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Prime Mover Magazine

SPONSORED: Technology smoothing the Road for Heavy Vehicle Businesses CONTINUED

In our last article we discussed that according to IBISWorld, in the next five years the freight trailer industry is tipped to maintain growth due to diversifying demand industries. Moving from mining to government infrastructure projects, commercial and residential construction and food distribution, Australian trucking companies are definitely still in business and in many cases even stretched to their limits.

Based on this demand on resources, the industry is calling out for focus to be placed on safety and productivity of both the fleets and vehicles on the road as well as those being purchased and configured. Managing the demand for such unique vehicles is not easy due to the high degree of product variability and customisation associated with any given vehicle type. CPQ (configure-price-quote) software  simplifies the complexities of manufacturing and distributing specialty vehicles allowing suppliers to focus on improving safety features and productivity capabilities.
Let’s continue discussing the major challenges CPQ can address in the building, selling and distribution of specialty trucks and vehicles.

1. Competitive Procurement Processes May Require Extended Lead Times and Dynamic Demand

The heavy and specialty vehicle acquisition process is highly complicated. This may be reflected in specific discounts for buying contracts negotiated in advance of any particular purchase transaction. Many of these vehicles are acquired by government agencies, which places them in a competitive bidding and procurement process.

Specifications for these vehicles are developed over an extended period of time and may involve multiple changes. As the buying process evolves over time, budget limitations and needs assessments become more fluid. The scope of the acquisition may change in terms of units purchased or specific capabilities required.

Price quoting, estimates and ballpark quotes produced along the way must be documented and backed up by specific information about what is included in any given quotation. These may well be subject to financial audits and reviews in the future.

It is critical for the seller to be able to quickly respond to any changes and provide modifications to the proposed solution in terms of actual product specification and resulting price changes. These have to be handled quickly and with confidence.

CPQ gives the seller and the buyer the assurance that any changes made during the specification discussions have been correctly accounted for in terms of price and parts. 

Most importantly, CPQ provides a solid itemisation of what is included in every quotation or proposal generated. In the months or years following a quotation, there will be no confusion about what was or was not included in that transaction.

2. How CPQ Helps Overcome Inventory Challenges

Consider the impact of, sometimes, 14,000 options and what that means in terms of inventory and supply chain responsiveness. Especially important to this market is not only availability, but also confidence in quality. CPQ offers increased supply chain visibility that ensures low-volume, infrequently ordered items are available on demand.

In addition to being available, CPQ can also minimise the need to maintain low-volume items in inventory by providing early warning or purchase triggers earlier in the ordering process. Using predictive analytics, CPQ data can be reviewed in terms of activity in the early buying process. This data will help to refine and shrink inventory level estimates for required onsite part supplies.

Reduced inventory onsite and the ability to turn that inventory more frequently will pay dividends in terms of better management of cash assets―in other words, having parts on hand when you need them, with minimal cash outlay.
Configure Price Quote software, such as Cincom’s solutions work with the heavy and specialty vehicle marketplace to contribute to a safer, more productive and modernised trucking industry in Australia.

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