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08 October 2018 |
Experts at work
How to answer a potential customer's questions to ensure that he does business with you
Written by Ton van den Broek
A quotation is the way to answer a customer's questions. Obviously, a customer wants to minimise any risks involved in making a purchase. That applies even more in the case of a customised product or service, such as software-based solutions or machinery. The customer will then have a number of...
26 September 2018 |
Experts at work
How competitive are your sales processes?
Written by Manuel Bäumle
Up till now in my professional career, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many interesting companies and industries, for which I am very grateful. Over the years, however, I’ve found that my sales and project management successes are increasingly driven by modern work processes and digital tools which, as...
06 September 2018 |
Experts at work
Preparing a quotation is like the tip of an iceberg - only about 15% of it is visible
Written by Tim Pieper
Have you seen the diagrams illustrating the actual size of an iceberg? Most of it is hidden below the water. Misjudgements can then be catastrophic - as we all know since watching the film about the Titanic or learning about the misfortune involved in the original event. In the following...
18 July 2018 |
Experts at work
When does the use of software for quotations and product configuration really make sense?
Written by Torsten Kohnert
The solution used as a link between customers, sales and production is called CPQ (Configure Price Quote). Particularly in mechanical and plant engineering, this solution makes it possible to digitally map the business processes, substantially shorten the quotation process, and create ‘clean orders’ by means of error-free configurations.
20 February 2018 |
Experts at work
Configure-to-order implementation: Put Sales in the lead and introduce an intermediate step
Written by Bert de Vries
An oft-heard misunderstanding is that Configure To Order (CTO) leads to a less diverse range of products on the market than Engineering To Order (ETO). The truth is quite the contrary: CTO leads to less internal diversity – fewer different article flows, fewer different engineering activities, and therefore lower costs...
21 September 2017 |
"A picture is worth a thousand words"
Mark van Mierlo is REC Manager at the machine manufacturer GEA in Den Bosch, and he sees many advantages to the specific application of Sofon's Concept Designer at GEA to make quotes.
01 June 2017 |
Seriously shorten your lead time?
Lead time seems to be the number one topic in the manufacturing industry. And there is a good reason for that. Every action taken between the actual order and the payment of the invoice needs to be efficient.
17 May 2017 |
When all answers need to come from one person, you know it´s time to act
Let us share with you, how other companies solved that issue.
04 May 2017 |
Why are some companies more successful than others?
Some companies seem to have more success while acting on the same marketplace with equal products. What is their secret?
19 April 2017 |
Experts at work
“It's great when a customer sees how our solution opens new avenues”
Written by Pieter Lalkens
... “The best thing about the job is seeing customers getting excited about the new avenues that my proposed solution opens.”
11 April 2017 |
Euramax reaches next level with Sofon solution
Euramax Coated Products in Roermond has been supplying coil-coated aluminum all over the world for the past forty years. The colored aluminum coils are used in high-end architectural projects, like the new Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi and King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah (Saudi Arabia).
06 April 2017 |
Survival starts with awareness
Written by Peter Bergman
Change is not a choice, but a must! Charles Darwin knew it already two centuries ago: ‘It is not the strongest nor the most intelligent of species that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.’
26 January 2017 |
Product configurator in practice
... „When you understand Sofon, you can do almost anything“„With the Product Configurator software of Sofon, we can offer everything the customer needs, just like Lego. There are unlimited possibilities to build systems for the customers, flexible and individual. We cannot handle the complexity of our welding solution without software...
12 January 2017 |
Experts at work
Implementing quotation software
Written by Klaas Jan Riezebos
..."Client specific, standardized as much as possible""I was recently at a company that supplies valves for power plants. They normally receive a request from a power plant and then make a quotation. Creating such a proposal sometimes takes them days, which results in significant costs."
16 August 2016 |
6 tips on how to defend your quote
… Without giving a discountIn our previous blog we shed some light on the most common mistakes in the quotation process. After sending your quote, it can occur that a customer doesn’t agree with your price. That’s good news! If you’re discussing the price, the customer is at least interested...
12 July 2016 |
The 7 most common mistakes in the quotation process
And how to ensure you successfully win the assignmentSending quotes is a tense and time-consuming process for any company. After all, the quote largely determines whether or not you win the work. That’s why it is essential for the quotation process to run as smoothly as possible. But how do...
09 May 2016 |
ERP Configuration vs. Sales Configuration
Integrated configurators in ERP systems are quite common in most modern ERP systems these days. Many companies use this functionality in order to support their production-specific processes.
15 May 2014 |
How good are your quotations?
I regularly receive quotations from companies that want to help Sofon improve its performance. These quotations are often a follow-up to a very good personal meeting. I expect to then receive a quotation that connects with that.
17 January 2014 |
Do you rely on sales calculations in spreadsheets?
For many companies, calculating the right customer-specific cost price and sales price is a major challenge. If you supply a large number of products, a minor calculation error can ultimately have major consequences for your margin, and thus can impact your profits! How well do you have your sales prices...
23 December 2013 |
The impact of CPQ
While terms such as ERP, CRM, CAD, PDM and BI are already fairly embedded in the lexicon, the same cannot yet be said of CPQ (Configure, Price, Quote). Remarkable, because CPQ can have an enormous positive impact on your entire organization.
13 December 2013 |
Saving on sales costs in times of crisis
The economic and financial crisis has now been going on for so long that we don’t want to hear about it anymore. You’ve taken all the necessary measures to get you through the dip, but have you taken full advantage of all of the savings opportunities? There’s a good chance...
06 December 2013 |
The right moment for recording sales knowledge
Many sales gurus rightly point out the fact that selling is not the presentation of products, but rather gaining confidences and anticipating the personal considerations of the deciders. Still, the importance of substantive knowledge in the sales process should not be underestimated. After all, without thorough knowledge, doing business becomes...
04 October 2013 |
What is quotation software?
The term “quotation software” might make you think of an intelligent word processor – a kind of Word software that you can use to conveniently compile text blocks and in that way make an attractive quotation. That can indeed be a useful tool for some companies. But at Sofon, when...
13 September 2013 |
Why CRM systems aren’t used
Almost no one questions the usefulness and necessity of many CRM systems. At least, many organizations make the decision to purchase a CRM system. But the actual use of the systems often fails to live up to expectations. Why is that?
23 August 2013 |
ERP, CRM, PDM, CAD, CPQ, Guided Selling
ERP, CRM, PDM, CAD, CPQ – it is enough to make your head spin. All of these three-letter acronyms stand for the names of software systems that support a portion of the business process. You probably find the acronym CPQ the most unfamiliar. It is also the newest on the...
02 August 2013 |
The solution for the biggest export problem
If you perform exceptionally well in your market with your products, the chance is good that you will outgrow your domestic market. You then want to cross the border. Have you already discovered what your major bottleneck is for doing that?
05 February 2013 |
“We get far more work done with the same number of staff”
Broekema is the specialist in the area of quality, high-end crop conveyor belts and the associated motor components. Broekema has production facilities in the Netherlands and the USA (Minnesota and California), but also has agents and dealers worldwide. The company needed some support for their sales and production process. Sofon...
27 August 2012 |
“We can quickly configure a perfect system and we always have the certainty that it is technically feasible”
Fronius develops, manufactures and sells products from three divisions: Welding Technology, Solar Electronics and Battery Charging Systems. It focuses on the transformation of energy with all its products. The family business is renowned in the market for its technological leadership and now has a workforce of 2,500 employees. This growth...
25 April 2012 |
“New staff are productive more rapidly thanks to Sofon”
Smeva manufactures walk-in coolers and freezers, cold storage units and refrigeration systems. Their products are used in supermarkets to chill milk and pre-packed meat. Smeva also produces service counters and customer-specific counters for butchers. Their dealers are spread over the world and are the ones in contact with the end...
25 April 2012 |
“If we make sure data is entered properly, Sofon does the rest”
Veenman advises companies in various sectors on optimizing document-related operating processes. Their software solutions vary from digitizing files to invoice management. In the area of hardware solutions, think of MultiFunctional Printers (MFPs), faxes and (dedicated) scanners. Veenman is part of Xerox Europe, but has also been an HP preferred partner...
31 January 2012 |
“Our years of parking knowledge and parking solutions are stored and defined in Sofon”
Schmit specializes in parking solutions. Think of solutions in the areas of exit payment parking (e.g. car parks), pay-and-display parking (street parking) and entry controlled systems. These systems are constructed modularly and consist of high quality hardware and software components. The components are produced by internationally renowned companies from Germany,...
16 May 2011 |
“If you don’t speak French, you can still make an accurate French quotation”
Before implementing Sofon, Bollegraaf used to spend half a day carrying out calculations and another entire day making the quotation. Sofon, thankfully, put a stop to this. Eise Kroes and Robert Nieweg (both Sales Support Engineers) share the results with us.
10 January 2011 |
“Price adjustments are very smooth with Sofon”
Rates and clear customer-specific agreements are crucial for E. van Wijk Logistics. The international provider of logistic services also required an effective use of their salesforce. Sofon was implemented in order to fulfill these requirements. Marion Kant (Sales Office) and Kees op ’t Hof (System Management) explain the changes that...
11 October 2010 |
“We can count on Sofon”
Smit Draad manufactures and sells insulated copper sectional wire (enameled, glass fiber-wound, paper-covered) and continuously transposed cables. These high quality products are supplied to manufacturers around the globe, which make extremely large transformers, engines and generators. Their copper wire therefore represents an important and critical step in the production of...
17 April 2009 |
“If you know how to read, you know how to make a quotation with Sofon too”
VelopA provides street furniture, playground equipment and coverings for public open spaces. VelopA seeks to make sure that people feel encouraged to exercise, cycle and play in this shared environment. They also bring a splash of green into an otherwise built-up outdoor environment.