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CPQ for Leading Manufacturer with Excel, Salesforce and Documill Dynamo
Kimmo Salmela · April 01, 2019 · 3 mins
A leading North-European manufacturer of maritime technology needed to modernize the quoting process in one of its product lines. They considered replacing the Excel files they had used and developed over the years with a Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solution.
The company was using the Salesforce CRM, which has a few CPQ applications available in the AppExchange app store. However, research showed that such a solution would have been quite heavy and laborious for the product line’s simple use case. Instead, they chose to simply integrate Excel with Salesforce using the Documill Dynamo app. A fully-working CPQ was achieved.
The product line of the company in question had been using Excel for years for product configuration. All the users knew how to use it. Even better, they could take care of all its maintenance: changing the formulas when the business logic changed and updating the listing of items when there were changes in the product. No outside help was needed.
Excel provided all the flexibility they needed for creating tailored customer solutions that met their needs exactly with individual choice of components, features and capacity dimensioning.
What was missed was today’s business automation for calculations and generation of quote documents, along with business process logic. But deploying a dedicated CPQ software would have caused a lot of work and cost:
- Careful planning to ensure that the new solution would really deliver the quality and results required
- Migrating all the data and programming the calculation formulas in the CPQ app
- Buying specialized work by external Salesforce consultants for implementation and future maintenance
- Training the staff to use the new solution
- Tight project execution to minimize downtime, delays and drop in quality of deliveries.
Our customer just chose to stick to their MS Excel files and found a solution to turn them into a CPQ with us. They deployed Documill Dynamo app to connect their Excel files with their Salesforce Sales Cloud.
Documill Dynamo sends the customer configuration and pricing data from Salesforce to Excel for calculations. Optionally, the basic data can also reside in Excel. When processed, the data is returned to Salesforce. Based on it, Documill Dynamo generates a complete quote document to be sent to the customer. Simple as that!
The Documill solution gave our customer an easy way out while achieving a fully-working CPQ solution:
- Salesforce integrated CPQ functionality. Calculations and reporting are powered by Excel, the app designed for the very purpose.
- Increased productivity. The most laborious and risk-prone tasks got automated.
- Easy on end users. No need for large-scale staff training.
- Simple low-cost deployment. For example, no Salesforce coding needed.
- Smooth low-cost maintenance. Calculations kept up to date by in-house specialists, not external Salesforce developers.
- Central storage. All configuration and pricing files are kept in Salesforce.
- Full version control. A standard Salesforce feature.
- Distributed maintenance. Each configuration and pricing sheet is maintained by the product line and team best fitted for the job.
- Security. Editing rights of the Excel files can be done through Salesforce access control.
See CPQ with Excel & Dynamo in action
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Kimmo Salmela is a communications manager at Documill. Earlier on, he worked in several industry and solution marketing and communication positions at Nokia. Now Kimmo focuses on online collaboration technologies and their future prospects for businesses.
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