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Integration of Kinetic With CPQ: How to Drive Profitability and Growth

The integration of Kinetic with CPQ revolutionizes operations, supercharges efficiency, and enhances customer experience.

April 17, 2023

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Epicor Kinetic and Epicor CPQ are two solutions designed specifically for manufacturers. Powerful in their own right, they’re even more effective when integrated. Working in tandem, they support end-to-end configure-to-order and engineer-to-order manufacturing processes–from configuration, pricing, and quoting all the way through to engineering, production, and delivery. 

As manufacturers grapple with increased complexity and configurability in their product portfolios, the fusion of Kinetic and CPQ can drive remarkable profitability and business growth. This article will delve into the unique features of these two solutions, and the powerful capabilities that emerge from their seamless integration.

What Is Kinetic?

Epicor Kinetic is a cloud ERP solution designed specifically with manufacturers in mind. It automates and streamlines the manufacturing process across multiple dimensions for make-to-order (MTO), configure-to-order (CTO), engineer-to-order (ETO), and make-to-stock (MTS) manufacturers.

Kinetic is the backbone of manufacturing operations, orchestrating everything from financial management to supply chain management, planning and scheduling, and business intelligence. 

Whether your goal is to grow your business, digitally transform operations, or enhance productivity, Kinetic can get you there faster and with greater efficiency.

Let’s take a quick look at some of Kinetic’s key features: 

Production Management

Kinetic assists manufacturers in monitoring production, managing resources, and improving efficiency. Key features include job management, MRP, support for lean manufacturing, and quality control. 

Supply Chain Management

Kinetic boosts supply chain speed, reduces costs, increases visibility, enables compliance, and enhances customer experience. It optimizes purchasing, forecasting, inventory, shipping, warehousing, materials, and supplier relationships. 

Financial Management

Kinetic's financial management tools streamline financial processes, improve visibility, and automate accounting tasks. They support multi-currency, multi-site, and multi-company operations for global businesses and help provide mobile apps for remote teams.

Business Intelligence

Easy-to-use dashboards offer real-time insights into production, planning, inventory, and maintenance. Visual reports enable manufacturers to identify issues, capitalize on opportunities, and make fast strategic decisions.

Integration of Kinetic with CRM

Kinetic’s CRM integration helps employees, departments, and supply chain partners become more customer-centric. It makes it easy for manufacturers to deliver a world-class customer experience at every touchpoint.

What Is Epicor CPQ?

CPQ software replaces manual product design, complex pricing calculations, and time-consuming quote generation with a fast, automated process. It increases efficiency, eliminates errors, and elevates the buyer’s journey.

Epicor CPQ offers a visual CPQ solution, allowing users to configure products using interactive 3D models. Sales reps, distributors, and end customers can modify colors, parts, materials, and more with simple drag-and-drop functionality and an intuitive visual interface.

As users experiment with options, prices update in real time–making the configuration process even more transparent.

Empower the Modern Buyer with Self-Serve Capabilities

In a world where modern buyer preferences are shifting towards low-touch, self-service experiences, Epicor CPQ is a game changer for retaining existing customers and attracting new ones. Manufacturers can embed their visual product configurators into their website, empowering customers to configure products and place orders independently. 

Automate Processes from End to End

While traditional CPQ solutions were developed primarily to streamline sales, visual CPQ solutions have a much broader scope. These advanced tools are designed to automate the entire manufacturing process from start to finish, significantly reducing the time spent on labor-intensive engineering and production tasks.

Modern visual CPQ solutions can auto-generate various engineering and production data, including CAD files, BOMs, CNC cut sheets, and additive manufacturing files. This reduces the burden of custom engineering and connects siloed sales, engineering, and shop floor teams by a seamless digital thread.

The Benefits of Visual CPQ

Here are the key benefits visual CPQ has to offer:

  • Improved Customer Experience: 3D visuals simplify customer decision-making, making buyers more confident in their configurations, improving retention and engagement.
  • Accelerated Sales Cycles: Instant access to pricing and quotes eliminates waiting time, enabling businesses to serve more customers without additional hiring. Instead of waiting weeks for quotes, customers receive quotes in minutes.
  • More Knowledgeable Employees: Visual configurators enhance employees' product understanding and accelerate onboarding for new hires.
  • Increased Revenue and Profit: Captivating buying experiences boost conversion rates and deal sizes, generating revenue and growing profits.
  • Reduced Costs: Streamlined processes and automation in CPQ systems minimize manual errors and operational expenses.
  • Engineering Efficiency: Automated generation of CAD files and BOMs saves engineering time and resources. This enables teams to focus on innovation and strategic initiatives.
  • Collaboration: CPQ software enhances cross-departmental collaboration, helping teams to communicate effectively and share crucial information seamlessly throughout the product life cycle.
  • Compliance and Governance: Product and pricing rules programmed into CPQ allow configurations to adhere to regulations and internal guidelines.

Why the Integration of Kinetic With CPQ Is So Powerful

Kinetic is a flexible solution that you can customize to support your business's needs and growth trajectory. By integrating various platforms, such as MES, APS, and eCommerce, you’ll create a unified system that boosts productivity, streamlines processes, and keeps you ahead of the competition.

For every manufacturer, there’s a suite of Kinetic integrations that best suits their needs. The most effective integration for manufacturers selling complex configurable products is likely CPQ.

Integrating ERP and CPQ can help protracted and fragmented sales cycles become fast and frictionless. This integration permits a seamless synergy that helps enable efficiency, end-to-end automation, and industry-leading customer experiences.

Insufficient Integration Leads to Misalignment

CPQ needs access to data stored in ERP in order to allow a comprehensive and fully automated configuration, pricing, and quoting experience. Starved of crucial information like inventory levels and lead times, CPQ can only enable users to view half the story–meaning customers can’t place orders without seeking further support.

Similarly, ERP needs to be integrated with CPQ to maintain accuracy and facilitate the production and delivery portion of the configure- and engineer-to-order process. If ERP and CPQ are not integrated, both systems have to be updated manually on the back end, which is time-consuming and error-prone.

Integration Enables Automation and Enhances the Customer Experience

Integrating Kinetic with CPQ allows customers using your visual product configurators to have immediate access to accurate and up-to-date data. CPQ can provide real-time information on inventory levels, pricing, production schedules, and more, enabling customers to make fully-informed purchase decisions and reducing the likelihood of order cancellations or returns.

Once a customer makes a purchase, all relevant information regarding the order can be pushed from CPQ into ERP (and all other integrated back-office systems.) This seamless flow of data makes automated engineering, production, and delivery possible. Greater speed and accuracy benefits not only the customer but also the sales, engineering, and shop floor teams. 

Additional Benefits of Integrating Kinetic and CPQ

Integrating Kinetic with CPQ improves accuracy, efficiency, and productivity, enabling end-to-end automation. But there are additional benefits worth considering. Here are some examples.

Data-Driven Insights: Integrating ERP and CPQ unifies data, enabling comprehensive analysis that reveals insights, trends, and opportunities to elevate products and customer experiences.

Collaboration: Integrating ERP and CPQ breaks down silos, aligning sales, engineering, production, and finance teams around a standardized data set, fostering seamless communication and collaboration.

Scalability: Integrated systems scale without extra hardware, software, or manual efforts. Increased order volume or complexity requires no added costs or human involvement.

Reduced IT Complexity: Consolidating ERP and CPQ (or any additional software solution, for that matter) simplifies IT infrastructure while increasing performance and stability.

Where Value Meets Opportunity

The integration of Kinetic with CPQ offers manufacturers a powerful, efficient solution to tackle the challenges of complex and configurable product portfolios. Once integrated, these solutions become significantly more effective, enabling manufacturers to achieve remarkable profitability and business growth.

Key Takeaways:

  1. End-to-End Automation: The integration of Kinetic with CPQ enables manufacturers to automate the entire configure-to-order and engineer-to-order process, from complex product configuration, pricing, and quoting to engineering, production, and rapid delivery.
  2. Industry-Leading Customer Experience: Integrating Kinetic with CPQ enhances the customer journey at every stage. Visual product configuration is immersive, quoting is fast and responsive, and lead times are shorter.
  3. Improved Collaboration and Data Insights: Integrating Kinetic with CPQ breaks down silos, aligning sales, engineering, and the shop floor around a common set of data and systems. Unifying data across departments enables comprehensive analysis, better-informed decisions, and continuous improvement.