This customer sells highly configurable medical devices to hospitals and institutions. Throughout the last century, they have stood out as leaders and pioneers in the medical testing industry, being the first to manufacture a blood pH analyzer commercially. They provide tailored IT solutions that integrate the devices and their data, and connect people so that diagnostic decisions can be made easily, in addition to servicing the devices and IT equipment they sell.
As technology has progressed and business has grown, the organization found themselves behind the curve on digital transformation efforts and needed to modernize.
When Excel spreadsheets get in the way of profitable growth
The devices the company sells fall into 12 product families, and each product can be configured in multiple ways to meet the requirements of the institution or hospital making the purchase. Product families and device configurations were managed using a constraint-based approach relying on business rules (e.g., which options and configurations are compatible to build a specific machine based on the test needed), strategized, and mapped out on Excel spreadsheets.
Over the past 13 years, the organization’s sales team deployed numerous spreadsheets to support their quoting process, which became larger and more complex as the business grew. This method proved to be very time-consuming, error-prone, and difficult to scale. For example, it took a salesperson an average of 1 to 4 hours of searching to find the correct pricing Excel sheets in order to create a quote, and then up to one and a half weeks to get a quote approved and delivered to the customer.
The company realized that their slow response times and inconsistencies in customer proposal documents were hurting their bottom line.
Adding to these challenges, social distancing and sanitary restrictions enforced during the pandemic drove business online. Instead of face-to-face interactions with customers, salespeople had to have those interactions online, exacerbating the need for speedy and accurate quoting and proposal consistency. Further, the economic turmoil caused by the pandemic increased price volatility, which impacted the company’s margins.
To add to the complexity, the business’s data was siloed between departments and locations—to the point that there was no alignment between teams and countries, making sales analytics impossible. For instance, the company could not assess client maintenance costs at most locations because inputs like technician fees were not accessible. This led them to offer maintenance at no charge, reducing revenue.
The company needed to focus on improving its configuration and quoting processes to drive revenue, optimized margins, and profitable growth.
Joining forces with partners to deliver greater value, from project scoping to solutions deployment
The company first heard about PROS by attending an industry event in 2019, where PROS hosted a speaking session, and shortly after that, they had their first meeting. However, the digital transformation project was launched in 2021, when the company enlisted the help of outside consultants to shape their process design and assist in vendor selection.
They turned to SolutionSpace, an advisory and implementation firm based in Denmark, to help them build the requirements and find the best CPQ solution. During the discovery phase, SolutionSpace identified close to 40 issues that needed to be solved to improve their quoting and selling processes.
SolutionSpace then guided the customer through making the right decisions in terms of which countries, products, and processes to prioritize, and how to structure their digital transformation project. At that point, the company informed SolutionSpace that PROS was shortlisted alongside Conga and Experlogix, and asked them to assess all 3 vendors.
To win the trust and commitment of the customer, PROS had to differentiate itself from Conga and Experlogix. PROS stood out on several fronts:
- The PROS Global Strategic Alliance with Microsoft was seen as critical. One of the business’s nonnegotiable needs was a seamless integration with the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM tool.
- The completeness of the PROS Platform as a CPQ and pricing optimization tool was a key differentiator to position PROS as a long-term partner. The ability of PROS to set out a future plan displaying pricing and optimization was seen as a strong differentiator by the company’s product management and finance teams.
- PROS was able to quickly form a relationship with SolutionSpace. This was also key in convincing the customer that they could jointly deliver a more complete solution than their competitors and drive better results.
The SolutionSpace team gave the customer the confidence to push the project through by building a plan that showed the future state of their sales with AI-powered Quoting by PROS, which was backed by custom demos from PROS sales engineers. The projections highlighted the software’s strong CPQ capabilities in configurations, the power of the PROS constraints engine, and the overall PROS Platform capabilities.
As a result, the company selected AI-powered Quoting by PROS with agreements to enable their sales teams to quote with precision, speed, and accuracy.
Once the decision was made, the company decided to ask SolutionSpace to implement the solution due to their deep involvement in the scoping phase and their strong knowledge and experience in CPQ deployments—and the PROS + SolutionSpace partnership was born.
As a new partner, SolutionSpace went through training on how to implement AI-powered Quoting by PROS. But their initial knowledge, core skills, and deep understanding of CPQ business strategies, coupled with their resources and experience, enabled the project to advance smoothly and on time.
SolutionSpace is fully in charge of implementing AI-powered Quoting by PROS, and PROS has regular touchpoints with both SolutionSpace and the customer to provide them with the support they need to run the project smoothly.
Implementing AI-powered Quoting by PROS
AI-powered Quoting by PROS and Microsoft Dynamics 365 were deployed in tandem in 2022 at one of the company’s European locations. Upon training and adoption, sales teams there can now generate quotes quickly and autonomously.
The medical devices manufacturer is now in the process of implementing the PROS Agreements solution to enable efficient customer contract management at the first deployment location. The plan for 2023 is to implement AI-powered Quoting by PROS throughout additional European locations. In the end, about 70 people will use the CPQ solution to configure offers and generate quotes for their customers across nations.
The company is also in the process of exploring AI-powered Pricing by PROS.
In addition to PROS long-standing Microsoft partnership, the new partnership formed with SolutionSpace, and training for the customer, PROS is working with the company on change management by putting them in touch with other customers that have fully and successfully implemented the same solution.
The project is ongoing, and thus far has been a success.
“PROS has consistently demonstrated a great understanding of our complex configuration processes.”—[REDACTED], Sales Excellence—REDACTED]
“The partnership with PROS was great, and REDACTED had great support from PROS throughout the project, which was one of the reasons why the project was delivered on time and in budget.”—Thorbjørn Madsen, Head of Sales—SolutionSpace