As a company that frequently works with automotive supply manufacturers to implement technology solutions, we find that while some manufacturers have mastered the production process, very few have a good handle on the bid response process. With so much time and energy going into the process and formulating each response, what can you do to increase the odds of winning the opportunity? We’ve concluded that there are 4 major challenges when it comes to mastering the bid response process.
- The sales process itself is lengthy. It’s not unusual for an opportunity to take over a year to close.
- The sales process is complex, requiring detailed input from multiple people across departments that are often widely geographically dispersed.
- As the sale progresses, the automotive manufacturer’s requirements often change, which then requires engineering changes.
- Meanwhile, the costs of raw goods are constantly fluctuating, and these cost changes must be tracked and factored into the new pricing structure.
So, what can you do about these challenges? Here is what our experts suggest:
Build relationships. Become a supplier that automotive companies in the manufacturing industry trust to deliver on your promises. When other auto suppliers swoop in to provide lower prices, your track record of consistent excellence and commitment to the automotive manufacturing community will set you apart from competition.
Keep better track of the bid process. When will that RFP be posted? When is it due? Who needs to be involved in the engineering, design and price costing process? The only way to properly manage the bid response process is to use bid management software. There are too many moving parts to rely on Excel spreadsheets and homegrown databases.
Create re-usable templates. As a software company, we believe in building processes. Rather than re-creating the wheel with every new RFP or digging through folders to find that one paragraph you needed, Dynamics 365 integrates with Microsoft Excel and Word templates to create consistent quotes, proposals and email communications. Another advantage of using a system like Dynamics 365 for Sales to generate quotes is that costing and engineering changes can be made in one central location and will automatically flow throughout the organization.
Communicate changes. Employees, suppliers and customers need to be notified as costs and design changes are made. Workflows in your bid response system and customer relationship management systems can help ensure the right people are being kept in the loop.
Sending spreadsheets back and forth is labor and time intensive and when an obstacle rises, will you be able to have the collaboration you need? Project management software can help up to a point, 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 your fingers and avoid costly mistakes.
MCA Connect’s Automotive Solution, built on the Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement platform, handles the entire RFQ bid response process and program management. With this solution, auto 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
Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about the AutoCONNECT solution and how your company can efficiently handle the bid response process.