Skylux strengthens classic sales process with Hive Configure Price Quote software
Skylux specializes in bringing natural daylight indoors through skylights and outdoor living systems.
- €90M+:yearly revenue
- 50+:years of experience in the industry
A suitable daylight solution for every demand
Joeri Bruneel explains: “Skylux specializes in bringing in natural daylight: we design, manufacture and distribute domes, skylights and outdoor living systems. Premium innovation and sustainability are our core values.”
Based near Kortrijk, the company operates internationally, achieving an annual turnover of some 90 million euro. With an extensive product range, Skylux offers a suitable daylight solution for every demand.
Veerle Verslycke adds: “For our outdoor solutions, our direct customers are installers. For our domes and skylights, we have different types of customers: the building materials dealer is our direct customer, the roofer is our indirect customer, and the end customer uses our website. Because of that diversity, we have to take a multi-channel approach. That works well, but it takes effort.”
Paper catalog quickly outdated
“At Skylux, we focus on personal service,” says Joeri. “That’s why for years we used a classic sales strategy, with dealer visits, open days, trade shows and events, … We wanted to stick to that approach, but we noticed that we couldn’t just ignore the digitization wave in the construction industry.
Our dealers had to place orders from our 200-plus page paper catalog, often by phone, email and sometimes even fax. But the catalog did not always contain the most recent and accurate information, and the order process was quite cumbersome.”
Complex product range, many incorrect orders
“On top of that, our product range was becoming increasingly complex, which posed the biggest challenge in our sales process. After all, we offer our customers different solutions, each with its own advantages and disadvantages, ranging from aesthetics and energy efficiency to practicality and budget-friendliness. We noticed this complexity was more of a burden than an advantage for our customers, especially when they had to look in a paper catalog for the most suitable products. Translating all that into a multichannel approach was not easy.”
Veerle adds, “In our paper catalog, our customers lost track of the many possible configurations. They no longer knew which products could be combined, while our colleagues knew all about that. As a result, a lot of incorrect orders came in.”
The goal: to unburden customer with CPQ software
Skylux started looking for a solution to unburden their customers. Veerle explains: “We wanted to make it as easy as possible for them. For example, by helping them draw up and send out quotes;automatically generated quotes with correct prices and a graphic representation of the chosen solution. We also wanted customers to be able to place an order immediately afterwards.” It became increasingly clear that a Configure Price Quote software would significantly improve the sales process.
“In starting, we put together a requirement shortlist. For example, the product configurator had to be easy to use. The software also had to provide a visual representation of the configuration: this way, the customer can see what he is ordering, any errors can be spotted more easily, and the 3D model is printed along with the quote. Afterwards, we started looking for the appropriate CPQ provider. We were looking for someone who understands our requirements, can offer advice, can assist in further development, and above all we wanted someone who encourages us to step out of our comfort zone.”
Enter Hive CPQ. IT manager Joeri quickly saw a potential match. “I got to know Hive at a trade show. Their open and honest story stuck with me, and we were on the same page quite soon. Hive clearly indicated the possibilities and limitations of their product configurator software. When we finally went to our customers with an initial version, Hive proved to be the solution closest to both their and our needs.”
Hive CPQ software lowers error rate in orders
Skylux has been using Hive for about three years now and is noticing the effects. “The interaction between Skylux and the customer is faster and smoother,” says Veerle. Joeri elaborates, “Hive’s smart CPQ software significantly reduces the error rate in our order process. Now, we need to spend less time on administrative tasks. As a result, our employees have more time to provide additional service.”
Veerle: “The best part is that anyone can configure our products without any prior knowledge. A roofer can easily draw up his projects using the 3D product configurator. He can immediately download the technical documents or prepare a commercial offer. Our dealers can do the same: we can give them insight into their discounts and net prices, and with a simple click on the button, their order is placed immediately. Complicated configurations can now be composed and ordered in one simple tool.”
“Since we started using Hive CPQ, we have already received more than 5,000 orders. At the same time, we see that our sales through e-commerce are still increasing monthly. Of course, we continue to strongly believe in a personal customer relationship with physical sales, but now there is a digital sales process that runs parallel to that. A combination with which we’re achieving very positive results.”
Implementation via proof of concept
“We started off with a first version, a proof of concept. This gave us clear insights into how we could best offer the information to our customers. After their positive feedback, we decided to go full out with Hive’s Configure Price Quote solution,” says IT manager Joeri.
“One of the first challenges was to translate our knowledge on the one hand, and the logic of our Excel sheets on the other hand, to the product configurator. With the support of the Hive team, who organized several workshops, we succeeded smoothly. Their implementation team helped us transfer all the product information to the Hive platform, with the best possible service for our customers in mind.”
“In addition to building the product configurator, we set up integrations with our ERP and CRM systems. This was a must-have for us because our onboardings start from the CRM system. Thanks to those integrations, we have a seamless flow. We have to maintain the master data in only one place and can process incoming orders correctly.”
The internal challenge: thinking differently
As with any adaptation within a working system, Skylux also faced some challenges. “On the one hand, we had to change our way of thinking as a company,” says Joeri. “For the first time, we had to think outside-in as a manufacturer, instead of inside-out. We asked ourselves questions like ‘what is it that keeps our customer awake? What are his needs? How does he deal with our range?’
On the other hand, change management was a big challenge: for the implementation of the CPQ software to be successful, we needed the blessing of Skylux employees. Their involvement is crucial, as they are the ones who will have to guide the customer in the long run. We organized an internal kick-off, where we explained the purpose of the CPQ. We made it clear that the goal is not to replace people with a tool, but to make their work easier by enabling customers to create their own quotes, even outside office hours. This way, we can focus on service instead of order entry.
Afterwards, our external sales team went out and introduced Hive to our dealers. To this day, we take our time to do so: our representatives explain the tool, and if desired, the dealer can book additional personal training. We also notice that our customers are increasingly inquiring about the tool themselves. That, of course, also helps with internal adoption.”
Next steps: keep optimizing
The Skylux-Hive collaboration is not over just yet, says Veerle. “We continue to optimize the configurator further based on customer feedback, regularly involving Hive. We have always been very satisfied with the collaboration. It is a true partnership, with both parties communicating openly and honestly, resulting in fast turnaround times.”
Key benefits of Hive CPQ for Skylux
Fewer errors in the order process
The smart CPQ software significantly lowers the error rate in Skylux’s order process. The previous error-prone way of working has made room for automation based on set product and business rules.
Spending less time on administrative tasks
Hive automates the order flow for Skylux. As a result, their sales representatives spend less time on administrative tasks and more time on providing additional service to their customers.
Distributors make their own quotes
Distributors can easily configure the Skylux products or draw up their projects using Hive. They can immediately download technical documents, prepare a commercial offer, and place an order.
Hive CPQ supports the multichannel approach
To serve their wide variety of stakeholders, Skylux needs to take a multichannel approach. With Hive CPQ, the company can offer a digital sales channel while maintaining a personal customer relationship.