Products are basically the offerings which sales team offers to their client to configure the right option selection, create the quote, and then eventually order. Product data includes items and SKUs with their technical specification, attributes, and options. Technical attributes typically drive the option selection and pricing during the quoting process. Traditionally Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are considered a system of record of product data. Once the CPQ engine is integrated with ERP, it is expected to run swiftly. Often enterprises struggle with this approach and have multiple data integrity issues.
Here are a few cases:
Product searches in CPQ will not work as expected if product data is not consistent-
One of the reason for the same is item descriptions are not consistent in the ERP systems. For example: “A12345” and “X12345” are both hard disks items with description as “500GB Samsung” and “500 Gigabyte Dell” respectively. If the sales person has to search to get all available hard disks of 500 GB, there is no easy way to search it because both the items have different way to describe 500 GB hard disk.
Incorrect order fulfillment and revenue loss
Most of the ERPs do not hold technical attributes of the item. These attributes either exist in the Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) system or few clients store it in spreadsheet or database which gets loaded in CPQ cloud as part of initial load. Any changes on the item with respect to its technical attributes create issues in quoting and order fulfillment.
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For example – Item “A12345” represent a hard disk in ERP. Its technical attribute (size) as “500 GB” is stored in the PLM or spreadsheet. If there is any change made on this item in PLM or spreadsheet which makes this item of size of 1 TB and this change is not propagated to CPQ. The quote would be generated on this item in CPQ for 500 GB and order would be fulfilled for 1 TB.