As a company that frequently works with automotive supply manufacturers to implement technology systems, we find that while some companies have mastered the manufacturing production process, very few have a good handle on the bid response process.
The 4 biggest challenges to mastering the sales process
1. The sales process itself is lengthy. It’s not unusual for an opportunity to take over a year to close.
2. The sales process is complex, requiring detailed input from multiple people across departments often widely geographically-dispersed.
3. As the sale progresses, the automotive manufacturer’s requirements often change, which then requires engineering changes. The product or part that actually gets built may be substantially different than the original concept.
4. Meanwhile, the costs of raw goods are constantly fluctuating, and these cost changes must be tracked and factored into the new pricing structure.
The ONLY solution is to use bid management software
Sending spreadsheets back and forth via email is labor intensive and an obstacle when collaboration needs to scale. Project management software helps somewhat, but it doesn’t have the product lifecycle management structure that the engineering team needs. You need one system that’s easy enough for everyone to use so you can prevent opportunities from “slipping through the cracks” and avoid costly mistakes.
Because we know the automotive supplier market so well, we’ve built an extension of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Customer Service that handles the entire RFQ bid response process for automotive manufacturing companies. With these solutions, automotive suppliers can:
- Automatically route bid responses to the right people
- Document requirements and engineering changes centrally that can be reflected globally
- Standardize the sales process
- Manage the entire bid response process from receipt of the RFQ through to program launch
Author: Mark Schindler, CRM Solution Sales and Architect