Digitalization of complex quotation process in an engineering company
GEA Group is one of the largest suppliers for the food processing industry and a wide range of other processing industries. As an international technology group, GEA focus on the design and production of process technology and complete processing plants for sophisticated production processes.
Back at the turn of the millennium, GEA realized that a vast number of crucial specialists were about to retire with a risk of losing valuable knowledge. In connection with the preparation of large-scale quotations, there was often identified bottlenecks at key employees. GEA wanted to offer their customers more harmonized quotes with fewer errors and more precision. Further, their old proprietary cost accounting was outdated difficult to maintain technically.
Historically, it took many years for GEA to train new process technologists and they started to experience competition from low-cost countries. The decrease in sales curves was starting to be visible and this was really threatening for the entire business. The time to do something essential to ensure the global market position had come.
Within GEA Process Engineering A/S, the implementation of a sales configurator supported by SolutionSpace has without a doubt improved our quotation process. Today our quotations are much more consistent and the processing time of preparing a quotation has been reduced from 20 to 2 hours.
Executive Vice President GEA Process Engineering A/S
To solve the challenges of losing valuable key knowledge, as well as an inefficient quotation process, the implementation consisted of two parts. A knowledge part and the development of a web-based configurator platform to improve the quotation process.
The knowledge part consisted of gathering and structuring process knowledge, as well as modularizing the process equipment documentation in a knowledge database in Lotus Notes. The configurator platform was developed based on the Oracle E-Business Suite Configurator with close integrations to the CRM application (Lotus Notes) and MS Axapta product catalogue and project module. For correct dimensioning of the process plant, the configurator solution was fully integrated into GEA’s inhouse developed process simulation program, and for creating the sales price the solution was integrated to GEA Calc (MS Excel). In addition, an application for 3D sales drawings of the plant and automatic generation of a quotation letter in MS Word (Document Builder) was custom developed.
This solution has been operating since 2003 and many parts of the division’s complete product programs from affiliated companies in France, the USA etc., have been added since then.
The Configurator solution has given GEA the following advantages:
- Increased retention and share of ‘Know How’ and ‘Know Why’ in the organization.
- The total time spent on preparing a quotation has been reduced from 20 to 2 hours.
- Increased employee satisfaction by reducing time on routine work.
- Handling of close on 100% of the customer inquiries which the solution was prepared for.
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