What added value does an effective ERP system bring to the sale of unique project packages?

13.01.2023 Pinja Blog ERP

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Project sales of customized packages is an interesting but challenging business. When the item for sale is not a standard product, but a package that requires customer and situation-specific customization, the end result is always unique – and so is the bidding and delivery process. Smooth project sales require effective ERP, which should be supported by a comprehensive system that can be adapted to many situations.

A project sale typically involves typically a package of products and services, or an otherwise custom-built, unique item that meets specific needs. This could be kitchen furniture and its installation in thirty apartments in a new block of flats, or lighting solutions for an entire office building. A single sale can therefore consist of many, even hundreds of individual parts of a product or service – from nuts to installation services and everything in between.

Regardless of the industry, all project sales companies tend to struggle with similar ERP challenges. This is primarily due to the customization-intensive nature of sales and deliveries. However, an effective ERP system can manage a business with unique deliveries in a flexible and project-oriented way. 

In this blog post, we have picked out some examples of these challenges, and we’ll also explain how a modern ERP system can address them.

The change between the bid and the order 

Too often, the bid and the order have to be processed as two separate entities, resulting in redundant data entry, and transfer to many different places. An efficient ERP system allows you to convert the bid package into an order by simply changing its status. This means that all the information and data from the bidding phase is automatically moved to the contract, and the situation and starting points at the time of bidding remain the same.

Splitting a project into parts

The system must be able to split large projects into clear sub-deliveries and actions required for delivery with reasonable effort. With suitably sized batches, it is easier to adapt to clients’ schedules, and it also enables a steady flow of cash.

Changes during the project

Changing situations test the flexibility of the project sales organization’s process. However, as changes to bids and even to confirmed orders are more a rule than an exception, it is also worth demanding true change tolerance from the process and the ERP system.  The benefits of automation are particularly clear in situations where a change in one variable causes changes to many other factors in the project. For example, changing the delivery date causes a corresponding change to the previous steps.

Communication

The importance of communication at different stages of project sales cannot be overemphasized. This applies to both internal and external communication – clients and subcontractors alike want to be kept up to date with information and schedules concerning them. Therefore, it is worth demanding an ERP system to have effective communication functionalities towards all parties involved.

An ERP helps turn challenges into opportunities

So there are many challenges in project sales, but where there are specific challenges, there are also specific opportunities. Although project sales are inherently unique and ad hoc, the associated business can also be managed in a process-oriented way with an appropriate system that supports sales effectively. Solutions to all the challenges listed above already exist.

Companies that are able to make the sale of unique projects smooth, and thus turn the challenges of their industry into their own profit, will find themselves in a very competitive environment. Carefully thought-out and smooth processes, linked to an ERP solution that supports them effectively, creates a winning combination in project sales, and thus also support customer satisfaction.

If your company’s project sales department is looking for an efficient and flexible ERP system, check out Total ERP by Pinja, or contact us directly. 

Read more

Blog: What are the benefits of effective order and contract management?
Blog: Effective order and contract management creates a solid basis for customer deliveries
Blog: A Sales Configurator is an efficient offer calculation tool
Total ERP by Pinja

Eetu Parkkisenniemi

Eetu Parkkisenniemi

I work at Pinja as the sales manager of the Total business unit. In my work, new clients, the solution to their challenges and the support of my colleagues are important. Renewing sales and marketing practices is also close to my heart. Thanks to my background in sales of ERP systems, I can help the customer find the right solution easily. In my spare time, I enjoy the rush years of three children and being between the poles playing floorball.

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