. channelcentral specialise in quotation software to enable the IT Channel Worldwide.

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You want to show stock in your Configurator. That must be easy right?

October 24, 2016

shutterstock_17837185For ex-stock sales showing stock (inventory) in a Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) tool offers a better chance of a “right first time” quotation. In Sales, how often has a solution been created but has to be re-worked and re-worked at great expense because it can’t be shipped in time?

Customer expectations are high and in some geographies same or next day deliveries are considered normal. One of the reasons factory configuration (aka configure to order) business models that were popular at the start of the millennium in the IT Channel are not as common anymore.

Surfacing stock should be easy. With our experience we know it’s not as easy as you’d think.

CPQ: a separate system
It’s very rare for an ERP system to be able to offer CPQ capabilities that exactly match the business or technical complexity. So stock has to be “fed” to the CPQ system. Today that almost certainly means a web service as even hourly text files can be out of date. A business turning over stock every two weeks in volume or value terms is shipping a lot of products per hour and it only takes 1 part from 10 to be sold to invalidate a configuration.

Web services are real-time and with the best programming techniques stock figures can cascade in once a page has loaded, to improve performance and handle complex configurations that have hundreds or even thousands of parts.

Pulling stock through in tandem with price makes sense so this is often a single process.

Stock is Stock
Well surprisingly not. At any stage a Manufacturer or Distributor may have orders placed on their suppliers so there’s what is in stock, plus what is on order. Then add in expected due dates so the user can accurately forecast when a configuration can be shipped. Sometimes products in constraint have “back orders” or “forward due date orders”. So the due quantity isn’t the amount on order it’s the amount after back/forward orders.

Imagine losing a sales opportunity today for 50 units when you have 5000 units arriving in the warehouse tomorrow.

Bundles
The concept of bundles is usually associated with promotional discounts so buy these 5 products together and get a better price. In addition, bundles also exist where “large deal” price lists are in place where all products must be ordered from one supplier on a single invoice. It doesn’t stop there though: for large geographies stock exists in multiple warehouses so to build a configuration, all the items have to be in the same location otherwise the shipping is a) more expensive b) slower. Lastly, some countries have complex tax laws and to pay the “correct” tax, products have to ship from specific locations.

Virtual Stock & Electronic Licenses
If you are a Reseller that carries some stock but can buy from multiple sources, you have the advantage of being able to show “aggregate” stock numbers but be careful not to fall foul to the Bundle rules that may be in play. Also some products are ALWAYS in stock as they are basically licenses or services delivered via an email. So your user interface needs to make it clear that they are ALWAYS available not ALWAYS out of stock.

Visual Aids
New word for the dictionary: shippability. Show products in the basket that can ship now in green and those that can’t in red. OK that makes sense. Especially if the “electronically” delivered parts are also green. The user can instantly see the entire configuration is shippable. You will also want your CPQ tool to update shippabillity in a quote that was created 2 weeks ago. If a product can’t be stock refreshed warn the user.

Still think showing stock is easy? Well it’s not impossible. All of channelcentral’s CPQ tools cope well with ALL of the complexities laid out here. If you are having issues managing stock for your Channel contact us to hear about the different CPQ tools that we can offer.

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Why work with channelcentral?

February 24, 2016

New Video Release.

There is an increasing amount of ‘noise’ about CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote)Software as industries start to appreciate the value of such powerful tools. When there is so much noise it can be difficult to decide which software provider will work best for your needs.

channelcentral has made the decision a little bit easier since we are 100% focussed on the IT Channel. So if you have complex products to sell that you want to sell more of and your business either Manufactures or Distributes IT products you should read on!

Understanding your business needs by specialising in one industry is great but there are lots of other reasons to both consider CPQ Software and channelcentral. We have created this short video to efficiently explain why you should work with us – there are many more services on offer than you may think…

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If you think that channelcentral has a service you may be looking for then get in touch by email at interested@channelcentral.net for an informal discussion.

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channelcentral publishes first Whitepaper

October 12, 2015

Increasing Revenue and Reducing Workload with a CPQ Tool.

^8EC7AB93940CBC2A7FF40DDB9647C910E1223A4327CA832AF3^pimgpsh_fullsize_distrLast week channelcentral published its first Whitepaper. The publication is called “Increasing Revenue and Reducing Workload with a CPQ Tool”. After 8 years of developing Configure, Price, Quote Software for the IT Channel, channelcentral felt it was time to impart our knowledge and share the true value of a CPQ Tool.

Configure, Price, Quote Software is not new, and our customers that already use our iQuote CPQ tool are well aware of the benefits it can bring. However, the term Configure, Price, Quote is new, and with a number of options in the market to choose from be it by supplier or functionality, it can be a little confusing.

So, what topics are covered in this Whitepaper?

•    What is CPQ Software and who can use it?
•    Why should my company consider CPQ Software?
•    How do I know if my company will benefit from CPQ Software?
•    How has CPQ Software helped other companies?
•    How can CPQ Software be implemented in my company?

Download the Whitepaper and see how your business could increase revenue by as much as 40% and reduce workload by 50%!

For further information on channelcentral and its CPQ Software visit www.channelcentral.net/cpq

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What is a Configurator?

September 4, 2015

Configurators can be used in many different industries in a B2B or B2C context. They are probably most commonly known in the car industry for buyers to customize their purchase with tinted windows, sports seats, low profile tyres etc. Essentially, a configurator is a piece of software that acts as a design tool to build a desired solution. Configurators are being used throughout the sales cycle whether that be the Manufacturer, Reseller or End User. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Organizations become more efficient as the sales cycle becomes shorter due to fewer touch points, reducing the strain on resources.
  • Reduces order errors. Built in validation rules means the configurator gets solutions right, every time.
  • Faster Product Life-Cycles with a rapid route to market.
  • Invaluable reporting – Learn everything about how a customer shops and measure trends.
  • Increase Revenue – Upsell potential is greater as the software can provide prompts during the configuration and a larger number of sales will be made as sales teams will have more time.
  • Provide a more personal service to your customers by treating them as individuals who want a bespoke solution.

Increasingly, configurators are being used in the IT Channel. They are the perfect solution to upgrade system components, swap out an Operating System, select optional upgrades and add in additional warranty for example. A configurator doesn’t need to just end there however. Imagine a software package that also gives you Real-Time pricing/stock and not only allows you to produce a quotation but also make a purchase to place an order. This is now possible and is known as Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software.

Here at channelcentral, we have built our business developing Configure, Price, Quote Software for the IT Channel. We are experts in our field and can provide ‘off the shelf’ CPQ Software which can be customized or we can develop you your very own solution. Better still, our CPQ software can be fully integrated into your ecommerce or CRM systems.

Consider how a Configurator could help your business grow … it could be more valuable than you think.

For further information on Configurators visit: http://www.channelcentral.net/system-configurators.asp

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What is CPQ?

May 19, 2015

Another acronym.

In the Software Development world, CPQ stands for Configure/ Price/ Quote.

For industries such as the IT Channel where Manufacturers, Distributors and Resellers have a set of complex products that can be built to customer requirements, a CPQ tool is revolutionary. A user of the tool can select their system, configure it with built-in validation rules for accuracy, check price and stock and quote their customer in record time.

Here are just some of the benefits of introducing a CPQ into your business:

  • Consistent approach to configuring and quoting so staff and customers have set expectations.
  • Improved accuracy – quote it Right, First Time!
  • Improved Security – Less risk of losing data as quotes are stored in the cloud.
  • Improved product information.
  • Instant growth in the number of quotations.
  • Reduced overheads.
  • Faster quote turnaround time.
  • Ability to quote anywhere either through your browser or a Smartphone App.
  • Increase in revenue!

A good example of a CPQ is iQuote which is developed for Hewlett Packard by channelcentral. It contains the entire HP Product Portfolio and is set-up as a fully managed service; or to introduce another acronym, SAAS (Software-as-a-Service). Take a look at iQuote in action for a great example of a CPQ!

If you would like to talk to channelcentral about developing a bespoke CPQ service for your business or just to ask how it may work in your business environment, contact us.

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iCreate 2.0 has landed at Westcoast

May 7, 2015

Configure, price and quote!

HP2707 - iCreate Banner

iCreate is a Configure/Price/Quote tool that channelcentral.net has developed exclusively for Westcoast Distribution UK. Its popularity has grown and grown and as a result, we are pleased to be introducing iCreate 2.0!

The tool is developed for Westcoast customers to configure HP products. The portfolio has recently been extended from just HP Workstations to now include Desktops, Notebooks, Tablets and Thin Clients. What’s more, the validation feature has been significantly developed to include alerts throughout a configuration – users are guided and given prompts to ensure compatibility.

iCreate fully enables Reseller partners to maximise HP PC Hardware opportunities, giving expert advice, actively enhancing the sales process without users even knowing it.  The iCreate tool is easy to use and, with the latest version improving functionality even more, it makes PC configuration accessible to all, not just Technical Whizzes!

Why not visit iCreate and take a look at the new interface and features?

Westcoast Partners are delighted with it:

“iCreate is such a fantastic and user friendly reseller tool. The fact that it now has the entire HP PPS catalogue available is fantastic. The validation note feature is brilliant, exporting makes it easy to get HP special bid pricing. The Thin client config finder is such a brilliant feature. A lot of work and thought has gone into this software development, credit to the geniuses who worked on this. All in all a really, really advanced and useful tool that will make it easier for sales to sell HP!”
Vanita Kalidas – Misco

Watch the iCreate ‘How To’ video to see how it can work for you!

HP iCreate is developed for Westcoast Distribution UK by www.channelcentral.net